FIrst thing we all have to understand: there is no reality in reality television. It may be the most oxymoronic phrase in entertainment. Most everything is planned and thought out, that’s why you always seem to have the perfect camera angle at the perfect time to capture the perfect reaction. So now that we’ve gotten all of that straight, here comes the caveat: There is one true reality TV show, it’s called the NFL Draft.
It is truly a one of a kind experience. All that really happens is a bunch of names will be read aloud in some sequential order, yet millions of people will watch or stream the event live, and roughly 750,000 people will be in Las Vegas to see it in person. So what compels us to do this? Let’s start with the weird hybrid that is the NFL draft. It‘s simultaneously the culmination of one thing and the start of another. Being drafted by an NFL team is the end of a journey that began for most of these guys when they were pre teens. All the hard work that was put in through high school and college is paid off with the opportunity to play the game they love for a living. It’s also a time to share that reward with friends and family who helped you get there.
But that’s literally the half of it. It’s also the beginning of what is going to be a very difficult climb to have a long career in the pros. So right when you think you’ve reached the mountain top you realize you actually haven’t even started climbing yet, and the players that don’t understand that never really make it,
Then there’s the spectacle of the whole show. No one has an actual clue of what’s going to happen. Trust me, having sat on that stage for years you just try and prepare for whatever comes your way. There is no script, no outline.. just read and react baby. In 2016 right before he was scheduled to be a top 5 pick in the draft video surfaced of Mississippi offensive lineman Laremy Tunsil smoking weed in a gas mask bong. Imagine the odds you could have gotten on THAT prop bet 😂. SIdenote: Tunsil is now selling that image as an NFT to help raise money for people imprisoned on cannabis charges. We like to call that turning a “high” into a high note. (I’m here all week tip your waiter).
In 2003 The Minnesota Vikings actually PASSED on getting their pick in on time and two teams who were drafting behind Minnesota actually ran up and got their picks in before the Vikings finally turned in the card with a player’s name on it. And then there’s the “Aaron Rodgers” syndrome.
In 2005 Rodgers was projected to potentially be the #1 overall pick in the draft. He wasn’t. That honor went to Alex Smith and Rodgers had to wait until the 24th overall pick to hear Green Bay call his name. Now every year nobody wants to be the Aaron Rodgers of the draft: one last lonely player sitting the green room after everyone else is gone.
The draft is something else too. It’s this one last hit of the good stuff before we wait until preseason to start talking football. Football isn’t our national pastime it’s our national addiction. The last game was played in February and the draft gives us a taste of what we’ve been missing for a few months that will last us until August. So buckle up buttercup and enjoy the show. It’s the one thing on TV where we can actually say nobody has an actual clue as to what’s about to unfold.