Let’s Go Draft Day: 6 Ways to Participate

draft day
Image Credit: N Engineer

Dearly beloved
we are gathered here today
to celebrate this game called football.

NFL football
It’s still the offseason
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else:
Draft day.

A day of never-ending speculation
Where you can almost taste the hope, pick after pick

So while you’ve been talking Marvel versus DC comics,
watching preview after preview of Captain America: Civil War,
Instead of asking how they can stand the boredom
Ask instead how they can bore the fandom

‘Cause as a Browns fan
Things are much harder during the season
In August
The hope of draft day is over

And if the season threatens to bring you down
Think draft day, wait another year

Last night, NFL fans celebrated Draft Day, their holiest of holidays: the anticipation of Christmas Eve, the round after round of gifts of Hanukkah, and the festive celebration of Diwali all wrapped up in one three-day block. Oh, these fans have been piously devoted to this church for weeks, absorbing the words of their prophets (known to us Muggles as sports writers).

We may not understand the appeal of a day where no game is actually played, but apparently there’s a movie that might help explain it, if you’re so inclined to watch (I’m not). But even if we don’t understand it, we must accept that for some portion of the population, you could ask why the team making the first pick needs twenty minutes to do so when nothing has prevented them from being prepared to pick right at the start, and they will actually try to answer the question with some semblance of logic.

To true fans, the show is exciting. It’s as entertaining as an awards show is to others. Hmm, maybe that’s why I don’t watch awards shows, either. The point is, starting last night at 8pm Eastern Time (as well as tonight at 7pm ET and Saturday at noon ET), televisions are tuned to NFL Network; #DraftDay has been ablaze on the Twitter; websites such as ESPN.com and SI.com have experienced heavy traffic; pizza, wings, beer, and antacid sales have been brisk; and today, around the water cooler at work or on your favorite social media site, you may be hard pressed to avoid the chatter. So if you’re inclined to want to fit in, here are some tips:

  1. Read about the draft on NFL.com, SI.com, ESPN.com, or even by asking Siri to tell you about the draft.
  2. Make comments like “I still can’t believe they picked Jared Goff over Carson Wentz.” <insert actual results here>. Sprinkle in phrases like “he’s untested” or “his team didn’t face any real competition” when someone suggests a name not on your list (or, a nice dismissive “Who?” works well, too).
  3. Throw into contention the names of fictional characters to see if anyone notices. I would suggest more obscure characters (I’m guessing suggesting Peter Parker or Clark Kent will give the game away too quickly). If you succeed, let me know how it went.
  4. My husband suggested making this a teaching moment, like having your kids calculate the odds of a particular person being chosen, or something else. But here’s a statistics lesson: what are the odds that engaging a kid in an event you hate will increase their interest in the event so that you have to deal with it well into the future (and hear about all their favorite players year round instead of just between August and December), versus if you mock it and maintain their disinterest? Better odds of your maintaining your sanity longer if you ignore this suggestion outright.
  5.  Seriously? You think I can offer you more tips on how to fake interest in something I have literally less than zero interest in? My birthday once fell on draft day. Do you know how annoying it is to have someone more excited about watching people state names of people they’ve never met on stage every twenty minutes than about feigning for one meal appreciation of my continued existence? Or having to schedule a birthday dinner around the timing of these picks (that will, by the way, be reported in the newspaper the next day with zero change in anything for anyone)? It’s demoralizing. People were watching a Browns pre-season game during my wedding ceremony, but since the wedding took three days or something, and it was an actual game (yeah, one that doesn’t count, but it’s usually the only time the Browns have had a winning record in the past decade, so it’s the real deal as far as I’m concerned), I didn’t care (didn’t stop me from getting married). But the draft?! You know what else is like the draft? Making a grocery list. Picking which meals will make it to the dinner table this week. How about you finish up your homework early to participate in that?
  6. Screw it. Go out to dinner (tip: avoid sports bars), see a play, visit a friend, go watch a movie, read a book, sew a throw pillow, call your mother, go for a drive, plant a flower, I don’t know. Just celebrate the fact that, thankfully, there is more to life than the G@#$%MN NFL Draft.

They’re all excited today
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s ’cause
We’re still gonna–

Oh, forget it. I can’t do it. Yeah, yeah, draft day.