So my plan last night was to curl up with a bag of popcorn and a couple cans of Diet Mountain Dew and watch the spectacle that is the NFL draft. It's an exciting event where you get to see how teams change by adding high end talent, and you get to lament questionable picks by your favorite teams (I'm mostly talking to you, Raider fans).
But as I watched the first few picks go by, I became extraordinarily bored. At first I wasn't sure why, but after a few minutes, I realized that ESPN was utterly destroying every piece of drama in the event. Two big examples:
First, when the Denver Broncos were on the clock with the #2 pick, the camera cut to a scene of Von Miller crying backstage. Unsurprisingly, Von Miller was soon selected by the Broncos.
Later, the Cardinals were on the clock with the fifth pick, and the graphic on the screen changed to "Pick is in," indicating that the decision had been made, and we'd be going to the commissioner for the announcement. But rather than doing that, ESPN went to Colleen Dominguez in Phoenix, who "broke the story" that the Cardinals would be taking Patrick Peterson, rather than Blaine Gabbert as had been long expected.
Both of these instances were situations where ESPN found out who would be drafted before the player was actually drafted, and rushed to be the first to report it. But in doing so, they sapped all of the excitement out of the commissioner's announcements. The most exciting moments are when you're watching and you don't know what will happen next. It would be like watching a hockey game on a three minute tape delay, but with an up-to-the-second Bottom Line on the screen. "Oh, the Kings are about to score. Yep, there it is, they scored." Yawnsville.
Thankfully, as the night went on, Cleveland and Atlanta made a huge trade to spice things up, and Baltimore ran out of time to add a frantic nature to the draft. And that'll always be the case. NFL teams are under tremendous pressure to make draft night a night to remember, the night where the GM made a savvy move to set them up for years.
I just wish ESPN relaxed their mad dash to be the first to "break" news on TV, and left that up to the bloggers, and ESPN.com. Let TV stay a minute or two behind, and let's have that announcement still mean something.
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