Thursday, April 30, 2015
Why I'm Ignoring the NFL Draft
I'm feeling a bit curmudgeonly today, so pardon me if I rain on your NFL Draft parade.
Downtown Chicago (Grant Park and Buckingham Fountain) has sprung all kinds of tents and a mini Football village in preparation for NFL Draft day. Which is actually draft day weekend. There's a full slate of activities planned for the entire weekend.
For a list of all the activities, visit the official Draft Day Website/event list. It doesn't cost anything to attend (except for your time). Thousands upon thousands of people are expected to be at the event this weekend, and the traffic will be INSANE.
Personally, I've been trying to avoid it. It's hoopla about 32 immensely wealthy companies trying to recruit very talented college students to vastly overpay them so that they can continue to make enormous sums of money, and risk their brain health to do so.
I realize this is not a popular opinion. I am okay with that.
I like watching football just fine, and have been playing fantasy football for the last 5 years with the +NYC Dads Group . We attended some draft day events a couple of years ago in New York and they were fun to go to and slightly educational. But I don't need the inside scoop on which players will be drafted, and whether the Bears are going to take a rusher first or a back up quarterback, and ... Football doesn't even start for another 4 months!
While it would be slightly fun to have my picture taken with the Vince Lombardi trophy, it wouldn't be special. Especially if just about any yahoo in the city can come in and do the same. (And they will. They will.)
There's supposedly going to be a big economic benefit to the city from the NFL Draft being in Chicago. I don't think it will be that strong, and it ignores the cost of winning the event and the extraordinary amount of police/fire/city employees occupied with this. I think it will be a wash at best.
One thing that I did note from the coverage is that the NFL is donating 250-300 flag football kits to the Chicago School System. Nearly every elementary school in the city will now have a flag football kit for gym class, courtesy of the NFL. I guess that's a good thing.
I think the NFL is a smart organization. I think they do lots of community events because they realize it makes good business sense to do so. They are thinking long term. I think they give to education and other kid-oriented events in part because they are cultivating future fans. Perhaps I'm being overly cynical. I don't think so.
Ultimately, NFL Draft Day doesn't sound very attractive to me. I'd rather do something else.
If you've got a compelling reason that I missed about why we should go, I'd love to hear about it.
News articles about Draft Day: