Special to woodypaige.com
Here’s what I think–
This whole post- and pre-season idiocy surrounding pro football, and now centered on the draft, is great for the NFL, and ridiculous for anyone with a life.
Yet, I get it. This is an amazing time for any sports nerd ( like me) to be alive. Technology has made life incredible. Truth.
But before I get into this, further truth.
No doubt, if I were that 16 year old sports nerd that I was back in high school, and I lived today with a computer or two, I would never, EVER LEAVE my parents basement. Ever.
Why would I , when, as a sports nerd, I’d be completely connected to everything I would ever want or need? Hey, this coming from a kid who, in 1972, sat through a morning and evening NIT double header, Saturday and Sunday. That’s eight games, two days, for all you keeping score at home. But now, instead of having to go, the net vomits it all up into my computer, in real time? Where do I sign up?
And let me take this even further, just to show you how gone I would be. Marriage? Wouldn’t even date. Apartment? In my folks house, I could finish high school and college on line, get three hots and a cot, plus all the download capacity I could ever need. Face it—you’d be looking at Mel Kiper on steroids. (I still think he lives in his mom’s basement, doesn’t he?).
So what’s all this got to do with the NFL ? Just this— I get it. That’s why I have the chops to say—-have you lost your mind?
Why are you sitting on your couch, making nachos in your toaster oven, watching the NFL combine? The combine? They should just call it the NFL’s How Stupid Can Football Fans Be show. For four days, you’re going to sit there, transfixed, like you’re watching the SI swimsuit shoot, and gawk at college players running in shorts, going through drills and jumping? Seriously– think about this—who but the most socially inept human beings sits and texts their buddies about how prospect A lost .03 of a second off his 40 time and how that’s going to cost him dearly. Please—at that moment, if you have good friends, or ANY friends for that matter, pray that they break in for an intervention.
Now it’s the draft, and once again, the nerd inside me gets it. But I have my limits. Many don’t. Guys are checking out three and four websites a day to see who’s got the best mock drafts (better known as the ones that agree with YOU, the most) . And then, bless their hearts, these same guys tweet comments to the writers, offering brilliant insight like ‘no way Alphonso goes that deep in the first round. You’re crazy.’ Please—at that point, promise us all, you won’t try to take any position of authority or responsibility in the world. You’ll just make fast food or vacuuming a health club your life ambition.
I’m a nerd, and I could easily have gone that route had the technology been available. But now? Once you get your draft card, drivers license and diploma, you’ve got to punch a ticket to Reality Junction. That doesn’t mean giving up your passion—it means accepting that there’s more to the off season than figuring out how, if the Cowboys trade down and the Eagles take a cornerback, your team can get that sleeper wide received from USC you covet.
Once the first shreds of confetti hit the Super Bowl field signifying a winner to the game and the beginning of hibernation, I am out of here. And, as I said, truth be told, if I were 16, I’d be revving up my blogs and getting set for 6 months of total immersion in complete, unimportant, totally irrelevant bullspit.
But I’m not. I’m a few birthdays past that, with a semi-responsible job, a mortgage, kids, no ex-wives but a current one with a limited sense of humor for all things sports and nerdish. I vote, take out the trash, wash dishes when I can, and even find time to once in a while to clean my office. I am a born and bred sports nerd, but I am so way past caring about Miles Garrett’s 40 times, or how the ESPN analyst of the month has updated his mock draft to version 3.0.
I didn’t watch the combine, won’t follow or watch the draft and will never be caught spending a minute at anyone’s training camp for OTA’s or pre-season. I feel no loss in not having participated. Instead of adding to the post and pre season coffers of billionaire owners, all I have to say to them is, take a hike. I just want the games to begin. The rest, is bad acting and window dressing.
Even this nerd has his limits.
Bradley is his pen name — like O. Henry, Dr. Seuss and Mark Twain. And he is the Masked Columnist. He actually has a real name and a real job, and would rather keep them separate from his new column for woodypaige.com. He actually has been professional writer involved in sports media for many years, and is a successful businessman, and is a published fiction author, and is a long-time sports fan, and is a man of many opinions, which he doesn’t want to keep to himself.