Mocking the Draft
And you thought the Chinese were damn fools for trying to play God, or at least Mother Nature? An entire industry has metastasized from the Internet’s Petri dish, breeding on NFL fans gullible enough to believe that dork draftniks like Mel Kiper, Gil Brandt, Norm Hitzges and some 15-year-old with a MySpace account and a mouse in Indy actually know what’s going to -- or, furthermore, what should -- happen in this weekend’s NFL Draft. Geeks unite!
It’s the most overrated, underwhelming non-event event in sports. And it takes, like, f-o-r-e-v-e-r. Starting with Saturday morning’s six-hour first round and ending around Mother’s Day, NFL teams will take wild guesses at college players. But guess what: No one knows nuthin’.
Kiper, basically a weatherman with a wig who has positioned himself as the draft voice, in 1989 touted Tony Mandarich over a quarterback you may have heard of. But it’s not just the dumb-ass draftniks. It’s the teams. Blair Thomas was drafted ahead of Emmitt Smith. Rayfield Wright fell to the seventh round. Tom Brady was the 199th player drafted. And your Cowboys? They drafted a Super Bowl MVP (Larry Brown) 320th overall and actually wasted precious time picking guys named Lowndes Shingler, John M. Longmeyer, Lou Cioci and Sonny Utz. In the big picture, the draft doesn’t mean shit.
Of Dallas’ 76 roster players, about 30 percent arrived via the draft. The Cowboys drafted exactly none of their top three quarterbacks (Tony Romo, Brad Johnson and Brock Berlin were all signed as free agents). This year the Cowboys seem set: New, improved coach. New, improved coach. New, improved coach. Oh, yeah, and a new holder. But I’ll be damned if they’re not going to throw a dart with the No. 22 pick tomorrow and then tell us “we’ve had him pin-pointed since he was in diapers.”
So who will the Cowboys take? Hmm. How can so many “experts” look at the same painting and conjure so many varying opinions via mock drafts? Locally, Rick Gosselin of Dallas’ Only Daily predicts Texas safety Michael Griffin, as does something called DraftDaddy.com. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Charean Williams has them taking Purdue defensive end Anthony Spencer, though in her comment she allows that Dallas “could take Aaron Ross, Michael Griffin or a receiver, or they could trade down.” That, my draftnik dorkdom, is what you call an exact science.
By the way, tomorrow it will be sunny. Or cloudy. Or it might hail. Or those killer bees might finally arrive and we’ll never see the sunrise. Which, of course, will be veiled by a hurricane anyway. Draftshowcase.com, founded by 15-year-old Allen Trieu, has Dallas taking Miami safety Brandon Meriweather. ESPN has them taking Ohio State receiver Ted Ginn Jr., and whatever this is points to Tennessee receiver Robert Meachem. One of these guys will be right. And no one will remember. Dork on, draftniks. Dork on. --Richie Whitt