Mike Mayock doesn’t hide his contempt for draft’s circus atmosphere


There was a time when it went without saying that the NFL draft was only for the hardest of hard-core football fans: Who on earth would spend a spring day watching football players’ names being called except people who live and breathe football?

But that time has passed, and not everyone who lives and breathes football is happy about it.

Now the NFL has turned the draft into a massive event, one that draws tens of thousands of fans in person and several million viewers on television. Just as the Super Bowl now includes musical acts that hard-core football fans don’t care about, the NFL draft now includes picks being announced from locales around the world and even in outer space, all in an effort to make the draft a bigger event that appeals to more than just the hard-core fans who have always watched.

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock, about as hard-core a football fan as there is, got fed up with it today. As the Colts’ picks were announced with help from an orangutan at the Indianapolis Zoo, Mayock ripped his employer’s attempt to inject some levity into the proceedings.

“If we’re going back to the zoo, I’m walking off the desk,” Mayock said. “I’ve about had the zoo, OK? Enough. Enough. I mean, is this good TV?”

NFL Network’s Rich Eisen introduced the zoo segment with some sarcasm, saying, “If we don’t go to the zoo, the world will stop spinning.”

When the orangutan revealed the Colts’ selection of defensive tackle Grover Stewart, Mayock indicated he thought it was unfair to Stewart to turn one of the most significant moments of his life into a circus.

“I think we’ve got to be a little respectful,” Mayock said. “It’s a big day for Grover Stewart, and rather than talking about that chimp, let’s get back to some football here. It’s a big day for him.”

As NFL Network went to a commercial after that, Mayock could be heard saying, “At some point we’ve got to be able to talk about this.” It wasn’t clear if he was saying that to the audience or if he thought the commercial break had already begun and was saying it to his colleagues. Either way, he raises an important point: The NFL wants to grow the draft, but as it does so, it risks leaving its most passionate fans disillusioned.

119 responses to “Mike Mayock doesn’t hide his contempt for draft’s circus atmosphere

  1. I saw this live and have to agree with Mayock. The guest announcers and gimmicks are taking away from what is a very important day for the player drafted.

  2. I am all for having fun and including the cities, but yeah, I can see where Mayock is coming from. The Patriots had their long snapper Joe Cardona, an enlisted member of the US Navy, read the pick from a base in Rhode Island. Stuff like that makes sense. Announcement from the Astronaut in space? Kind of cool.

    A chimp at a zoo. You can do better Indy.

  3. I’m with Mayock. It’s unnecessary. Casual fans watch round 1. Only hard core fans watch day 3, and don’t need gimmicky zoo crap.

  4. Totally agree with Mayock. The Shield seems determined to jump the shark as quickly as it can. Maybe Goodell can hire that guy Caitlyn Jenner to announce replay reversals.

  5. I totally agree with Mayock. Ive been watching the Draft since the early 80’s and didn’t need nor want all of the extra BS that they have now. It really was better then. I don’t think todays NFL really understands the majority of its fans.

  6. While it’s a fair criticism, it should also be pointed out that some of Mayock’s blabbering on Friday sounded almost like he was suffering a stroke. So he’s got that going for him.

  7. Mayock’s right. It might have seemed like a cool concept as an idea, but all those introductions and extra stuff is taking too long. Read out the pick, that’s it.

  8. It is what it is. Bottom line, it’s just a game. Take the health of the planet seriously, and let the pros worry about games.

  9. Mayock is exactly why I’m watching NFL Network’s coverage. This is the beginning of a professional career that has taken a lifetime of commitment for these young men, and making it a tacky game show moment is inappropriate.

  10. Mayock also added that people need to stay off his lawn.
    Back in my day we watched the first day of the draft for 8 solid hours and we liked it.

    While it sucks, there isn’t anything left that isn’t glamorized, packaged, and milked for every dollar available. Today wasn’t the day to make a stand on this Mike. That day passed 10 years ago.

  11. ESPN turned away from sports in order to project Disney’s political agenda…how’d that work for them?
    Stupid is as stupid does.
    My memory of the 2017 draft will be the nonstop booing ….nothing else.
    Well done NFL. Clown show production fronted by the Full 32’s henchman.

  12. +1

    Look, it’s the hardestcore of the hardcore fans that are watching day 3.

    Give us a simple announcement of the pick, have the analysts give us the guy’s strengths and weaknesses, and how they could fit in with the team, and maybe go to commercial. Repeat.

