The NFL Draft means something to everyone, in their own way.
For the teams, it is a chance to obtain those missing pieces of a puzzle that was the Super Bowl last season. Others looking for fresh, young blood to rejuvenate a team to push its way back into contention. But to everyone involved in football, it is four days that could change the course of a teams season.
To the fans, everyone takes it differently. To the casual football fan, it is a couple of days where teams pick college players in order to fill positions on their team. To the frenzied fan of a team, the opportunity to retool and find some fresh faces to add to the veterans who can get the job done. But to the die hard fan of the draft, it is a lot more.
The die hard fan plays out the draft the same way Robert Byrne and Bobby Fischer play a chess match. All the players are lined up by position. Moves thought out carefully. Reacting to your opponent. Thinking ahead to gain an advantage. Studding statistics. Know the advantage before a move is made. The die hard fan knows these moves.
But to everyone, it is a look into what could be the future of a franchise or someone looking to keep their dream alive.
The draft is a magical time. A time where any fan can see a potential hall of famer be named to their team of destiny. A moment in time where a fan stops to imagine hearing their own name announced as a draft selection. Draft day brings us one step closer to seeing how these new gladiators of the gridiron match up to their veteran counterparts.
Maybe its fitting the draft takes place in New York. A city where people come to from all over the globe to capture their dream. They come to see where their future lies. A city that has delivered to so many can now deliver to them.
Football fans will converge at Radio City Music Hall for four days to not just see who gets drafted, but to immerse themselves in the NFL experience. Fan events, player interaction, and bickering between other fans makes this a precursor of a season to come. Groundwork to be laid as to whose fans will have bragging rights next year.
You can ask any fan how they feel about the draft. Everyone will mention at least one great signing and complain about 99 others. Those are fans, that is what they do. Fans are the best market research to let a sports franchise know how it is doing. You can hear them loud and clear after each and every draft selection. The teams conscience.
Every fan has some part of the NFL calendar they look forward to. Some wait all year for the draft. Why? It is the official day where collegiate athletes become professional football players. The NCAA to the NFL. A transition. The new breed that pushes the progression of football just one more notch on the game’s time-line.
The start of the 2012 season begins on Thursday. The first major event on the NFL calendar for the new season. Every franchise waiting, patient for their turn to select that next great player to represent their franchise. The new face of the team marketing machine that entices fans like a circus ringleader. To get you to cheer for the greatest game on earth.
And we do.
Not just because of that. It’s the memories. Being able to share that experience with others to smile and laugh about later. Giving that next generation the lesson needed to stay educated on how the NFL draft works. The Draft has become an event onto itself. The Draft at Radio City is like the Allman Brothers coming to the Beacon Theater. You know it is coming every year. Planning ahead to make the necessary arrangements.
This is a big week for those players looking to be selected by the professional team of their choice. Some fans looking to see if they predicted the same selection as their favorite team. The anticipation could be a little more than some can bear. But with fans from every team in attendance this week, it will be a week those players looking for a new home will not forget. If the teams make a bad move, the fans will never let them forget. So, are you ready?