Picks over shtick
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If there was anything truly enjoyable about watching ESPN's painful effort to cover the NFL Draft for three days it was watching to see when Mel Kiper Jr. would either a) explode in a fit of rage at the perceived stupidity all around him, or b) take a swing at somebody.
Unfortunately for me, I am in one of the Time Warner Cable pockets of the country that does not receive the NFL Network as part of its cable package. So, if I wanted to watch the draft I was stuck with Chris Berman, Kiper, Jon Gruden and the gang.
At least Kiper's efforts to hold in his disbelief, and his temper, as Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen slid further and further away from being the top 10 pick Kiper still thinks he should have been, were mildly entertaining. And Gruden's passion was a beacon of light in an otherwise miserable viewing experience.
I lasted through the first two days of ESPN's coverage. The first day was tolerable. Being the first round, ESPN actually stuck to covering the selections and cut to Commissioner Roger Goodell every time he stepped to the podium.
After that, however, ESPN treated everything else as though ESPN, not the draft, was the story. It took, I believe, six picks into the second round for the Worldwide Leader to completely ignore a selection while they did some interview no one really cared about.
From then on it was talking heads, interview, arguments, features. And, oh yeah, once in a while they would mention that three or four teams had make picks since the last time they checked. List 'em off, argue about ones they deemed interesting, and then go back to their self-serving interviews.
Hey, fellas, it's the picks that people care about. They want to know who their teams took, and what you guys think of the pick. They don't want to listen to you babble about other stuff and kiss up to coaches and GMs with some softball interviews. It's the picks, stupid!
I could not tolerate a third day of watching the Chris Berman/Mel Kiper show. So, I simply followed the NFL.com Draft Tracker so I would get the picks -- which is all I needed -- without the ESPN-inflicted noise.
To be honest, I wish I had done that right from the beginning.
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