What will the NFL do about the draft?

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It’s felt inevitable for weeks that COVID-19 would make its way to the United States, and it’s now feeling inevitable that cancellations of large-scale events sparked by the coronavirus (starting with SXSW) is just the beginning.

So as March 7 becomes March 14 becomes March 21 becomes April 1 becomes April 15 becomes April 23, the first day of the NFL draft, no one knows what will happen between now and then, but the evidence points to things getting worse before they get better.

Not surprisingly, the local newspaper in the city that would be most affected by the cancellation of the draft is arguing against it. But that argument is grossly premature, and ultimately irrelevant. Time will tell whether the Las Vegas draft will proceed. For now, it’s all up in the air.

But here’s the most important thing to consider: The NFL’s ultimate decision will be driven not only by public-health concerns but also by pragmatism. The league and Las Vegas have created a setting for the draft that will go from spectacular to forgettable without enough people there to serve as organic, 3D background props. And the league knows that holding an event in a venue that looks more empty than full will cause the people watching it on TV to ask themselves, “Why am I watching this on TV?”

That’s not to say the league will be unconcerned about the potential for spreading the virus in the close quarters that will make for the most compelling images on television. But if people won’t be inclined to stand in close quarters, the compelling images won’t happen. Which will compel the league to come up with a Plan B.

The draft definitely will proceed. The only question is whether the pictures that go along with an event that could be accomplished via group text message will include video of tens of thousands of people or something far more intimate. Either way, the Commissioner will be calling the names and the players who show up will be holding up their jerseys and those moments along with the at-times interminable filler in between them will be broadcast to the millions who will be watching at home.

40 responses to “What will the NFL do about the draft?

  1. If Goodell goes with crowd and 1 person is infected or dies, the lawsuits will be overwhelming and the NFL knows it.

  2. According to the CDC about 20,000 people have died from the flu so far in the 2019-2020 flu season (we’re about halfway through the season right now). We’re terrified over the coronavirus even though we’re much more likely to catch, and die from, the flu.

  3. It will be significantly more dangerous DRIVING to Las Vegas than to attend the draft once there.

    100+ people are killed EACH DAY on our nation’s highways, or more than 6,000 since the beginning of the year.

    Can we please put the virus “crisis” in proper perspective?

  4. Good thing is nobody in the draft is 65+

    …it’s as if they have nothing to worry about or something.
    But if you’re prone to anxiety just remind yourself that Nature always wins. 🤣

  5. the predicted end is early April as the temp rise. there are few greater risks than this we take every day. Settle down, wash hands and get drinks above 150 proof alcohol lol

  6. Simple solution if it ever gets that far is a simple tele-conference call. NFL will sell Streaming Service to the fans. Pick your team or go back and forth between teams, etc.

    Just a thought as dumb as it might sound.

  7. Hopefully they’ll just go on with business as usual, as we all should. This is the most overblown hysterical nonsense I’ve ever seen in my life. The flu is far more dangerous and no one is talking about cancelling events because the flu exists.

  8. arwiv says:
    March 7, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    According to the CDC about 20,000 people have died from the flu so far in the 2019-2020 flu season (we’re about halfway through the season right now). We’re terrified over the coronavirus even though we’re much more likely to catch, and die from, the flu.

    ———————

    The reason we’re “terrified” over the coronavirus is because it’s much more dangerous than the flu. The death rate is higher.
    And there is currently no vaccine for the corona virus. I’ll repeat this because for some reason people want to skip over this point. There is no vaccine for the coronavirus. You can get a flu shot. As of right now, you can’t get a coronavirus shot. So if you get the virus, you don’t have many options.

  9. Who says the flu is more dangerous than COVID-19? According to the World Health Organization, current mortality rate for COVID-19 is way, way higher than the seasonal flu. It’s nonsensical to compare flu deaths over the last five or six months to those from a virus that is just getting started in the US.

