The Felt Forum, Or Whatever They’re Calling It These Days- I became an NFL draft junkie back in the late 1980s when I was living in Michigan and got cable for the first time in my life. It was a revelation.
As a young man who not only cared way too much about football (the professional variety, thank you), but also was at the forefront fantasy football (we started in 1986), being able to sit on a couch and watch live as teams selected their top draft picks was oddly exhilarating. Of course I’d always been curious about who the Steelers would pick. Gotta stay up on your team and all that. But now it turned out that I was absolutely riveted by, say, who the Houston Oilers or LA Rams (remember them?) would take with their middling 1s. Especially if it were a skill player I was considering drafting myself down the line.
For years I wasted beautiful spring Saturdays on one dusty couch or another, riveted as the fifteen minute clock for each top choice slowly wound down, and wondering whether they would be a last minute trade or some ghastly reach.
I remember the year the Green Bay used a high 1 on steroidal poster boy Tony Madnarich. I remember the Cowboys trading up for slow footed but shifty back out of Florida named Emmitt Smith. I remember the Pride of Fresno State David Carr being the first ever choice of the expansion Houston Texans. I remember Eli Manning for Phillip Rivers and the Drew Brees ripple effect. I remember when Bo Jackson walked away from Tampa Bay.
I remember Yatil Green.
Yatil Green, people. Look it up.
But somewhere along the way, I guess I just stopped caring. Don’t get me wrong. I still watch far too many NFL games, and my pool’s still going strong after 26 years (Christ, we’re getting old). But a few years ago, I can’t say exactly when, my interest in the draft dissipated.
Maybe it was because I got rid of cable. Maybe it was because they moved it to a weeknight. Maybe it’s that with age I found the patience to just pick up the paper the next day.
Actually, there aren’t any papers anymore, are there? But that just makes it easier. If I really wanna know, I’ll ask someone I’m with to pull it up on their wizard phone. Last night it was on in the next room while we played poker. Whatever, there’s no rush.
Turns out my Steelers might have gotten the steal of the draft with Stanford Guard David DeCastro, while my interest in nabbing Robert Blackmon for my fantasy keeper roster went up in smoke when he ended up in Jacksonville of all places. But it’s all just information, not an event, not entertainment.
I’m just leaving it behind me. Draft dodgers of the world, unite!
Cheesy Bruin won’t leave you behind tomorrow, so come on back.