Monday, April 23, 2007

Why I hate the NFL draft

Ok, I know that the draft is this weekend, and all Colts fans are hanging their hopes for the up coming season on it. But the truth is, we will know almost nothing more about next year after this weekend. Remember that no matter how the pundits grade Polian and the boys this weekend, that they have NO IDEA who will be good and who won't. Honestly, after last year, did you jump for joy that the Colts drafted Bethea? Did anyone know he would be our starting safety this year after the draft last year? This weekend will be a lot of talking and NONE OF IT WILL MEAN ANYTHING. I hate draft weekend. Here's why:

1. I don't like college football, so I don't know the players-Look, I'm an IU fan. That is to say, college football makes me sick. I root passively for the Irish. I just don't enjoy the college game. Once I started going to NFL games, the NCAA totally started to bore me. I have no attachment to these guys.

2. There is no such thing a draft 'expert' - To quote Bill Tobin, "Who the hell is Mel Kiper Jr?" All the idiots you see pontificating on who was a good pick and who wasn't are NOT NFL scouts or GMs. The ones who were...AREN'T ANYMORE FOR A REASON. Remember all the morons who KILLED the Colts for drafting Freeney at 12? What about Peter King who declared, "This is a dark day for the Colts franchise!" after Polian selected Edge over Ricky Williams. These are FIRST ROUND PICKS that the experts jacked up on. And it happens all the time. Forget any cogent commentary on the 2nd-seventh rounds. These guys can't get the 'easy' ones right.

3. Bad teams fans get stupidly excited - Look, unless you just had a total regime change (like Polian coming in in 1998), if your team sucked last year, it'll suck this year. If your team couldn't draft well for the past 5 seasons (yeah, I mean you Detroit and Cleveland), THEY WON'T DRAFT WELL THIS YEAR EITHER.

4. There is no voice of reason - Because the entire day is a big media vomit party, there isn't anyone who says, "Well, Team X has a great coaching staff, so even though some of these players have work to do, it's way to early to tell whether this draft was good or bad. We'll have to wait a couple of years to find out".

5. One of the most important parts of the weekend isn't even covered - Signing undrafted free agents is just about as important as the 6th and 7th rounds. The truth is, Tom Brady aside, the last couple rounds don't actually produce that many players. A couple of guys a year hang on from the bottom, but not that many.

6. Nothing actually happens - Look, at the end of the day, the draft is basically like watching sports talk radio all day. It's just people sitting around flapping their gums excitedly. Give me weekend baseball ANY DAY.

Demond Sanders comments: I have a slightly different view of the draft. First of all you have to know what to watch. Round 1 lasts forever and the Colts draft at the very end. If you can get away with it (married guys know what I am talking about) go ahead and watch the whole thing. Sure, the experts are wrong more than half the time. Sure, there's no actual football being played, but its a football-like environment and that's a good thing. I watch a ton of college football and I still have no idea who 99% of these players are, but after all the predraft coverage you pretty much know the first round guys. Beyond the first round it gets pretty lame, I'll usually watch the second and third round picks for the Colts, but that's about it.

The Colts first round pick last year is a great example of why the draft is entertaining. The Colts had to have a running back. The whole league knew this. I was losing it as Laurence Maroney and DeAngelo Williams went off the board right in front of the Colts. It made me hate the Patriots all the more that they took the guy Colts fans had penciled in to replace #32. Joseph Addai? Sure his name was mentioned, but most people had him as a second round guy. He barely played at LSU, sharing time with several other backs. Of course five to ten minutes after the pick I was already in damage control mode. "Polian knows what he's doing. This kid is probably going to be a good player." Little did I know he was going to lead the Colts to XLI.

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