    Being cautious (not panicky) about COVID-19 makes sense, given that it’s not entirely clear yet what the incubation period is (though it looks like it’s way longer than the flu), precisely how it is transmitted and how long it can persist on surfaces (though again, it looks like it may be way longer than the flu virus). Right now there is no vaccine for COVID-19, either, unlike the flu.

    Whatever any of us may think, we know the NFL will be cautious and I’m guessing they’ll end up cancelling the big Vegas hoopla they were planning. So if you’re thinking of making reservations, check your cancellation policies closely.

  10. I’ll still be tuning in regardless.
    I don’t necessarily need the spectacle.
    My friends and I used to tune into the draft during its infancy with television.
    When it basically consisted of nameless team reps working the phones and handing in player cards to nobody in particular.
    No glitz, no fan fair, no fist bumps.

    Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it today and I love to hear all the back stories of individual players, and of course, the nonsensical play by play and instant critiques about kids no one truly has a clue about.

    But, real hardcore football junkies will be just as excited for an old fashioned throwback NFL Football draft, as the monster it’s become today.

  11. Guy Hence says:
    March 7, 2020 at 12:13 pm

    If Goodell goes with crowd and 1 person is infected or dies, the lawsuits will be overwhelming and the NFL knows it.

    So why is ANYTHING still open?

  12. Scott Edwards says:
    March 7, 2020 at 2:23 pm

    It’s a lot of crap. It’s the flu FFS.

    ******************

    Uh, no, it’s most certainly NOT the flu. Instead of getting your info from TV and people who don’t know anything about medicine or virology, try looking at the DCD and WHO websites.

  13. I understand that there is no vaccine for corona. I understand that its a scary thing…Im not terrified like some, but Im certainly wary of it.

    Point is, if you are not a senior and/or your immune system isnt compromised, your chances of succumbing to the virus, if you get it, are slim and none.

    Im not trying to say it isnt something to be concerned about…of course it is. All Im saying is that for most of us, it’s not anything to be panicking about.

  14. This is getting to the point of insanity. Older people will remember the Hong Kong flu, Asian flu, Bird flu, Legionaires disease etc. Most people took basic health protections and at risk groups might have stayed in more. We didn’t cancel conferences, concerts, sporting events etc. The country went about its business.

    This is a social media driven hysterical reaction.

  15. If you don’t know what to do just ask a millennial. They know everything about everything. Cause they got apps and smartphones…The same millennials that are adamant about global warming because that is what the experts say are adamant that corona virus is no big deal despite what CDC/WHO (the experts) say. Go figure…

    I live in Austin and SXSW was cancelled NOT because of health concerns but because all the big corporations cancelled. Then the mayor declared an disaster emergency so the SXSW promoters could apply for cancellation insurance. Money trumps all. Unless I am wrong. I don’t have a millennial here to confirm that.

  16. I lost a great neice and a great uncle (two of my grandmother’s older siblings) to the Spanish Flu in 1919 (they were about 12 or 13 at the time). That killed 50 million people worldwide. For comparison, the Black Plague killed 25 million. THOSE are actual pandemics.

  17. It is literally 1 in a million right now to get this. And unless you are old you really don’t have to worry.

  18. Based on the data we have Corona is more deadly then the flu.
    But less then 590 Americans have been tested fir Corona. Those that are tested are because they have serious symptoms.
    Millions have been tested for the flu.

    There and thousands (plus) people walking around with Corona who don’t even know it. Their body fights it off and they are just fine. There are not enough tests to identify them.

    Coming soon are millions of tests and the panic that will follow when the diagnoses rate jumps, as the people who were recovering from it unknowingly get identified.

    What follows that is the massive drop in the death rate due to Corona as those beating it ‘On their own’ also get identified.

    There was a guy above all concerned because there IS NO VACCINE. Well, think about it. People are surviving the virus even without a vaccine or cure. Most are.

    The elderly and those with poor immune systems Are the ones in danger ( they have not identified anyone under 21 with it). If you are old or have a weak immune system, or have someone close to you that is, you should not attend the draft. Otherwise, have fun.

