Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

May 8, 2014

Czachorski: Over the NFL draft

Ryan Czachorski
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — A number of sad, sappy songs deal with the theme of not recognizing something or someone you previously loved.

While that comparison is a bit overdramatic, I used to love the National Football League Draft, and now, its bloated condition leaves it unrecognizable to me.

For years, the NFL Draft weekend was a highlight on my calendar. A former roommate of mine and I still basically communicate on Facebook solely through random messages on how many months, days, hours and minutes it is until the NFL Draft begins.

But it's mostly a charade, because the NFL Draft I loved is dead.

I understand the NFL's decision-making process to spread it out over three days instead of two, leaving the most hardcore of fans sifting through day three's late-round picks while the big names go in primetime.

I guess I also understand why they pushed it back a few weeks, because if there's anything the NFL loves, it's having ESPN talk about them for weeks on end about things that haven't happened yet.

I understand them. I don't condone them.

Again, it's all about the Draft I loved, pored over the details of and prepped to watch with friends for two marathon days that tested our wills to continue watching and dealing with various rivarlies -- and sometimes even each other.

It was all about spotaenity. The clock never stopped ticking, anything could happen within a 15-minute span, and it was enthralling.

Now, the clock stops. Repeatedly. Teams reset, start reshuffling the decks, and do it all again the next two days.

I also think I can't enjoy the draft more than I did last year, when the Kansas City Chiefs picked offensive tackle Eric Fisher number one, out of my alma mater Central Michigan University, a concept that seemed so impossible I vowed I'd buy his jersey if they actually did. I'll be wearing it today in honor of that occasion.

It's such a mutated beast they churned a ridiculous Kevin Costner movie out of it. (Note: I am not a movie reviewer, but if you want to see a really mediocre movie about football, I recommend Draft Day. It's at least laugh-worthy.)

I still like the concept and will follow along. I'm still really hoping the Bears get someone like Pittsburgh DL Aaron Donald or Michigan State CB Darqueze Dennard. I understand what a monumental role it plays in building a championship-level team.

So yeah, I want a defensive lineman that can rush the passer and stuff the run, or a defensive back who realizes not to let Randall Cobb get behind them on the biggest play of the season to let the Packers win the NFC North.

But much like the movie Draft Day, I'll be following the real-life draft day(s) in a similar way: looking at my phone every few minutes, not devoting enough attention to it and waiting for it to end so I can move on to the next thing.