The coverage of the NFL Draft, much like the league itself, has turned into a 24/7/365 live stream. But this year that coverage has seemed more overbearing than ever before because of the NFL’s decision to delay the NFL Draft until May 8th from its traditional late April timeslot. These extra weeks of draft analysis have turned an already bloated process into one that is ready to burst at the seams over position rankings, busts, and sleeper picks.
Pushing the draft back has turned the lead-up to the event into an insufferable march to nowhere. All of the possible avenues of breaking down the draft have been exhausted weeks ago and now we’re left to either repeat everything that’s already been said or go to Mel Kiper’s NAIA Big Board.
The expanded draft season has led to covering something as routine as pro days as events on the scale of the first moon landing. It’s led to anonymous sources being given additional platforms to spew venom towards top prospects amid smoke screen upon smoke screen upon smoke screen. It’s even led to bad fictional movies about the NFL Draft just to pass the time until the real one comes along.
While national outlets are certainly getting maximum mileage out of the NFL Draft, local outlets are gorging themselves with all the potential storylines as well.
A tipster leads us to this collection from the Dallas Morning News that lists 70, yes, 70 articles solely dedicated to the draft stock of former Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. (The title of the e-mail, appropriately enough, was “Dallas Morning News covers Manziel like ESPN does Tebow.”)
The Dallas Morning News’ ManzielMania is a unique look at the combination of a local celebrity athlete colliding with this tidal wave of draft coverage.
Naturally, there are lists of opinion articles that list why Manziel will be a future Hall of Famer and the next JaMarcus Russell. Why he should and should not be taken #1. Draft coverage wouldn’t be interesting if we all agreed now, would it? And because his opinion on NFL quarterbacks carries such weight, Hulk Hogan is included among the list of believers in Johnny Football.
Here’s a selection of some of the more interesting headlines. Chances are if you mentioned the words “Johnny Manziel” in a blog post, tweet, or TV appearance the Dallas Morning News wrote about it…
And of course, there’s the required “will they/won’t they” Manziel-Cowboys drama. A quarterback controversy between Tony Romo and Johnny Manziel may be enough to make me give up the NFL for Canadian football for good…
Too much of a good thing can indeed be a bad thing. The NFL Draft gluttony reminds me of comments Mark Cuban recently made warning against the NFL’s national television expansion – “pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered.”
While Cuban’s prediction of the NFL’s downfall may be very premature, it’s an apt way to describe the overwhelming saturation that is beginning to define the NFL offseason. Even for the most loyal NFL fans, there’s only so many headlines they can digest regarding hypothetical scenarios including Johnny Manziel being drafted by the Dallas Cowboys.
Eventually, fans will reach their breaking point and look elsewhere when they finally grow tired of the constant drain of NFL news and opinion. Who Wants To Be A Millionaire was the best thing to happen to network television until the supply outweighed the demand. Just two seasons after being the most watched show in American television, it was canceled. The NFL would be wise to learn from its predecessors in pop culture phenomena.