The clock struck 8 Thursday night, and it was finally time to hear some picks after all of the hype and anticipation. The NFL went with… as their first choice. Kings of Leon.
The NFL went with the second option… Roger Goodell’s recliner, which he has in his basement. They eventually started drafting players around 8:25 p.m. The NFL forgot why people tuned in on what was an NFL news-palooza of a day — from Aaron Rodgers’ unhappiness to Tim Tebow’s potential return to the actual draft. The game is one of our favorites. The selections are fantastic. You weren’t tuning in for Kings of Leon, even though you liked their songs.
Consider the following scenario: Before a Kings of Leon concert, they had a short 7-minute rehearsal.
Just imagine the reverse happening: Before a Kings of Leon concert, they had a quick 7-on-7 flag football game. Odd, right?
Goodell’s recliner from his basement was honoured by the NFL, which was a “heart in the right spot” change. Last year, when the pandemic was at its peak, Goodell made the announcement from his basement, while sitting in his chair between selections.
The league selected one fan from each team to go on stage and sit in it during a selection on Thursday. It seemed unnecessary to transport the chair from Bronxville to Cleveland. It isn’t the Throne of the Iron Throne.
We weren’t tuning in for music or seats, anyway. We were on the lookout for picks. They finally arrived, and it was glorious, particularly because both the Jets and the Giants had made trades.
Before a single pick was selected, the TV draft coverage was won.
Adam Schefter of ESPN and Ian Rapoport of NFL Network were the Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson of their respective networks’ coverage. They injected a shot of adrenaline into their shows by dropping big news bombs.
Rapoport and Schefter, the insiders who pump out the most information 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, went scoop for scoop. Rapoport started with the fact that Tebow, 33, had a workout with the Jaguars to become a tight end for his college coach, Urban Meyer, who is now the head coach in Jacksonville. This was Tebow in a state of shock. That’s a big deal.
Schefter, on the other hand, retaliated. The ability to obtain facts and then correctly frame it for maximum effect is a reporter’s first task. Rodgers, the “reigning MVP,” is so “disgruntled,” according to Schefter, that he has “told those inside the group that he does not want to return” to the Packers.
This story didn’t just appear out of nowhere. Rodgers was well-known for being disappointed when the Packers selected quarterback Jordan Love in the first round last year.
Tom Pelissero of NFL Network announced earlier Thursday that the 49ers had contacted the Packers about a trade for Rodgers. Green Bay has a “zero percent chance” of trading Rodgers, according to Pelissero.
Minutes later, Fox’s Jay Glazer stated that the Packers had been contacted by a few teams.
The story was then expanded upon by Schefter, which fueled ESPN’s and then NFL Network’s coverage.
“Snickers brings us down to Suzy,” ESPN’s Mike Greenberg said before any player interview with Suzy Kolber. It wasn’t a well-thought-out ad placement. We realize that bills must be paid, but this was crammed into the news.
We concentrated on Greenberg’s debut and ESPN’s coverage. In my opinion, he is unoffensive. Did he, like Chris Berman, make it sound bigger? Probably not, but that’s more “chicken and egg” because Berman has been hosting the draft for a long time.
Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay of ESPN are arguing about the picks leading up to the draft. During draft night, they should be on together. It would have a little more NFL if they put Booger McFarland on ABC’s “College GameDay,” while Kiper should be making some moments with McShay on ESPN.
ESPN did not have any squad reporters on hand for the draft, though NFL Network did. Since there was no on-site access, there was no real benefit of being on-site in terms of reporting. Because of COVID-19, ESPN did not move to the team’s complexes.
Having reporters outside the complexes is a waste of time, but television is a waste of time. As opposed to ESPN reporters reporting on several teams from their homes, the NFL Network setup felt larger.