Low draft interest will increase now, or never


During the lockout, our traffic has been solid but unspectacular, a phenomenon we fully expected with free agency replaced by expensive lawyering.  But we thought the visits and page views would spike during the draft.

Though traffic is still solid, that bump hasn’t been seen.  And it meshes with the sense we’ve obtained from others in the business that people simply aren’t as interested in a draft that occurs under a cloud of uncertainty as to whether there will even be a season.

Peter King provides another example of this phenomenon in his latest Monday Morning Quarterback column.  Last week, while co-hosting The Opening Drive on Sirius NFL Radio with Bob Papa, they had only two callers on hold two hours into the show.

That’s how it’s been like almost every morning,” Papa told King off the air.  “Last year before the draft, the lines were jammed every day.  Now, not so much.”

If it’s going to pick up, it’ll happen now, or never.  The draft begins in only three days.  Though Radio City Music Hall undoubtedly will be full or close to it on Thursday night (which may or may not be a good thing, given the extent to which those who show up choose to make sounds other than clapping and cheering), the staff and the media possibly will outnumber the audience come Friday and/or Saturday.

It’s a shame, and we wonder whether the NFL assumed that interest in the draft would remain very high despite the lockout, or whether the NFL launched the lockout knowing that the draft wouldn’t be as big of a deal as it’s been in the recent past.

If it’s the former, perhaps the 2011 draft will be the catalyst for ending the lockout.  Unless, of course, Judge Susan Nelson orders as soon as today that the lockout must end.

29 responses to “Low draft interest will increase now, or never

  1. Maybe the fans are fed up? It’s annoying watching the millionaires and billionaires argue over how best to cook the Golden Goose. It’s clear they don’t care about the game… or the fans. It’s all $$$$$ to them. So why should we care?

  2. The only reason you have gotten even this much traffic is because we like to argue with each other over who is at fault. That and the reps for the players/owners coming here in disguise to plead their cases. I could have stopped coming after the Superbowl and not missed a thing.

    Anyways, I guess I will watch this draft. Eventually there will be football, I might as well watch who my team picks.

  3. and yes, that is a distinct lack of excitement in my post that is missing from prior drafts, so even if I watch it just won’t be the same.

  4. The interest of a bunch of college athletes becoming instant millionaires might not be at the top of most peoples radar as most are struggling to fill their gas tanks with over $4.00 gas even if we are fans.

  5. I want the fans to either not show up or boo any time goodell or any other of the NFL speaks

  6. This is the one chance for the fans to show how disappointed we are with the lack of negotiating and uncompromising greed between both sides.

    If you want to watch it on TV, fine. I know I will, and I won’t be a hypocrite and say otherwise. But don’t show up in NYC to support either side… it would speak volumes about our disgust with the situation, trust me.

  7. Good thing football is such a great sport. If it were just mediocre there would be zero traffic because as much as part of me would love to say screw this league I just love football too much to close the door.

  8. Of course there is little interest in the NFL draft, there’s a decent chance we have a shortened and low quality season because of these money grubbing jerks.

    I normally get excited for the draft and watch it from the 1st pick all the way to Mr. Irrelevent. This year I only really care who the Eagles take in the 1st, if anyone. Other than that I don’t care.

    I also won’t be buying any product either. I would hope no other NFL fan does either, until this cat fight is resolved.

  9. Honestly, I can’t get enough draft talk. However, you and your writers have chosen to focus on the lockout and the tabloid type stuff from the NFL on your site. I quite coming frequently when this site was crying about the Superbowl, weather and Cowboys Stadium. I think if you actually talked about draft topics some people may click a bit more. Just my opinion. Have a great week.

  10. Four days for a sport’s draft is insane. I’ll catch the first round, but I have better things to do then arrange half of a week to watch it.

  11. the best thing that could happen for the nfl is if this draft is 1) if the fans there boo for 3 hours solid (throw rotten fruit stuffs if possible) 2) full of awkward moments 3) a ratings disaster. the players and especially the owners have to wake up on the morning after with the sense that they had something great that is falling apart before their very eyes.

  12. Good thing this draft is in PRIMETIME!

    Depending on the 2nd round scheduling, I’ll be watching the NHL Playoffs more than the draft.

  13. I live in Philadelphia and we have the best sports talk radio in the nation. For as long as I can remember it would be draft talk every day all day months leading up to the draft. The only talk about the draft seems to be about how nobody is talking about the draft. Its like the NFL doesnt even exist. Its all Jerry Jones fault.

  14. Its really strange to me that some folks lives are so boring they have to watch the college draft. Im a college football fan, the NFL can, well, dont need the NFL. I fish the islands on Sunday-Friday. Folks get a hobby, get going, burn the TV, get a life.
    I never, never watch the college draft. BUT, if the suers get their way and the draft is no more. The NFL, as you know it, will no longer exsists.

