The NFL Draft has always been a bit of a fraud that everyone buys into because in our wounded culture being a general manager seems like the most fun in the world. It’s how from the original fantasy draft–of American Football League players in a bar in Oakland in the early ’60s–through rotisserie leagues and now to fantasy everything, we hate reality to the point where we elevate fantasy to feel like we’re party of something we’re not part of at all. As fans, we are wallets with feet, and now with shelter-in-place, we are just empty plastic chairs facing a field.
But it’s what we want, so the hell with it.
For the right-thinking observer, though, Thursday’s NFL draft is about one thing and one thing only: WiFi disruptions. The news that darts pro Gary Anderson had to withdraw from a virtual tournament because his home internet connection blows brought me back to my most fervent hopes Thursday.
Adam Silver pushing Roger Goodell off his chair and saying, “I got this, Rog.”
A frantic rush to install those old land lines.
Three teams taking Tua Tagovailoa and offering to fight each other for him.
General managers throwing their laptops across the room and showering their rec rooms with curses… except of course for Dave Gettleman, whose draft desk is an Etch-A-Sketch, the 2019 Phil Steele college magazine, an Eli Manning coffee mug, and a carton of unfiltered Camels.
In short, I want the league that is too big to fail, to fail. I want the first truly mockable draft. Not because of any moral or ethical issue (you can have a field day with that if you want; in the new dystopia, the world is chasing paper towels and yeast for amateur bakers), but because nothing in entertainment is better than abject collapse. The draft was thisclose to being fully Las Vegasized, so I’m all in on the draft turned into a third-grade classroom from the ’60s where nobody is listening to the teacher.
Now for those of you who have been pegging your entire spring to the draft, this may come as a bit of a downer. For basketball fans, it is the possibility that The Last Dance could bomb. For baseball fans, it’s the Strat-O-Matic virtual league putting out daily box scores with attendance counts. For college football fans, it’s thinking of calendars that conceptualize the players going from February through May, getting a month off to ignore classes and then starting camp in July like usual. For college basketball, it’s watching the slow death of the one-and-done player because its bagmen are finally being outbid in bulk. And in soccer, it is the news that Neymar’s mom is dating a model who is six years younger than he is, and he’s 28: “No Dad, I won’t drive you to the club. Take the bus like all your friends.”
I mean, sure, you all want sports. You’re just confused about sports as opposed to staff meetings about sports.
In other words, there are no more rules, so screw it. I want the draft to look like a paint factory fire. I want Mike Brown standing on the roof of his house in only his underwear, waving semaphore flags to draft Joe Burrow because his electricity was turned off as part of the Bengals’ off-season austerity program. I want Antonio Brown strapping himself to the iron railing in front of Steve Bisciotti’s house. I want Mike Zimmer to pass on his first pick as an homage to the last time the Vikings couldn’t get a pick submitted in time. I want Dee Haslam to draft her team’s brand new throwback uniforms so as not to waste the Browns’ first successful marketing opportunity since they fired Bill Belichick.
I want no picks to be made because the league’s technical infrastructure couldn’t handle it. I mean, they can’t explain their rules even as ratings rise, so why would they be able to recite 255 names without a glitch?
But since that is unlikely to happen, I want at least one team to let its IT guy to make a first-round pick, just as thanks to them and their geektron compatriots for saving the NFL from the fate it so richly deserves.
Oh, and another team to let DeMaurice Smith make a pick in gratitude for him getting the players union to roll over for another decade.
Ray Ratto’s favorite team folded in 1937, so he couldn’t give a fraction of a Planck number what the rest of you want.
Caviar Smokeboy says:
With the first pick in the draft.
GOODELL EXPLODES LIKE THE JUDAS PRIEST DRUMMER
April 20, 2020 — 10:09 am
Marcus Rhatigan says:
Judas Priest ≠ Spinal Tap
April 20, 2020 — 6:14 pm
Never before has so much been riding on the shoulders of America’s GM’s fifth-graders. You’re the real hero, Karson.
April 20, 2020 — 10:10 am
If there ever was an appropriate time for an all-flapping-dong Zoom-bomb, this is it.
April 20, 2020 — 10:12 am
Greg Oden and Grady Sizemore are available.
April 20, 2020 — 10:41 am
How much do you think the League is going to fine each time someone’s dog licks its balls in the background?
April 20, 2020 — 10:56 am
Tony that’s actually Ron Rivera and Dan Snyder thanks you not to stare.
April 20, 2020 — 11:43 am
I would pay money for the Bengals connection to time out before selecting Burrow because Mike Brown wouldn’t pay for the Gigabit connection and their network speed has been throttled and then having Dan Synder jump in a pick him.
April 20, 2020 — 10:18 am
You realize all that will end up being Belichik hacking into both Brown and Snyder’s accounts and Burrow plus whoever is the best linebacker in the draft will end up in New England, right? Because we’re in the maximally fucked timeline here, folks.
