Like an oiled-up wrestler delivering an elbow from the top turnbuckle, one can’t escape the spectacle that the NFL Draft has become these days.
Ah yes, the NFL Draft. An event that measures the worth of college athletes on algorithms, statistics and how fast they run, how far they throw or how hard they hit.
A place where dreams are born, hopes are dashed and the prospect of a lot of green is thrown around as if it was old news.
Perhaps in true NFL fashion, this year’s event will have a very special episode as it makes its way to Jerry Jones land in Arlington for the first time in its history. That of course could bring with it a ton of drama and a whole lot of television advertisements flooding our airwaves.
Love it or hate it, one has to respect the staying power of the NFL Draft.
If anything, what comes with more than 70-hours of somewhat mindnumbing coverage are inspiring stories of players who have overcome and will shine far brighter than Johnny Top Draft pick.
Guys such as Shaquiem Griffin of Central Florida, who had a breakout 2017 season despite being born with only one hand. Or Sports Illustrated’s recent piece on 12 or so NFL Draft prospects whose parents fled from political strife in various African nations to find a better life for their families.
With the draft comes tales of players who turn their heartbreak into motivation to find greatness. Guys with the last name of Brady, Rogers, Sherman, Lett weren’t selected in the top five, or even at all. All of them are, or soon will be, Hall of Fame players.
Of course, there are the stories of players who were expected to be at the draft since they were in high school.
Much of that talk has centered on the bevy of highly sought after quarterbacks whose air attack is rivaled only by the Air Force.
Though, the success of Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen is paired with the question of which one will be dealt to the hapless and toothless Cleveland Browns. Good luck to the poor sap in that situation. He can cry over his guaranteed millions, I’m sure.
My favorite part is seeing teams go after offensive and defensive lineman, who are the real warriors in the game of football. Look for UTEP’s Will Hernandez to go quickly and make an immediate impact.
And let’s not forget the real reason why the draft is so great to watch in the first place – rabid fans.
Kudos to those who earned a ticket to the draft via a lottery system to see the draft in person. More respect to those who sit through all seven rounds of the darn thing and have the same excitement for Mr. Irrelevant, or the final pick, as the very first.
One must cringe, however, at the amount of dough they may have to fork over for a special NFL Draft draught.
But for all of the gold, glamour and glitterati the draft rolls with, what it doesn’t lack is a sense of style.
So pull up your chair, grab a reasonably priced cold one and relax for a few hours this weekend as we watch the next generation of football’s best.