Thursday, April 22, 2010

Enough, Already

The sports writers, bloggers, reporters, Internet experts and almost anyone else with a pulse have talked ad nauseam about the NFL draft since one minute after the Super Bowl ended. Finally, and mercifully, the day is finally here (or is it Day with a capital D?). In an effort to make the draft more viewer-friendly, the NFL has moved it to prime time starting tonight and Friday. Saturday's wind-up starts at 10am (EST).

The idea is to make the draft (or is it Draft with a capital D?) more like the Oscars, so tonight's first round coverage will include red- carpet appearances by former NFL stars who were voted "best draft picks" of all time by the fans. All of this comes two days after the NFL announced its 2010 schedule with a fanfare usually reserved for the election of a new pope.

Apparently, there is no event, no story, no league matter too trivial to publicize. Then when a really important story pops up, like the recent suspension of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, it gets lost like just another snowflake in a non-stop blizzard. Yes, the media covered the incident, but the major question seemed to be how the suspension would affect the Steelers draft plans.

I'm not naive; I realize the NFL is the hottest thing going and that there is tremendous interest in the draft. But at what point does overexposure start to endanger the golden goose? Not too long ago, NFL games on Sunday and Monday night marked those times as culturally significant; now the league is everywhere and anywhere 365/24/7. At what point does it become just something else on TV to help people kill time? When do the NY Giants become just more programming to compete with Housewives of NY? At what point do they become the same program?

Many years ago Jack Nicklaus was playing a round of golf and teed off on a long hole with a 3-wood. His playing partner asked him, "Why didn't you hit the driver?" Nicklaus responded, "Sometimes, you've got to keep a little bit back." It applies to the sports media as well, and it's a lesson the NFL could well learn.


Post a Comment

<< Home