I don't know about you, but in my house the NFL draft is a national holiday. In fact, it's hard to ignore the draft's similarity to Christmas. Waking up with butterflies in your stomach, anticipating the haul; getting new toys to play with (G.I. Joes having been replaced by shiny new Quarterbacks and Defensive Ends); leaving milk and a plate of cookies out for Mark Dominik. Okay, maybe not that last part.
The sport of baseball must have the best PR department in the world, because the myth that it is America's favorite pastime has been perpetuated long past the point that it became evident that football is, in fact, king. So when we fans are forced to languish in the desert of the offseason with nary a drop of football to slake our thirst, we know that there is an oasis on the horizon: The NFL draft. Every year, come April, when the drafts can be mocked no more and you've spent more time with Mel Kiper and Todd McShay than your own family, you realize you've lost control...again. But do not be ashamed, because football is America's true favorite pastime, and the draft an appetizer to whet our collective appetite for the season to come.
But every April I get to be an unapologetic couch potato for an entire three days because, hey, watching the draft is important business. I'm not watching TV; I'm scouting the NFC South. I'm not being lazy; I'm doing research. If I'm to be the king of the water cooler, I have to earn that title. And earn it I shall.
When my wife comes to the living room and I'm sitting there, intently watching, mock drafts and random papers splayed out in front of me on the coffee table, pen behind my ear, she just smirks and listens with wonderment at my explanation of why the Patriots rule the draft every year. She thinks I'm some sort of football super-genius. Makes me feel like a manly man. Watching the draft has become the new changing your own oil (a highly overrated experience by the way).
Watching the draft makes geniuses of us all, because if there's one thing better than hindsight, it's blind projection. We, the fans, are the arbiters of sound draft strategy. These guys haven't played a down on Sundays yet, but that's okay, because we have their whole careers figured out. Our first round pick? Future Hall of Famer. The Falcons'? Did they really trade up for that guy? Fools I tell you.
Yes, it is the most wonderful time of the year. Because the draft brings us hope. It brings us trades, and busts, and late round steals, and 21-year-olds wearing watches that cost more than our mortgages and weigh more than our small pets. But most importantly it brings us football. Sweet sweet football. What better way to spend a weekend in the spring? You know, besides going outside or something silly like that.