The NFL recently announced that they are moving the date of the NFL draft into the second week of May. The reason? There is a conflict at New York’s Radio City Music Hall which pushes the date for the draft back a few weeks. As someone who covers the NFL on a daily basis, I’m thrilled with the move. It gives more time to over-analyze, over-blow the coverage, fall in and out of (and back in) love with certain players your team “has to get” while they end up with a guy you barely heard of from a one-stoplight town in Idaho.
One way the NFL could remedy the conflict with Radio City Music Hall is to move the actual location of the draft. In Wednesday”s Tribune, Phil Rosenthal suggested Chicago as the venue for the draft. As a proud Chicagoan, I think it’s a great idea. Chicago is a major airline hub, there are plenty of venues to hold the draft and draft-related parties and events and enough hotel rooms to accommodate any college diva and his entire entourage. But I propose they take it a step further. The NFL should hold the draft in the city which holds the #1 pick in the draft.
Think about it. The fans of that particular city, take Kansas City this past season, suffered through a painful season, piling up enough losses to get the top pick. From about November on, they are looking ahead to the next season and the draft. Why not “reward” them and host the draft in their city? The top pick generates a lot of buzz and besides that, the team usually has the top selection in each round, so there’s continued interest.
If you’ve watched the draft, you know how it goes. When the Commissioner steps to the podium with the Jets’ selection you’re bound to hear those insufferable Jets fans booing the selection. There are also plenty of Eagles fans in attendance to boo the D0novan McNabb selection. Why not give fans of the worst team some little enjoyment and let them get to cheer (or boo) their picks?
Contrary to popular belief, there is more to the world than New York City and the East coast, ESPN bias aside. I’m quite certain that each NFL city has a facility suitable to host the event and put on a terrific draft. Heck, if they can host a Super Bowl in Detroit or Jacksonville, those cities could certainly host a draft.
The regular season ends by the first week in January and with the draft in May, that should be plenty of time to set up accommodations. Most of the time, we have the top pick narrowed down to a handful of teams by November. At that point, the few “contenders” could start blocking off hotel rooms and planning the venue. Jacksonville could start making plans now.
What do you think? Would you be in favor of rotating the draft to the team with the top pick? Should it stay in NYC?