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Open Bar: The NFL Draft Has Been Ruined

I long for the days of the 48-hour marathon.


As somebody who has always been a fan of football in all its forms, be it the professional or collegiate version, the NFL Draft is pretty much perfect for me. It's where both college and pro intersect and like any NFL fan, I'm always interested to see who the new players on my favorite NFL team will be. I'm also interested in finding out where my favorite college players end up and finding out if I have to hate them now.

I loved you in college, Randall Cobb, but, well, then the Packers drafted you.

And NFL Draft weekend was one of those weekends that I looked forward to every year. I planned for it. I did as much as I could to make sure that I had nothing planned for those few days. I would make sure to tell my boss that I was out of town that weekend for some bullshit reason and that I couldn't work.

In fact, the only year in which I couldn't avoid plans was a year I was down in Champaign, as a friend had set up a 12-hour bar crawl on that Saturday of the draft. I had just finished chugging a beer at the Illini Inn when the Houston Texans shocked the world by drafting Mario Williams instead of Reggie Bush with the first pick. And that was pretty much how my day went, as I followed the draft as best as I could as we moved from bar to bar.

That's how it used to be, though, as is often the case with something when there's absolutely nothing wrong with it, the powers that be went and fucked it up. The draft has gone from being a weekend event in which I felt no need to shower, get dressed or even leave the couch to a three-day slog that begins on Thursday night.

And it's ruined the draft for me.

Oh, I'll still watch the first round because it's the first round and I generally watch the second and third round on Friday night, but damn it, NFL Draft, you're totally fucking with my life here. I want to go out on Friday night and wake up at 11am to watch the beginning of the draft on Saturday and just veg out for the next 48 hours.

With the current set up you not only have to sacrifice your weekend to watch the NFL Draft, but then Sunday comes and you don't have shit to do.

What the hell am I supposed to tell The Woman when she asks me if I want to go out to dinner or to a play on Sunday? Had the NFL Draft not changed anything I could say "I'd love to but I can't, honey. I have to watch the seventh round of the NFL Draft. You know, for work."

But now? Now my ass is going to be watching some play I care nothing about wishing that the DVR didn't exist so I could have used "Game of Thrones" and "Mad Men" as an excuse to stay home.

That's not the only problem, though. No, now by the time Saturday rolls around and the final four rounds are done I'm tired of the NFL Draft and I don't really want to watch it anymore. Let's be real, here. I have always loved the NFL Draft, but it's not exactly non-stop entertainment.

I mean, I love baseball, but we all know baseball is boring, right? The NFL Draft is like baseball in that there's so much nothing happening between the action, and each piece of action lasts long enough for Roger Goodell or some other guy to read a name. And while I can watch a baseball game, imagine if one baseball game didn't last three hours but three days.

How many times are you sticking around to see the end of that baseball game?

So when Saturday morning arrives -- THE MORNING I USED TO LOVE LIKE THE FIRST THURSDAY OF THE NCAA TOURNAMENT -- I'm worn down. I've just sacrificed the last two nights of my life for this draft, and now I'm being asked to give another day.

And suddenly something I loved becomes a chore.

Thanks for fixing something that was never broken, NFL.

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