    It’s not TV that will bring in the masses, but the masses aren’t interested anyway.

  13. The tone deaf NFL ruined the draft . Nice to have local draft parties for the teams but to drag the audience at home watching to these time consuming announcements is stupid.The draft should be about the players and picks should be announced as soon as they are made , not delayed for teams to put on their dog and pony show .

  14. “And with the one hundred and somethingth pick in the 2017 NAF Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select…A banana!”

    “This is a real surprise pick, Mike, but that chimp was obviously keyed in on the banana all day and he wasn’t going to let it get him past him here in the 5th round.”

  15. Ageee with Mayock. NFLN sucks anyway. Had to listen them rehash Drew Pearson babble about his speech to the Philly fans instead of them analyzing the Packers pick.

  16. Totally agree with Mayock. The most important accomplishment of this kids life and they decide to draw attention away from that amazing accomplishment by having a trained chimp follow commands. I respect them getting police and service men and women involved with the draft because they deserve some recognition as well, but leave the circus acts for the circus.

  17. You go Mayock. My mother used to let me stay home from school to watch the draft on ESPN in the early 80’s. The draft died for me a little when it went to the primetime 3 day format. It died a little more when I saw the orangutan.

  18. Makes total sense to me that a chimp announces the Colts picks. Maybe they can hang another banner.

  19. I think this draft is Philly is the best one yet. Mayock just doesn’t like all the attention because we might notice how often he is wrong.

  20. That orangutan probably had a higher IQ than half of the morons that stood out in the street for five hours watching the names of men they never heard of get called out on large TV sets.

  21. I could not care less about the monkey Mike but what should change is you yapping heads should no longer be able to say ‘value pick
    . Christ you guys overuse the phrase like you are some sort of drafting experts

  22. Mike is right. I lasted one round then had to go to bspn for the rest of the draft.

  23. And while we’re at it, touchdown celebrations should be completely banned. In fact, any display of emotion should be met with a lifetime ban. Can’t have it both ways, Mayock.

  24. I’m not so much for showcasing orangutans on draft day as I would be using them as refs on game day. What could it hurt?

  25. Turned tv off, just refreshing web page when my team picks so I can have real analysis and not stupid side show acts.

    NFL losing me.

  26. Agree that the circus is getting to be a distraction. War room access and sticking closer to more traditional announcements are much preferred.

  27. This draft has been a clown show. It’s terrible, honestly. I started on ESPN but couldn’t handle the 10 second pick analysis 10 minute commercial break. Then I got home and could enjoy my pal Mayock, and he’s right. It started to go down the tubes with the McKinley pick, what an embarrassment regardless of his reasoning. Your playing pro football pal, no need to grandstand, his grandmother would be embarrassed, be a man for her. Then, all the Browns speculation and Mayock had to ask “Where are we here, are we going to discuss this pick?” When the Bills took white. Then all of the following BS. It’s just a sham.

  28. I agree with Mayock. I want to see who got drafted. I spend more Sundays in front of my TV set watching football, than I do going to the zoo, or going to a space museum. This is like Christmas morning for football fans. I want to see who my team got, and where all these college kids that I’ve been watching for 3 years are going to go. I don’t need an ape to deliver my Christmas presents to me, I just want to open the present. I guess I can just read the names off the internet in the future. If the networks want to be more entertaining between these later round picks they should replay some of the comments from years past when guys like Dak Prescott were being evaluated. (oops, maybe that’s a bad example).

  29. Its starting to become too much. Much respect to deon for reigning that mckinnely kid in. The boles dude was the worst with tbe little kid

  30. The NFL’s longtime fans are irrelevant to the NFL. The people who want circuses and music acts and whatever else that has nothing to do with football are the ones the NFL covets.

    The obsession with the dollar will always kill everything else. You’d think that even the billionaire owner would eventually see what its doing to the integrity of the NFL. Nope.

    Bend over and take it, real football fans. There’s nothing you can do about it.

  31. Over-hyped & over-blown.

    I watched a bit on Thursday night, but haven’t tuned in for the rest….I will look at the results on Sunday.

    This is what you get when trying to appeal to the masses, instead of your core fans/customers.

    No thanks!

  32. Mike is 100% correct. My son and I would shut down for the weekend to watch the draft. There is so much gimmicky crap to it now that we don’t even both.

    The smartest move the Redskins made this off season was floating that Mile Mayock was going to be the replacement for Scot McCloughan.

