NFL Draft: A Fan’s Nightmare

By John Nagle Hoya Staff Writer

I hate Mel Kiper, Jr.

Sorry to be so crude, but I am just sick of hearing about the NFL Draft. There is nothing more annoying than turning on the television in my neighbor’s house (since they finally turned off my free cable, but not theirs) and looking for baseball scores, basketball scores, hockey scores, golf results, NASCAR crashes or Peter Gammons in a dress and instead seeing Blowdry discuss who the sixth-best tight end in the draft is.

It is particularly bad around here, since the Redskins have the second and third picks in the draft, not to mention the fact that they just signed Mr. Team, Jeff George. With everything else that is going on, I don’t want to hear about it, or at least not so much as we do. Not to mention the fact that we will get two full days of actual draft coverage.

Some people think this stuff is like a matter of national security. Teams put more effort into protecting their draft board than they do in protecting their quarterback. Idiots like Kiper and Peter King are practically foaming at the mouth trying to figure out who the Panthers are going to pick in the third round to fill their needs at long-snapper. All to be horribly wrong.

So why can’t we hear more about some other important stories. For instance, do I need to hear more about Plaxico Buress’s slipping draft position than I do about the fact that the Seattle ariners are going to be better without Ken Griffey, Jr? All of the sudden, they look like they have the best pitching staff in the American League.

Honestly, you send Aaron Sele to the Northwest and he looks like he might have a heart. He actually threw a complete game shutout earlier this week, a rarity in early April, not to mention being a rarity for Sele. This is a guy who thought there was too much pressure playing in Texas, where the Rangers rank somewhere between Cowboys training camp and University of Texas spring practice in terms of fan attention.

Maybe instead of investigating Peter Warrick’s 40-yard times, we could do some investigation into what has become of Corey Pavin, the 1995 U.S. Open Champion. Here is a guy who was known as the best player never to win a major before that tournament. Everyone loved the Gritty Little Bruin (Pavin went to UCLA) as a guy who did it on guts and a great short-game, eschewing the long drive that has gained Tiger Woods and David Duval so much fame and fortune.

Since then, his career has been an absolute nightmare. Every time I see him in a tournament (which is rare, since he never makes the cut), he is about 75 over par. Somehow he has gone from being the best player never to win a major to being the worst player ever to win a major. While you are at it, look into what happened to Nick Faldo and find out about Vijay Singh getting kicked out of the Asian tour for cheating once and for all.

Maybe instead of debating whether the Redskins’ greatest need is at offensive line or linebacker, someone could determine whether the San Francisco Giants need anyone to ride around in a dingy in the Bay behind the right field wall in their new PacBell Park. If they do, I am looking for a job.

Honestly, that park looks incredible. In case you have not seen it, the fence in right field is right up against the water, giving Barry Bonds a perfect target. The place has everything, including 30 different types of hot dogs. I did not even think there were 30 different brands of hot dogs. Unfortunately, the whole season is sold out already, so I am offering my services to ride around in a boat and collect balls hit into the water during batting practice, then maybe sell some dogs during the game.

Why not spend less time talking about international kicker Sebastian Janikowski’s legal problems and more time talking about international soccer superstar Ronaldo’s injury problems? After being hailed as soccer’s answer to Jordan going into the 1999 World Cup, he has practically disappeared over the past few years.

First he came down with some kind of freak sickness before playing for Brazil in the World Cup final against France, dooming the soccer-loving world to accepting France as their champions. Since then, he always seems to be sitting out, getting out of shape or getting injured. The latest news has him going down with yet another knee injury in his first game back after a five-month layoff. Something is wrong with this picture.

How about instead of trying to come up with the $10 to attend the Redskins draft day party at FedEx field, people try to come up with a good reason for rooting against Ray Bourque’s drive to win a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche? I admit I am a hopeless homer on this one, but if Bourque is going to leave the Bruins at the end of his career he damn well better win a cup. My only regret is that it will also mean another cup for Patrick Roy, a man who will always be a hated Montreal Canadien in my eyes.

The basketball draft is okay, since it only takes up about a week of discussion in the news and then a few hours on a July night on the television. The hockey and baseball drafts get almost no coverage and that is also fine. Hot Stove baseball talk is great, because it means that you are thinking about spring.

Just stay away from months of pigskin hype, there are too many better things to do with your time.

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