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NFL considering moving draft to May?

NFL-Draft-Roger-GoodellThe NFL offseason is one of the slowest times for sports in America. Football is the only sport that creates a major buzz every week of the regular season. With baseball, basketball and hockey, we just don’t see the same type of exposure until deep in the playoffs. Now, the NFL could be looking to stay relevant over a larger portion of the calendar year.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the NFL has proposed an overhaul of its offseason calendar that would push the draft from April to May. It would also push the NFL scouting combine to early March and the start of free agency to early April. But why?

As Schefter pointed out, the NFL is looking to lengthen its offseason and make football relevant over a larger stretch of the year. The Super Bowl is in February, which is all you really need for that month. Pushing back the other events could help keep football fresh on everyone’s mind right through the start of training camp.

In addition, the proposal would also reportedly result in all teams beginning their official training camp on the same day. The way it stands now, teams begin their training camp during a time period that is scattered over several days in July. If every team began camp on the same day, that day would mark the “official” start to another season.

The NFL is a marketing machine, and most new ideas that are put into place by the league wind up being successful. This proposal would likely be no exception. People in America love football that much.

Should Rookies Boycott the 2011 NFL Draft by Staying Home?

While players and fans find themselves wondering whether or not there will be football in the fall, soon-to-be rookies are faced with a difficult decision that needs to be made in just over a month. The NFL Players Association has decertified, and as of now there is no collective bargaining agreement in the NFL.  The owners have locked players out of team facilities. The players do not want to do the owners any favors or help them make extra money.  For that reason, the player’s union has asked that incoming rookies boycott the NFL Draft in New York and stay home on draft day.

Fans may not realize it, but this is one of the most difficult decisions rookies will ever have to make during their NFL careers. The NFL Draft represents the most exciting three days of a young football player’s life. If you are expected to be a first-round pick, hearing Roger Goodell call your name at Radio City Music Hall and hand you an NFL jersey is something you have probably dreamed about since Pop Warner.  Oh well.

My advice to rookies: stay home.  The decision will be brutal for anyone who had their heart set on attending the draft.  Any college athlete who envisioned himself putting on an NFL team’s hat and holding up a No. 1 jersey while cameras flashed all around him can forget about it.  Would the rookies rather have an owner who might be a little miffed they refused to attend an NFL event, or a locker room full of guys who feel like they aren’t “one of them”?  The former is any easy choice.

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Excess TV Cameras Ruin Suspense of Draft Pick Announcements

There’s that saying, “less is more.” Somebody needs to tell that to both ESPN and NFL Network whose coverage of the draft went overboard. This was the first year in a long time where I got to sit at home and actually watch the draft and enjoy the coverage. The problem with the coverage on both networks was pretty glaring — it was excessive and overwhelming. I could have done without the second set for each network; give me one team of analysts, four guys max. For ESPN, just stick with Kiper, McShay and only two other guys, that’s it. For NFL Network, just give me Eisen, Mayock, Gruden (love Chucky), and one other guy. No duel sets, no casts of hundred analysts, keep it simple, stupid.

While the amount of people on set was excessive, nothing was worse than the suspense of the picks being ruined by the TV cameras. Both networks had cameras on location for the draft parties of several players. Additionally, they had cameras on players who were at the draft in Radio City Music Hall. Normally I wouldn’t complain about this because it’s always cool to see player reaction to getting selected (watching Aaron Curry cry was priceless), but when we see players celebrate prior to Roger Goodell announcing the pick, it ruins the moment. Some easy advice to the networks: delay the footage of the players reacting to being picked until after Goodell makes the announcement at the podium. What’s the point of having the commissioner there if you’re just going to show us Mark Sanchez putting on a Jets hat three minutes before Goodell steps to the mic? You guys trying to show up the commish? Less is more, fellas, less is more.