Yes, technically, the National Football League is currently not in business: Players are not allowed to enter their places of employment. Owners aren’t allowed to have contact with players or negotiate deals. Officially, there may not be any work to do, and therefore shouldn’t be any entry-level positions available—but so what? The NFL is still hiring.
And yes, it’s going to be a bit awkward. But next week’s little job fair is the only spectator event the league is promising to us right now. So for three days, we fans can put aside the bitterness we feel at being left out of the labor dispute, and pretend it is business as usual.
So, are you ready for some football? How ready? With no help from me, the draftniks here at AA have you covered when it comes to breaking down any and every potential Chiefs pick in every round of the upcoming draft, right down to a top prospect’s latest genetic condition. By the time next Thursday rolls around, you will have been through so many mock drafts that you should know the middle names and favorite foods of every member of every SEC practice squad (not that you’ll be any closer to knowing who Scott Pioli will decide to pick).
But with only nine days until the big day, there is more to do to prepare. So in order to get you fully ready for next week, here are a few things you may not have thought to take care of yet:
__ Buy new big-screen TV. It’s time for football, and every new beginning deserves a newer, bigger screen. And don’t worry—by the time the regular season starts up, Goodell willing, in about four months, your new HD/3D flatscreen will be completely obsolete, and you’ll get to repeat this exciting ritual all over again.
__ Build one of these (after all, it’s Draft Day, not Bottles and Cans Day).
__ Remove all bread and other leavened products from house.*
*Wait, dang it—I just hate when I get my Passover and NFL Draft checklists mixed up. Happens every year!
__ Watch recording of 2010 NFL Draft for inspiration.
__ Prepare online orders for custom Chiefs jerseys with the names of every potential Chiefs’ first-rounder, so that the moment the 21st pick is announced, all you’ll have to do is click.
__ Watch recording of 2009 NFL Draft for harsh reality check.
__ Schedule appointment at your favorite local men’s hair salon and remember to ask for the “Mel Kiper, Jr.” (or, if tight on time or cash, or allergic to petro-chemicals, just ask for the “Todd McShay”).
__ Finalize list of your predicted Chiefs picks.
__ Prepare large bulletin board with names of every draft prospect; purchase darts and label “Round 1″ through “Round 7″; hire monkey to throw darts at board.
__ See if you do better than monkey.
__ Put together list of 20 friends who you are considering as potential guests at your Draft Day party; ask them to assemble in the front hallway of your home; when the Draft begins, invite most (but not all) of them in, one by one.
__ Check Arena Football League scores/standings/rosters; shudder; thank deity of choice for even the hope of a 2011 NFL season that the Draft brings.
__ Watch 2010 NFL Draft again.