If you’re like me, a guy who lives for football and has limited opportunity to get a weekend of “me time,” than you’re probably pissed off that the NFL has very quietly moved the first round of the NFL Draft to Thursday night, starting in 2010. The second and third rounds will air Friday night with the concluding rounds airing Saturday.
Let me explain very simply why this is the worst move the NFL has made in the Goodell era, if not in the modern era of the draft itself.
The Super Bowl is in February.
The new season kicks off in September.
That leaves seven months of non-football filled weekends.
The Draft falls perfectly in such a timeframe that my wife, and others across the country, feel so badly for their football-obsessed husbands that they allow them to have a weekend to watch football related analysis and draft picks, which on their face are mind-numbingly boring.
This usually boils down to a full Saturday of watching the first two rounds — formally three — with meal planning, beer consumption and a respite from the kids/normal daddy duties. And you’re still around the house so if you have to, you can pause the DVR if there’s a need to change a diaper or handle a toy-breaking emergency what have you. But for the most part, it’s “me” time.
By moving the first round of the Draft to Thursday night, in April, the NFL has effectively killed that weekend of ME time. Killed it. Killed it dead. Thank you Roger Goodell.
Do you think I, or anyone else has time on Thursdays to plan a grilled meal, invite people over and stay up late into the night on a school night? Nada.
While Thursday nights in April might be great for sweeps TV and advertising dollars, I don’t think it’ll be ideal for the draft. The first round of the 2009 draft still took three and half hours despite a new streamlined set-up. So the 2010 Draft will start at 7:30 ET — does that include pre-draft analysis? — and run until 11 p.m.? An entire night of primetime. Even ending at 10 p.m. here in Chicago that’s a long night which would lead to a lot of dropout viewing after the first ten picks.
And does Goodell really think NFL novices are going to spend a night watching the Draft just because it’s a night they’re normally tuned into "CSI" or "30 Rock?" Guess again. It is not an event for the casual fan, unlike the game itself or the Super Bowl.
A whole Thursday night? What else could they watch? The above mentioned shows and the rest of the CBS and NBC lineups. "Bones" and "Fringe" on Fox. "Grey’s Anatomy" on ABC. "Vampire Diaries" and "Supernatural" on CW — bye bye younger NFL generation. Basically the heavy hitters of the TV week, during the most pivotal plot times of the season.
On a Saturday afternoon in April, what else do you have to watch? Which makes me bring up another point:
Reset the Saturday time to 1 p.m. EST instead of 4 p.m. Last year’s draft was much worse because of the time shift.
So in just two years Goodell has turned an event that — despite basically being a resuscitation of names — was an excuse for a party weekend, into a pain in the ass to enjoy.
He’s killed our April weekend of football enjoyment.
Whatever the reasons for moving the Draft are, there is one reason to move it back: The Fans.
If you're ticked off contact the NFL via their website here.