Friday, July 24, 2009

NFL to mess up a good thing

The 2010 NFL Draft will be shown on NFL Network and ESPN in primetime.

Round 1 will air Thursday, April 22 at 6:30.
Rounds 2 and 3 will be on Friday, April 23 at 5:30. Good luck getting home in time for the start.
Rounds 4-7 will air Saturday the 24th beginning at 9 am.

I absolutely hate this. The weekend was a perfect time to watch the draft. You didn't have to rush home to make sure not to miss the beginning. You could lock down the mancave and pretty much immerse yourself in uninterrupted coverage. There wasn't anything else on. Both days of this year's draft wrapped up with plenty of time left in the evening to pursue other interests.

You know, Roger Goodell, even though I'm a draftnik, I still have a life. And you've screwed everything up now. I'm supposed to expend two weeknights and most of a Saturday on the draft now? I'm supposed to miss the beginning of the second round, since there's no way I'll ever be home in time? What if the first round goes nearly six hours like it did a couple of years ago? You gonna keep people up past midnight on a weeknight waiting to find out their team's draft pick?

The NFL is completely messing up a good thing here. I assume they want to move to primetime to attract the "casual fan". There's just one problem: the draft isn't for the casual fan. It's for the guy who watches college football games he'd otherwise skip because one of the teams has pro prospects. It's for the guy who TiVos those games so he can re-watch otherwise-meaningless plays to see the block that senior left tackle threw. It's for the guy who buys two draft guides and subscribes to three draft websites and has four or five draft magazines laying around somewhere. It's for the guy who knew that wide receiver's 40 time before the NFL Combine. (Gonna move that to primetime too, Goodell?)

Coverage of the NFL draft is for the draftnik, Roger Goodell. It's not for the casual fan. You're messing the draft up for your sports' most ardent fans chasing after the "long tail", by going after people who're going to be watching Grey's Anatomy or CSI or Survivor that night anyway. Lousy move, Commish.

The scribe has spoken.

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