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With no sports actually being played, it's been NFLR00;draft overkill

Apr 23, 2020 By Steve Peck

Bruce Tippets, who was the Ranger sports editor for more than a decade, used to love the NFL draft.

When most football fans weren't giving it much of a thought, Bruce celebrated when ESPN began televising the first few rounds of the draft.

Turns out he was onto something the rest of us weren't.

Today the draft is a major sporting event, with analysis , well-dressed, cliche-crafting hosts, interviews, video, and unending speculation.

And all that happened before the global coronavirus pandemic put an end to the major sports seasons and events.

With all the big-time sports we're used to watching postponed or outright cancelled as the COVID emergency continues, the national sports media are milking the pro football draft for all its worth -- probably more than it's worth, in fact.

This spring, poor ESPN seemingly has built its entire programming day around the run-up to the NFL draft.

The Apollo moon shots didn't get this much advance coverage.

Finally, the actual draft is happening this week -- with at least a couple of Wyoming Cowboys figuring in the draft strategy for several teams.

At least that's what the paid football experts are saying... and saying... and saying.

The draft itself consumes three days, and there probably will be enough post-mortem to sustain another week or two (month or two?) of saturation coverage from the writers and talkers.

I'm a football fan. I'm always interested in what and who the Broncos might be thinking about on draft day.

Last year's draft was particularly interesting as Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen was touted as a high early draft choice, which he ended up being.

Honestly, though, how fascinated are we fans supposed to get about who the Detroit Lions might take as their second-string punter in the 12th round of the draft?

ESPN is hoping the answer that question is "very fascinated."

I mean, can't we get back to championship cup-stacking and NASCARR00;video games? I have a hankering for old tennis right about now -- say, Wilander vs. Edberg in an All-Swede Showdown (yes, the Tennis Channel showed that very thing recently.)

I can't remember which poet, or philosopher, essayist or life-sentenced prison inmate it was who made the observation, but some learned person of letters Is remembered in "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations" for saying something like "All one has to do to become interested in something is look at it long enough."

I'm not sure that's the case for the three-month speculative preview to the pro football draft, but it sure won't be because ESPN didn't try hard enough.

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2020-06-03

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