I’m a woman and I love football. Not the – put on a cute QB’s jersey and pretend to be “just one of the guys” while I take selfies and eat all your nachos – type of girl who loves football. No, I’m more of the, “I will literally kill you if you invite me out on a Sunday night anytime between September and January”, type of female football fanatic. Let’s not sugar coat it, NFL Draft weekend is to football fans what Comic-Con is to nerds. It’s where college football fans and NFL fans can finally sit in harmony as they watch hours upon hours of what use to be your least favorite part of gym class – picking teams. So why is the NFL Draft so awesome compared to all the other drafts in professional sports then?! Oh, let me count the ways.
1. The Passion
From Pop Warner, to the Scouting Combine, it’s all come down to this day and this moment as only a few hundred players are finally drafted into the American National Football League. For most of their lives they’ve played for this opportunity and before all the money, fame, and pressure to win championship rings makes this their career, they get to bask in the glow of being apart of something – the game.
2. The Suspense
It’s live, it’s real, and it has more back room politics than a House of Cards episode; which means, anything could happen. I didn’t see that Kevin Costner movie Draft Day (Spoiler alert, the Browns still suck), but I saw the trailer and it didn’t need any added drama to illustrate what is already one of the most dramatic processes in all of sports. Maybe they’ll take the much talked about QB, maybe they’ll take the much less talked about defensive end, or maybe they’ll just trade their pick for two more picks next round. It’s intense and it’s insane, and I love every minute of it.
3. The Hope
If you’re an NFL fan you go into Draft Day like you go in Target – hoping you get everything you need but usually just thankful if you make it out with one of those things and managed not to spend a fortune. Sure, every team has room for improvement (I’m looking at you Raiders) but the NFL Draft gives you hope that the rookie out of OSU is just what your team needed in order to make the playoffs. This is never true but it sure makes playing this years edition of Madden more fun.
4. The Fear
Competition makes football worth watching. If it was just bad teams against other not-so-great teams (Jacksonville vs. Rams anyone?), you probably wouldn’t watch. But sometimes the competition to get all the best new players in the draft can leave you feeling less hopeful and more worried that your teams playoff chances might not be so clear. The draft is a roller coaster of emotions bro, seriously.
5. The Talk
Even during football season it’s not really socially acceptable to talk about football this much, but when draft season comes around you get hours of John Clayton doing mock team drafts on NFL Live and you don’t even care. For these 4 days it’s ok to talk about stats, and meaning, and how well so-and-so will play with so-and-so on such-and-such a team ad nauseam because it’s sadly like a car crash, you shouldn’t be interested, but you just can’t look away.
6. The Outfits
Do I even need an excuse to like watching professional athletes look swag as fuck in their 3 piece suits standing next to their parents Roger Goodell for the whole world to see?! I think not.
7. The Promise
It doesn’t matter if you won the Superbowl last year or were the worst team in the NFL (way to blow it Texans), the NFL Draft is the beginning of a new season and of new talent that may be around for years to come. You don’t know if you’re witnessing the drafting of the next superstar or the next flop, but it’s exciting, interesting, and yes, even a little nerdy to watch anyways. Because in the desert that is the off season, the NFL Draft is a long sip of water that will get you through until September, and that really all the reason I need to love it at all.