  15. I’m not gonna lie and say I won’t be watching, but my excitement is def dampened. With all the picks the Pats have I should be more excited for this draft than any previous one, but I’m not.

    There will still be the thought in the back of my mind when Goodell is on the podium that he is the jerk that started this 2 years ago, and when the players come up, that they are joining the group that walked away from the table 2 months ago when the owners finally made a somewhat serious offer.

    I really hope when Goodell comes up to say the draft has started that people are booing so loudly that you cannot hear what he is saying.

  16. People who are attending the draft ought to wear attire appropriate for a funeral. Think that would get a point across?

  17. I have bought at least one draft mag for the last 10 yrs and this year none…the draft goes hand in hand w/ free agency…if you neede a QB and found one in FA then now you look in another area of need…it very disappointing to be on the sidelines witnessing this mess.

  18. NFL owners, Goodell, should have someone similar at their sides.

    All Glory Is Fleeting

    During the Roman Empire, when a general returned to Rome after a successful campaign, he would be welcomed with a huge parade; he would then show off all the foreign treasure he had captured, as well as slaves and exotic animals. He would ride in a chariot leading the way. He would be greeted with tens of thousands of Roman citizens praising him, and showering him with gifts. The emperors, who resided in Rome, usually became afraid that the General would attempt a coup, so he would have one of his servants ride in the Chariot with the general and whisper in his ear throughout the ceremony, “Sic Transit Gloria” (Glory fades, or all glory is fleeting) to remind the general that his popularity would not last, so he shouldn’t become arrogant over his success.

  19. Part of it may also be that it’s not a particularly sexy crop of prospects.

    There are no Barry Sanders/Bo Jackson/Eric Dickerson, etc. types at RB. None.

    The QB field is mediocre and made even worse by the absence of Stanford QB Andrew Luck who elected not to come out.

    On the other side of the ball, we see no electrifying Patrick Willis/Rod Woodson/Ray Lewis types.

    And the players that are difference-makers largely play at key positions (e.g., corners, interior offensive and defensive linemen) – but they’re not the type of positions that get many fans jazzed.

    Labor strife or not, the drafts of ’83 or ’89 would have met with much less indifference.

  20. I live in NYC and I work in TV, so I get a lot of offers to sit in the audience for awards shows, game shows, etc. Since local fans usual fill up enough seats at the draft, even after the first day, I’ve never been asked to attend. But this year, I’ve been getting emails just about every day from a company that takes care of these seat-filling jobs. They’re offering all kinds of prizes for anyone that shows up, even on the first day. Looks like the league might be a little worried about attendance this year.

  21. i truly hope when i pick the news paper monday to see how my team drafted. because after all my team will draft whomever without me watching . i definatley believe if no one watchs and those that go to ny if they boo goodell of the stage would be fantastic. we can send a huge message just turn off the nfl channel, dont buy anything dont watch dont care until the idiots wake up and settle this thing.

  22. The draft died for me last year when Goodell moved it to prime time and took away the reason for our annual weekend draft party. Combined with the possibility of no season this fall, I couldn’t care less what happens in NY this week. For the first time in my life I am more stoked for the CFL to start.

  23. Let’s not kid ourselves. Is Goodell really going to risk having A) no one (fans) show for the draft or B) unruly hecklers in the audience?

    The place will be filled to capacity with Goodell’s henchmen and paid extras, all of whom will be unrealistically supportive of the League.


    Re: watching on TV, I will not. I can waste far less time by catching who my squad and its division rivals picked virtually anywhere on the WWW. I REFUSE to help the NFL’s ratings. (And like most of you, I’ve been die-hard when it comes to NFL football.)

  24. Well I am too big of a fanatic to dump the draft. As a Vikings fan, this is like my Super Bowl since we have yet to win in the playoffs. However, I will say this draft will be a different experience.

  25. The Sirius Radio call in crowd seems to be largely truck drivers who choose between yacking on their cell phone or their CB. I guess the CB is becoming more interesting.

  26. Caldon says:
    The only reason you have gotten even this much traffic is because we like to argue with each other over who is at fault.
    ROFL … true but after this many weeks that’s not nearly as entertaining as it was in the beginning.

    I can’t believe how much I’m missing the free-agent period.

  27. My sympathies in the labor dispute haven’t changed, but my patience is gone. Used to be a news junkie, and now cannot stand listening to political figures. Prefer reading the news to hearing bickering and grandstanding. I’ll start out watching the draft … but if it becomes constant chatter about the lockout, I’ll get my updates online.

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