Saturday, April 23, 2005

"You're going to what... ?"

I will probably spend a sizable chunk of my afternoon watching the National Football League college player draft on ESPN. And I'm not sure I can explain why. It's really not an event. As Michael Wilbon wrote in yesterday's Washington Post, it's really much ado about nothing, receiving much more attention than it deserves. It's hours of talking heads, spouting 40-yard-dash times, throwing out vague words like "potential" and "upside," and presumably expert terminology like "lateral movement," "vertical stretch," "breakaway speed," and "gap explosion."

It's the ultimate example of sports geekiness. 4 million people will probably watch this thing today. Why? Optimism, first and foremost. For fans whose teams played horribly the previous season (Detroit Lions, anyone?), the draft offers hope, someone who can make a difference between losing and winning. Secondly, it cures the football fix. We have nothing from January to late-August. Even though no game is being played today, a fan can immerse himself in football-related discussion. Finally, it's a somewhat interactive event. For fans who have delusions of being able to assemble a winning football team, the draft gives them a chance to feel like an expert, someone who knows what their team should do to get better. And perhaps more importantly, it gives them a chance to complain when their team doesn't take the player they should've. ("How could you do that? He's terrible! You guys are morons!") I also probably shouldn't underestimate the opportunity to eat bad food and drink adult beverages.

My lovable Lions have the 10th selection in today's draft. If they have any brains whatsoever, they'll pick Shawne Merriman from the University of Maryland. I've never seen him play, but I've read he's got great size, speed, and has great upside. His lateral movement is unbelievable and he explodes off the line. And he's tough. Nasty, from the 10 seconds worth of highlights I've seen on ESPN. I've spent the last three hours studying this $#!+, so I know what I'm talking about. The Lions should totally take this kid if they're serious about winning next year. If they don't, they're #$@%ing idiots who have no @#*%ing idea what the #$%@ they're doing!!

Pass another slice of pizza, will ya?