  33. I love the NFL. I watch my team religiously every week, maybe a couple of other games, maybe, but count me out on their dog and pony shows like the Combine and Draft. Fun stuff, I’m sure, but at the end of the day, I can get caught with all the news I need via the internet in 10 minutes. Life is short, I have a job and a family.

    Beautiful day here. Just stepped off the golf course. So fan boys, how is 4-7 Saturday draft treating ya? Like a monkey with a banana.

  34. Consistent with decisions like taking the kicking game out of football and playing rap so loud your head splits in the stadiums.

  35. Like everything else, the NFL has gotten out too far ahead of its appeal. The NFL excitement bubble has burst

  36. Thank you, Mike, for giving voice to those of us that used to love NFL Draft weekend before it devolved into the hot mess it is today. Not coincidentally, it was shortly after the orangutan pick that I tapped out and changed to non-NFL programming.

  37. Is there anything more insulting than having your name ‘announced’ by an animal? At best they are saying that they don’t think you are worthy of being announced by a human being. Or is the team saying they think of him as something less than human?

    Even with the scummiest of prospects – if they are good enough to be selected by you – they are good enough to be treated like a human being.

  38. Are you guys living in the 80’s? We have technology now and the nfl draft has become a popular event beyond hardcore fans like you.
    Embrace it or just go to any football page to follow the picks.

  39. If the NFL got rid of all the crap they’ve added to the draft,it would be all over by Friday. That would be fine by me,but if there’s a buck to be made,the NFL will go for it,no matter how stupid it is. In any case, Mayock’s mock draft was way off. Maybe he was a little salty about that ,too.

  40. Having an orangutan involved with the announcement for Grover Stewart was ridiculous!

    Everyone would have been much happier if they arranged for one of the Muppets.

  41. Bunch of sourpusses on PFT.
    The circus atmosphere is for the fans and nothing else.

    All anyone has to do is change the channel.
    And Mayock can quit anytime he wants to.

  42. I just heard Cleveland hired the orangutan to replace Sashi Brown. Apparently, old world apes, like Jim Haslam, aren’t sold on analytics, either.

  43. On a side note, rumor has it the draft doesn’t hide its contempt for Mike Mayock either…

  44. Colts fan here. Couldn’t agree with Mayock more. I was just as surprised and embarrassed as anyone to see Grigson making a pick. Sure didn’t see this one coming.

  45. bondlake says:

    Chill out, Mike.

    The only constant is change.

    Getting too old, maybe?

    As we can see, millennials are taught that any kind of change is good, and if you don’t like something then you’re old.

  46. Mayock is 100% correct. The draft, just like the Super Bowl,
    has been turned from a great event to a WWE circus event.

    I love what Mayock does. He obviously spends hours upon hours studying these potential NFL players and his evaluations are as good as anyone’s.

    So — good for you, Mayock! Tell the dopes at the NFL Network to knock off the stupid stuff or tell them to take the job and shove it!

  47. Totally agree with Mayok. I watched the Texans pick from space, and the Patriots one from the Naval base. That was fine. However, to turn the draft into the dog and pony show with the Indianapolis Zoo and the orangutan, was stupid. I don’t mind injecting a little be of fun, but don’t make the biggest days of these players’ lives a total joke.

  48. Absolutely agree with Mayock here. I understand others make picks, but it should be make a wish foundation or Veterans, important foundations not a monkey. If anything it should of been a RAT because the colts are RATS!

  49. Mel Kuiper, Jr. and the other mock draft experts are very much responsible for all the Whoop-a lah. I won’t pay a nickle for Kuiper or McShay’s reports- they are never even close to being on the money. Especially after a couple of years after the draft!

  50. Call Mayock what you want,…….. but I’ll tell you this, Mayock knows talent. I usually print his top 100 sheet big board.
    After rounds 1,2, and 3, there were only 12 left undrafted on that sheet. 88 out of 106 picks. And he’s done better in prior years but 88 was pretty good this year.

  51. The money guy announcing the Eagles pick trying over and over to hype the crowd got Mayock hot too.

    The hype gets old, just announce the pick.

  52. Mayock solemnly told us on Wednesday that John Ross was “sliding down draft boards”- out of the first round at a minimum and off entire draft boards at a maximum

    Please, find me the mock draft that had Chicago trading up to select Trubisky

    Non-NFL Draft Nerds Need Not Apply– is that the message here?