April 20, 2020 — 10:53 am
“This Mike Brown interview is powered by Juno Internet Service”
April 20, 2020 — 10:58 am
Haha, jokes on you, Mike still has stacks and stacks of free 30 minute AOL discs from 1997 that will keep his dail-up online for years to come.
April 20, 2020 — 2:23 pm
Dear Lord, please give us video of Andy Reid’s 2 inches from the camera on his computer, glasses pushed down his nose, no sound, having an absolute fit on why the audio isn’t working.
April 20, 2020 — 10:26 am
Jeff Fazekas says:
I don’t think anybody wants to see Andy’s two inches…ever. Maybe Mrs Reid?♂️
April 20, 2020 — 12:12 pm
No way Andy isn’t chewing something at the same time, jerky, cupcakes, sandwich . . .
April 20, 2020 — 3:51 pm
Real Sex Haver says:
See, what you do is you slice the cupcake in half, put the layer of jerky in the middle, and “bingo” cupcake jerky sandwich.
April 20, 2020 — 4:40 pm
Mildish Tarantino says:
Have you been talking to Jim Tomsula again?
April 21, 2020 — 3:27 pm
taco mike says:
If our nation’s shitlord hackers have one duty to us all, it is to leak the Kraft handjob tape during round one.
April 20, 2020 — 10:31 am
Man I am glad I don’t work for the IT Department of an NFL team this weekend
April 20, 2020 — 10:34 am
I want someone with the imaginary credentials of Sidd Finch or Lori Laughlin’s daughter to be drafted in the first round because some front office couldn’t bother to Google the defensive end prospect from East Dakota State with fake video of running 4.1 in the 40 and a 48 inch vertical jump.
April 20, 2020 — 10:35 am
I would lay even odds on Gettleman drafting a dead guy.
April 20, 2020 — 9:25 pm
So how many players are going to have a large gathering and just fall flat on their face on social media for it?
April 20, 2020 — 10:36 am
Or, like my college roommate in a fantasy draft in 2000, someone could accidentally draft Sebastian Janikowski in the first round, the most hilarious of all possible fuck-ups.
April 20, 2020 — 10:38 am
Think of all the poor NFL IT guys who are going to have to spend their entire weekend telling Bill Belichick to try turning it off and then on again…
April 20, 2020 — 10:39 am
King Bubsgonzola Supreme says:
I for one cannot wait to see how Gettleman fucks this up for the Giants. The possibilities are limitless.
April 20, 2020 — 10:41 am
mockable draft got me good.
April 20, 2020 — 10:42 am
Richard Cardenas says:
This irony probably hit everyone else months ago, but lol that y’all had to quit deadspin because they wanted you to stick to sports…. and now their weird ghost iteration has to post 50 things about the dumb Michael Jordan doc because there are no sports.
April 20, 2020 — 10:43 am
“As fans, we are wallets with feet…”
Pure poetry. This turns the paradigm of “rooting for laundry” back on us, the fans.
April 20, 2020 — 11:15 am
Jesse Scabtor says:
I’m excited for Jerry Jones to pull a Kyle Larson during the draft.
April 20, 2020 — 11:40 am
I want the Dayton Triangles to get a compensatory selection in this draft
April 20, 2020 — 12:13 pm
I can’t wait for some owner (Jerry Jones) to say something horribly racist that’s caught on audio and everyone pretends it wasn’t him but some sort of glitch or crossed wire when in reality he just forgot to mute himself.
April 20, 2020 — 1:55 pm
A tweet from Adam Schefter:: “Text from a participant on the NFL’s mock draft that started at 1 pm EST. “Mock draft today already technical glitch w Cincinnatis 1st pick!!! Brutal.””
Let the tech games begin!
April 20, 2020 — 2:50 pm
Bobby Z. says:
“In the first round, the Dallas Cowboys select … Brandi Love?”
April 20, 2020 — 4:26 pm
Connection makes for some real shit shows in online racing. Driver loses connection, car flickers out of existence, the next driver moves up to take the vacated space, and the first driver reappears 1 cm in front of the accelerating car.
April 20, 2020 — 4:36 pm
Dan P says:
Did they say Cincinatti picked Joe Burrow or Ourobouros?
April 20, 2020 — 7:32 pm
Someone is definitely gonna screw up at some point and draft their own login password.
April 21, 2020 — 9:17 am
Bort License Plate says:
PC Load Letter
April 21, 2020 — 9:29 am
“The Cincinnati Bengals select-”
*ding* “You’ve got mail!”
April 21, 2020 — 9:42 am
Harrison Treegoob says:
That second sentence is making my eye twitch.. Am I just bad at reading or does it seem to be missing some words?
April 22, 2020 — 6:15 pm