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Best and Worst Time of the Year

April 11th, 2006

Any and everybody that is a true football fan loves the NFL Draft. When you take a step back and look at the draft though, sitting there and watching it for hours upon hours is really odd. I’m sure, most fans don’t tune in for the entire thing, but I did so last year, watching about 90% of ESPN’s coverage.

Part of that reason is because of my involvement at other websites that deal with the draft, but the rest of it is inexplicable. There is just something about the draft that has me glued to the television. I’m very glad that the NFL Network will be covering the event in its entirety this year. It will give me an opportunity to avoid Mel Kiper and ESPN, who have had a monopoly on the event seemingly forever. I’m looking for too Rich Eisen’s corny jokes, and getting mad at Mike Mayock and his continued lack of respect for that man that is Matt Leinart.

Most people don’t watch the entire draft because it is in fact incredibly boring. Most fans would say that they need to signfiicantly cut down the time limit on draft picks, perhaps allowing 10 minutes in the first round, and 5 minutes the rest of the way. It would definitely make it go smoother, but I would say that there are the rare occasions when a team really does need the full 15 minutes. The Vikings in recent drafts, have even needed 20 minutes to make a decision.

What’s so great about draft day, is that everybody has high hopes going into that Saturday. For fans of bad teams, they think maybe they’ll be able to get 1 or 2 players that could really be an impact this year. For other teams, it’s more about which players are going to be the stars of your teams in future years. But I’ve found that by the end of the whole thing, the vast majority of fans are upset with their team’s picks.

My fellow Falcon fans aren’t any different. It’s been different since McKay came here, and there hasn’t been a ton of fans arguing about bad picks like it was during the Reeves Era. I recall particularly about 80-90% of fans were very upset when the Falcons chose Alge Crumpler in 2001. Most fans were looking for a wideout. I among them, wanted the team to get Chad Johnson. But I was also in the minority that thought Crumpler was a good pick and would turn into a Pro Bowl player, so I wasn’t too upset with passing on Johnson or another receiver at the time. It seems that pick turned out pretty good and was one of the best ones of the Reeves Era. It’s been my experience that the initial reaction tends to be negative from the fans. It’s probably because we all think were draft gurus, due to all the information that floods us via the internet about the draft.

But perhaps the worst thing about the draft is what follows. It’s really a dead time for football fans. You have about a week’s worth of high following the draft (but only if you think your team did a good job), and then you have basically nothing to look forward to NFL-wise until August. Sure, you get some June cap cuts. But it’s usually only 3 or 4 big names, and usually only a 1 or 2 teams really interested in each, so it’s doubtful it’s going to get you too excited as a fan.

It means we’re stuck with baseball. And I hate beginning of the season baseball. It’s meaningless if you ask me. The talking heads get really excited about a team winning 5 straight in April, and it’s practically meaningless when it comes to September and October. Baseball really doesn’t seem to pick up to me until July.

You also have the end of the NBA season, but the playoffs in the NBA aren’t that exciting as NFL playoffs because they have so many more teams. In a given year, you’ll probably only have 5 or 6 teams that really are championship caliber teams. The other 10 or so teams are just pretenders and their best hope is to win 2 games in the second round. Reducing the number of playoff teams per conference to 4 would be crazy, but would definitely make the NBA playoffs way more exciting.

I wouldn’t at all be surprised if the number of suicides among American males is highest in the months of May, June, and July. But at least those three months of boredom present you with a reason to actually get off the couch or from in front of the computer and do something with your life. It’s probably why all the blockbuster summer movies come out in those months, because they know they don’t have to compete with football for people’s attention on weekends.

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