A problem in sports media is the urge many personalities seem to have to make whatever’s currently happening either the most unique event ever or comparable to past incredibly unique events. In most cases, that just doesn’t add up: history is long, so Ben Simmons probably isn’t “the most pathetic excuse for a professional athlete we have ever seen,” LaVar Ball probably isn’t “the worst sports parent ever,” Joel Embiid did not have the most 40/10 games ever, Antonio Brown did not commit “the most unprofessional act” in sports, the NBA in 2016 was not the “worst it’s ever been,” and Team USA’s preliminary-round Olympic hockey win over Canada was not comparable to the Miracle on Ice. But where this gets really funny is when it comes to overexaggerated quotes promoting upcoming events your network is airing, such as ESPN’s Adam Schefter relaying a NFL executive’s comment that this year’s NFL Draft is the “craziest draft in 30 years”:
One veteran front-office executive this morning: “This is the craziest draft I’ve seen in 30 years.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 28, 2022
As many noted, there seem to be similar lines around the NFL Draft most years. Here are a few that came up from a quick Twitter search:
"This is the craziest draft I've ever been associated with." – Mel Kiper Jr (35 drafts) on Rams picking Tavon Austin No. 8 overall.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 26, 2013
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) April 27, 2017
#DRAFTDAY! Craziest draft ever! All over the quarterbacks, the Browns, Giants, Jets, Broncos, Bills, Cardinals, Steelers, Packers, Cowboys. And the team that drafts Nelson wins.
— Adam Schein (@AdamSchein) April 26, 2018
3. Darnold (I want Rosen tbh)
I also predict I will go 0-for-5. This is craziest draft I can remember at the top.
— Michael Salfino (@MichaelSalfino) April 26, 2018
craziest draft I've ever covered…and not because DEN is at no5 …it's the QB class and the teams scrambling to draft them.
— Cecil Lammey (@CecilLammey) April 26, 2018
This is going to be the craziest draft in NFL history for so many reasons https://t.co/DjfXxVJeSW
— Jordan Cohn (@jordancohn2) April 23, 2020
Too bad we taped this 24 hours ago! I’ve heard from multiple teams today that tonight will be the craziest draft ever! Your mock drafts are going to look like your NCAA brackets!Buckle up if you’re an #NFL fan!#NFLDraft2021 https://t.co/TqGnLZD2WW
— Tyler Siskey (@tylersiskey) April 29, 2021
A couple things that stand out there are Schein using literally the same “craziest draft ever” language two years in a row, and Siskey’s “I’ve heard from multiple teams” in that last tweet, which is the most directly analogous to Schefter’s tweet this year. And it makes some sense that executives make these comments; it’s unlikely they’d say “Yeah, I think this year’s draft is going to be boring” (and it’s also unlikely that that would be reported). It also makes sense that media members in the moment of a draft find that draft particularly remarkable, and maybe especially if they have a show of draft reaction to promote.
But it is funny to see Schefter using his platform to pass along an anonymous comment that could be (and is often) made in advance of the draft in any particular year, a comment whose main value appears to be “Watch this draft!”, and to see how many people noted that they hear similar things every year. A few of the many examples of that:
I have heard this every year now, not moved https://t.co/h1oksiHyWr
— Nicky Two Strikes (@ChicagoStation) April 28, 2022
I feel like someone says some variant of this every single draft https://t.co/JSaxgCQstf
— Computer Cowboy (@benbbaldwin) April 28, 2022
Literally every year. https://t.co/tlOUT2JgLh
— Benny (@BennyMacBlog) April 28, 2022
One veteran front-office executive every draft day for the last 30 years : https://t.co/HtbZscwwtK
— Blaine Dabbert (@BlaineDabbert) April 28, 2022
when you’re trying to sell mids https://t.co/0Fk3exrDTM
— grant (@grantcf_) April 28, 2022
And sure, this isn’t anywhere near the most questionable thing Schefter has done in the last six months alone. And it doesn’t deserve serious outrage. But it certainly caused some chuckles around here to see Schefter relay this and then get immediately and repeatedly quote-tweeted with “We hear this every year.”