After two days of pure sports frenzy, the NFL draft has come to a close. For most of the male population, this event signifies the opening of the 2007 football season; however, in reality the season is still several months away. For the die-hard fan it does not matter because the draft allows us football heathens, for a weekend, to become armchair General Managers where aspirations of a Super Bowl victory is a reality in our minds.
What really is remarkable about this two-day event is how it has become such an enormous media event. Several years ago the draft was not on the average sports fan's mind except for the most fanatical fans. I guess the plethora of cable TVs in American homes, the power of ESPN, and the fact that football is the true "American Pastime" have made the draft into a must see TV event. Not only does ESPN televise it for two days, ESPN also provides eight hours of radio programing on the first day and the NFL Network provides full TV coverage. These stations are just the tip of the media circus iceberg the draft causes.
To provide a bit of perspective on how this event has captured us, this year's event drew around 5.2% of US TV households higher than any other programing on ESPN except for NFL games. That is incredible!!! An event that my wife described as "watching paint drying," has captured a nation's attention. What is next…Curling?!?
I am not sure if it is Mel Kiper's hair, Tony Kornheiser's whit, or Chris Berman's funny nicknames that make the draft fun, but my guess is that it's the drama of the flurry of trades and bad picks by the General Mangers that draw us in like a moth to a flame.
So for one weekend in the spring where every team has a chance to win the Super Bowl and gives us fans the chance to talk smack to our neighbor, I say - LONG LIVE THE DRAFT!!!!
P.S. - my team the Carolina Panthers had the best draft in this year's event. With that said, the Panthers will be back in Super Bowl for a thunderous rematch with the New England Patriots. 28-24 Panthers win!!! You heard it here first!