The NFL doesn’t want anyone to screw up the ultimate reality show’s ultimate offseason reality show. So the NFL has once again told the companies that give the NFL billions of dollars every year to not let their employees report on or otherwise “tip” draft picks before Commissioner Roger Goodell announces those picks from the podium at the draft in Chicago.
Ryan Glasspiegel of TheBigLead.com reports that the NFL has reiterated its request from a year ago, and that it applies beyond NFL Network and ESPN, which will be televising the draft.
A year ago, this didn’t bother me. I decided in 2013 not to tip picks, because the audience overwhelmingly doesn’t want it. The audience wants to preserve the moments of manufactured drama that come from the slow walk to the podium and the announcement of the pick (which may or may not entail the accurate pronunciation of the draft pick’s name).
Moreover, the act of getting the information previously didn’t entail Pulitzer-level reporting procedures. Most folks in most draft rooms are simply sitting around and waiting on the first night of the draft (or, after their team’s pick has been made, sitting around and not waiting). The teams know the picks before the picks are announced, and the announcement is delayed by the fact that it’s a TV production that necessarily entails the picks being known by plenty of people but held until the time comes to declare them.
That said, it apparently is getting harder to get the information early enough to screw the NFL’s proverbial pooch. As one source tells PFT, the picks in 2015 arrived to the various team draft rooms only “seconds before” the picks were announced. Also, the Ray Rice and Ted Wells investigations have created a Breaking Bad vibe for many when it comes to cell phones, making them leery about sending sensitive information via anything other than a disposable device or a non-NFL email account maintained on truly personal digital equipment that falls beyond the reach of Big Shield.
Maybe next year I’ll send a “burner” to a trusted source inside a draft room or otherwise lay the foundation for getting the information. Fortunately (for the NFL, for me, and/or for both), there’s not enough time to implement the plan I’m suddenly very tempted to implement.
Until then, let’s see if the audience’s mood has changed. Three years ago, 85 percent of you didn’t want to know the picks before the Commissioner announced them. How do you know feel about that?