With the draft a week away, the question of whether and to what extent NFL Network and ESPN will create a true “and the winner is . . . ” moment for the 32 selections in round one has emerged, with unprecedented strength. NFLN draft host Rich Eisen joined The Dan Patrick Show on Thursday to discuss the league’s move toward blocking the networks from televising images of players at Radio City Music Hall talking on the phone.
It may go even farther than dropping camera shots that drop hints.
“It’s possible that we’ll go even further and ban our information men from saying ‘I’m hearing this is what the pick is,'” Eisen said.
He also added that the staff in the production truck knows the pick, since they have to get graphics ready to show once the player’s name is announced. Per Eisen, the folks at NFL Network are told the pick; anyone who watches ESPN’s coverage knows that Chris Berman knows the picks. And that he has no qualms about stepping on the Commissioner’s thunder.
“The first-round process has been cannibalized by television,” Eisen said. “And the teams, by the way. A lot of teams what their Twitter accounts to be beefed up. So as soon as they’re making the pick . . . a lot of teams have been tweeting it out. So the teams need to rein it in a little bit, too. That’s the next part of this process.”
The real question, as Dan pointed out, is whether the draft is a TV show or a news show. If it’s a TV show, then the people involved in producing it need to help perpetuate the mystery. And if it’s a news show, then ABC needs to assign a crew of reporters to the Oscars in the hopes of letting us know ahead of time what’s on the card inside the envelope.