INDIANAPOLIS, IN – This is a small, cool sports-crazed town, just a 2-beer flight from most cities east of the Mississippi. It’s one that happened organically, you can actually walk just about everywhere – you hear me LA and Phoenix? The older, mostly red brink industrial buildings have been sharply renovated into hip bars, restaurants and businesses, including the homes of the
Baltimore Colts and the Indiana Reggie Millers (there is a massive, prominent Miller billboard for all to see. Anywho, yours truly was in town again as per the remote broadcast model of Major League Rugby, and the place was jamming with crazed sports fans filling the bars to watch… the NFL Draft? More on that in a minute, as we cut to the chase and get to today’s headline: NFL Draft Kiss of Deathn
NFL Draft Kiss of Death
This thing is/was in Vegas, right? With Indy teeming with teams of fans, you’d swear it was at the hip-looking Lucas Oil Stadium or the still chic Gainbridge Fieldhouse. It’s theses glimpses of life outside NYC that leave me feeling like I’m observing a new species. One that challenges your boundaries and has you questioning yourself with introspective queries like, “Are they really just watching a filthy rich, middle-aged white guy announce new recruits for different organizations?! Am I missing something?!”
After sipping a beer between chomps of vegan chicken wings while eavesdropping, however, it becomes abundantly clear that I am NOT missing anything. That this is all just some warped version of The Emperor’s New Clothes. This happens as you , while daring not to make eye-contact or guffaw out-loud at the woman in the Calvin Johnson jersey gushing over Detroit’s picks and about what a great job Chris Spielman is doing. Then there was another women telling her man that it would be the best day of her life if her team took Malik Willis. SPOILER ALERT: They didn’t. He went Tits-Up to the Titans. It took wild horses dragging me away but I resisted saying the kid played against small, crappy schools and the rap on him is that he can’t make decisions quick enough. Sure, he can throw the ball a mile but what good is it if you’re just another Sam Darnold?
Predictions/analysis that came flying in from all corners. Know-it-all references from the guy in the Packers’ jersey re everything from hand size, to the Jags’ guy scoffing at vertical leap, to Burt the Browns fan gushing over somebody’s off-the-field charity work, begged for intervention. But that would have meant socializing/drinking more and it was a #MLR school night; I still had to study Atlanta’s backs and get LA’s Polynesian names down. Try Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin on for size. (You want to get the big fellas’ names right). So I sawed off my tongue with a butter knife and went to my room.
Experiencing this spectacle/NLF marketing bonanza, however, drudged up other thoughts:
–Wow! The NFL is REALLY good at making money. It’s staggering. All of this cash-churning over guys getting drafted. That is truly amazing for a game in which there is only 17 minutes of actual action.
–Getting drafted in the first round, is often a NFL Kiss of Death. It’s the gospel truth for the Giants and Jets. And it’s that way for the majority of teams. Just think about all this hype, all this pomp… and for what? Daniel Jones, Saquon Barkley or the aforementioned poor slob that is Sam Darnold? We need Big Ben Whitney to chase down what percentage on players taken in the first three rounds make it into a 4th NFL season. That’s when they get the pension. My guess it’s under 35%.
I’ll let you get back to it (a really douchey expression). Leave your $.02 below and come back tomorrow for Junoir Blaber, who is out getting a J-E-T-S 2022 Draft tattoo.
And don’t forget to tune in/set your DVR to MSG today at 3pm. That’s when yours truly will be invoking his best Gary Cohen to call Rugby New York vs the NOLA Gold… or watch on www.TheRugbyNetwork.com.