Player Evaluation For Thirsty Fans Is One Thing But Too Much Exposure Takes The Drama and Excitement Away From The Draft
This is not exactly a shocking development in the sports world.
No, it’s not that Ron Artest – er, Metta World Peace – has elbowed a player in the head. Or that Tiger Woods is taking time off to rest. Or that there’s friction in the Red Sox clubhouse.
This is the fact that ESPN is over-analyzing the NFL Draft to the very limits of one’s tolerance level.
Every time you turn on the network – ESPN, ESPN2 – there is something about the NFL Draft. Mock drafts. Projected trades. Trent Richardson is a good fit for the Cleveland Browns. Trent Richardson is a bad fit for the Cleveland Browns. Heck, the reality of the matter is that the Cleveland Browns are a bad fit for Trent Richardson. He’s way too good for them!
How much more can we take Todd McShay “breaking down” film and a team’s needs? New addition Bill Polain, former Indianapolis Colts GM, talking about how great it was to have drafted Peyton Manning? John Clayton and his geeky glasses? Mel Kiper, Jr., and his really bad toupee?
The big problem with this is that all this analysis and the projections are taking away the drama from Draft Day. Thanks to ESPN, this once nothing day became an event. And now because to ESPN, it’s becoming dull again.
ESPN does this because the network is broadcasting the draft. Were it on, say Fox, then there would be only occasional references to it. But whenever ESPN broadcasts something, it pumps it up as if everything is the Super Bowl. Off the network and it’s off the radar. Look at NASCAR as an example. You’re not seeing a lot of it now because the races are on Fox and TNT. When they switch to ESPN and ABC in the summer, check out the difference. Bookmark July 29 on your calendars.
Yes, the draft is on the NFL Network, but that reaches so relatively few homes its no more a nuisance to ESPN that a single fly at the barbeque grill. Plus, the NFL is a something of a partner to ESPN, so it won’t do anything to harm that relationship. Well, except making up stories about the Saints (Sideline Sam is keeping an eye on this in order to determine if it’s a real story or simply a grab in order to create news rather than report news).
Even once the draft is complete, don’t expect the ESPN barrage to subside. That’s when we get days and days of post-draft analysis. By then, though, the NBA Playoffs will have started. But wait – those are on ABC, ESPN’s sister network. And they last into June.