    Mayock and his echo chamber here in the Comments section are reactionaries at best, and sanctimonious at worst

    For my entertainment dollar, please give me the full-throated 70,000 bread and circus spectacle that was Philadelphia 2017, thank you

  53. 1000% agree, just get to the picks, this is the draft after all. A few years ago I moved from ESPN to the NFLN to watch the draft since to often at ESPN it become about the analyst and not the picks. I have no problem with some special announcement from some picks but it is getting out of hand. Even in the first round I was annoyed when the commish took 10 minutes to get out there and announce the pick which is he primary job day one. No idea how SI was getting all the picks quickly on day 1 and 2 but my twitter feed was up on the laptop so I would know what was happening, and ridiculous the number of times the TV was 3 picks behind real life.

  54. Mayock is 100% correct. Love the coverage and what philly. But the orangutan and space etc is stupid and I’m sure it’s Goodell’s fault

  55. 100% agree with Mayock….the whole 2017 draft as it was scripted & televised – was a JOKE !
    ESPN “SPECIALS” used to be watchable – NOT ANYMORE –
    now like the vast majority of their other shows which are
    COMPLETELY unwatchable!
    And the NFL Network ain’t much better either….

  56. Mayock is right. I used the internet to keep up on the draft. I have a lot of other things that need to get done in my life. Who can afford to waste that much time in front of the tv? No wonder why your wife hates you and your kids ignore you.

  57. All you “hardcore” NFL fans that want things to go back to the way they were… you have the ability to make that happen. Just quit buying season tickets, quit buying the NFL Network, the Red Zone channel, and quit watching games and spending money on sponsors. When the money starts drying up, the owners will be forced to listen. Unless you’re willing to give it up, the NFL will just assume you’re going to watch no matter what, count on those dedicated ratings, and keep pursuing the average person who watches DWTS to gain extra attention to their product.

  58. Way worse than the Orang at the Indy zoo was the Philadelphia Eagles having Jon Dorenbos announce their 3rd round pick. That was the longest and most uncomfortable pick announcement of all time. Even the Philly crowd he was trying to appeal to was uncomfortable. Also, can we have players going up to the podium dress professionally and wear normal suits. These idiots look like they should be asking me if I would like more water at the restaurant.

  59. I agree with Mayock big time but the co host of the networks Rich Eisen and ESPNs Wingo seem to try pump it up they over get excited about the zoo atmosphere and if you notice they try to hard to make there shows funny and enjoyable to watch but in reality they make it worse…so to stop the non sense first thing to do is either tell Eisen and Wingo to stop making fools of themselves or find someone else that can be a little more serious…

  60. respect them getting police and service men and women involved with the draft because they deserve some recognition

    I can do with out this too, tired that being crammed at us too during games. I am a vet and worked for every branch of the military as a civilian contractor.

  61. It’s close to jumping the shark time. The NFL is deliberately turning the draft from the BEST reality show on television into Orange County Housewives.

  62. Just once I would like to see the top pick on one of the worst teams say “This sucks, when can I become a free agent?”

  63. All games should be at 1:00 PM Sunday afternoon, get rid of the gd celebrities, have a high school band march at halftime and concentrate on the game. There should be no discussion of anything during the draft that doesn’t apply to the pick, analysis of their skill and how they fit onto the team picking them. The NFL has gotten ridiculous with it’s obsession with celebrity. Fans should be at games.

  64. I just don’t watch the draft anymore. I have a mobile device that allows me to go on with my life and still get pick notifications, instead of sitting on a couch and watching the TV all night/day. If a pick comes up about a team or player that I have particular interest, I look up the scouting reports and highlights, etc. No need for the big production and talking heads.

  65. We should embrace the technological advances of having a monkey make the pick.,…I almost snorted out some corn flakes at that 😉

  66. For the first time ever, I ended up following it mostly on other web-sites, second-hand. Mayock and Eisen are correct; I’m there for the human drama and the football insight. Leave the variety show to Ed Sullivan and the animal acts to Johnny Carson.

  67. Mayock needs to take a break from his rambling and inane public statements. This guy has turned into an irksome bore over the past 3 years. I guess he thinks he is developing his crappy brand. He single-handedly made the NFL Network draft coverage unwatchable this year.

  68. I agree with Mayock too. There were teams whose picks were never announced while there was silly talk about one thing or another. I do remember I had to go to various team web sites to find out who they took. The NFL is giving me more reasons to be a FORMER fan.

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