There's no way you haven't heard this: the NFL draft starts tonight, and will go on for three days of prime time coverage. The Indianapolis Colts pick first, and will take Andrew Luck. The Washington Redskins have the second pick, and will take Robert Griffin III. You know all this already. In fact, you probably know quite a bit more than this about the draft, and probably more than me.
Which just kinda illustrates why I won't be watching the draft- we already know most of what's going to happen, at least to the extent that we care. The top 10 or so are mapped out; the next 10-20 are sketchier, but we all have a fair idea of what our favorite teams are going to do thanks to blogs, local media, leaks, etc. If they surprise us, we can find that out via Twitter pretty quickly without having to sit through 31 other teams.
Plus, it's not really good television; it's old guys in suits calling out names, then young guys in suits putting on hats. Then the New Jersey delegation boos and we all have to wait 9 months to a year before we know if any of the players selected will have any impact at all.
So, I won't be tuning in- but I understand how it's become such an event. See, we, as sports fans, fucking love the NFL. We want to watch as much of it as we can, or at least more of it than the season and playoffs provide. We want to talk about it and think about it and analyze it some more. In short, we want more NFL content.
And as far as that goes, the draft is better than a lot of the alternatives. It's not as insipid and useless as the soon-to-be-cancelled Pro Bowl. It's not as dangerous and exploitative as an expanded season or playoffs structure. It's not as fluffy and baseless as ESPN chatter.
So, as a substitute for what we really like about the NFL- the athletics, the excitement, the strategy- it's a poor substitute. But as an excuse to talk football for a few days in April, the NFL draft will do just fine.