The 2012 NFL Draft kicks off in just a few hours and my excitement is building. I’ve cleared my calendar with my friends and family, stocked my fridge, and mowed my lawn. I am ready to spend the next three days on my couch in front of my TV with my computer at the ready. I know I am not alone. The NFL draft is by far the most exciting event in any professional sport held in that sport’s off-season.
Here are seven reasons why the NFL draft is so popular:
Non-Stop NFL Coverage In Spring
No other sport has an event of this magnitude that so totally focuses attention on it during its off-season. NFL fans have to wait seven months between the Super Bowl and Week 1 of the following regular season. The NFL Draft is a three-day immersion in the sport that we all love so much.
One of the main reasons why the NFL is so popular is fantasy football. Fantasy fanatics watch the draft to look for potential rookie impact players that they might draft later in the year. I know I’m keeping an eye out for potential sleeper picks.
Is there anyone else in the world whose job boils down to three days a year? Kiper has been producing draft guides for the past 31 years, and has been a fixture for ESPN for the NFL Draft since 1984. In the past few years the network has foolishly de-emphasized Kiper’s knowledge and given more camera time to their multitude of analysts.
First Round Trades
Is there anything more exciting in the first round than when a team suddenly trades to a higher pick? Remember when the New York Jets moved from 17th up to fifth overall to grab Mark Sanchez in 2009?How about when the Denver Broncos traded up into the end of the first round in 2010 to take Tim Tebow?
Roger Goodell’s Hugs
Where else can you watch a young man get a hug from his boss at the moment he is hired? Getting selected in the NFL Draft is usually the culmination of a lifetime’s worth of sacrifice and work by a young man and his family. Typically it shows in very emotional ways, and I’m not gonna deny that I’ve wiped a tear or two away when a player reacts strongly. Remember Vonn Miller breaking down in 2011?
As much as I like to watch selected players walk out onto the stage in New York, I like to watch the players sitting at home with their families and friends even more. Even when all the young men who have attended the draft have been picked in the first round or two, fans can still watch the excited and emotional reactions of those still at home in later rounds.
Fans At The Draft
Attending the NFL Draft in New York City is definitely on my bucket list. Football fans wait for hours to get a ticket, but it’s well worth the wait. They also add an element of fun and spontaneity to an otherwise tedious event. Hearing the New York Jets or Philadelphia Eagles fans boo their teams’ selections is a highlight for me at any draft.
In the end, nothing beats the first round of the NFL draft for pure drama. We all know this year that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III will be the first two picks, but every pick after that is a complete mystery. With every pick, the board resets. Last year four quarterbacks were taken in the first 12 picks. Who predicted that? What craziness will unfold this year? We will find out in just a few short hours.
Julie is an NFL fanatic who plans on watching every single minute of this year’s NFL Draft. She lives five minutes from the Denver Broncos headquarters just south of Denver and is excited to see who the Broncos add this year to the team.