  19. BuckyBadger says:
    March 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm
    It is literally 1 in a million right now to get this. And unless you are old you really don’t have to worry.
    ==============================
    I’ll be 79 in 2 weeks. Do I start worrying now or can In wait the 2 weeks?

  20. suchapaindude says:
    March 7, 2020 at 4:45 pm

    There was a guy above all concerned because there IS NO VACCINE. Well, think about it. People are surviving the virus even without a vaccine or cure. Most are.

    ————————-

    You’re right. People who are surviving the virus without a vaccine or a cure have no worries. But what about if you’re walking around carrying the virus but have no symptoms and don’t know you’re carrying? Tough luck for the elderly and compromised people you come in contact with and pass the virus onto them. “Oops, sorry Granma! I might have just given you the virus. Oh, well, you’ve lived your life. Now just run off somewhere & die quietly while I go party.”

  21. Most fans couldn’t care less about the circus that goes with the draft, only the NFL does.

    I’m only interested in who is drafted by each team.

  22. beedubyatoo says:
    March 7, 2020 at 5:11 pm
    BuckyBadger says:
    March 7, 2020 at 3:06 pm
    It is literally 1 in a million right now to get this. And unless you are old you really don’t have to worry.
    ==============================
    I’ll be 79 in 2 weeks. Do I start worrying now or can In wait the 2 weeks?

    God Bless you. Id say the same thing to you that Id tell my 75 year old dad….do your best to hang out at home and dont even think about getting on a plane until this thing blows over.

  23. remizak says:
    March 7, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Uh, no, it’s most certainly NOT the flu. Instead of getting your info from TV and people who don’t know anything about medicine or virology, try looking at the DCD and WHO websites.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Uh, Who in the heck is the DCD?

  24. The newest NFL slogan: “brought to you by the coronavirus, the official pandemic of the NFL”

  25. It’s a cold, people. If a person has co-morbitities, they are at higher risk IF they develop pneumonia. This is getting absurd.

  26. “Good thing is nobody in the draft is 65+”

    Is Jerry Jones going to be there? In that case, the draft is on!

  27. Death rate on coronovirus is heavily influenced by the first weeks/months it was brand new. Even in China outside the province it started in the death rate is under 1%. Yet we have people here hoarding toilet paper. Too bad there is no vaccine for dumb panicked people.

  28. To those downplaying Covid-19, I get it, you’re reacting to how the media always megapanic. But seriously it is about 10 times more deadly than flu, it’s just the flu is endemic (and there’s flu vaccines to keep the death-rate down in the elderly/vulnerable. Covid is new, so deaths still nothing compared to flu, but once Covid becomes endemic, it’ll make a heavy flu seem like a mere cold. And even if they develop a vaccine it’ll still kill lots more elderly/vulnerable – probably even more than 10 times what the flu does because complications tend to multiply problems rather than merely add to them. And there’s already a deadlier mutation emerging.

  29. I would love to see a throwback draft. At most a small number of fans up in the rafters.
    Individual team tables or webcam of individual team war rooms. One guy announces all the picks. Couple of guys giving commentary on the picks and prospects. no flash, no guest, no dumb commentary. stick to the prospect info and not just the well known prospects, talk about each pick as they are picked. we all already know about the popular ones.

  30. elrock7 says:
    March 7, 2020 at 5:50 pm
    Most fans couldn’t care less about the circus that goes with the draft, only the NFL does.

    I’m only interested in who is drafted by each team.
    __________________________

    The game and the officiating has gotten so bad over the last few years that I enjoy the draft more than I do watching a commercial filled 4hr game where there’s ONLY 10min of actual playing time and the rest of the time is filled with endless commercials and replays!

    And by adding two playoff teams I’ll be totally boycotting the playoffs and SB next year!
    There are already too many mediocre teams getting in and now they’re adding more SUCK to the Playoffs = NO THANKS!

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