NFL Draft: The Addict’s Drug of Choice(s)

Well the first column has been read and judged, and I have to admit it was very tempting to bask in my Sally Field, “You really like me” moment by sticking to a nice, safe subject like “KC Wolf – Apple or Pear Shape?” Instead, I decided to not only jump into the “Controversy Pool” but dive straight into the deep end and tackle one of the sacred cows, THE DRAFT (Since my computer does not have a “Reverent Font”, please bow your head slightly and speak the name in hushed tones as we do in the Rogers household).

Before I even get to the REAL thing though, I feel I would be remiss if I did not state my true feelings about something…I think the Mock Drafts are stupid (Oh Junior Staff Writer status we hardly knew ye…)!

Now wait, before you start lobbing your fake spitballs and burning me at the fake stake, hear me out.  As a person who has not known her real hair color for the last 30 years and who religiously gives thanks (and numerous cash payouts) to the creators of Victoria’s Secret and Spanx, I am the first to say that there is a time and place for all things faked. Believe me, after 34 years of marriage, I not only understand the necessity, but heartedly embrace that every once in a while there is a need for “Faking It”. But, try as I might, I cannot understand what purpose there is to endless hours being spent by fake owners making fake picks for their fake teams—which creates a flurry of real calls and real vehemence over these fake choices. I could MAYBE accept the absurdity of it if it was a one-time thing, but having a 3-hour ride home from the lake on most weekends, I get to hear this fascinating process repeated over and over with the only change being that Big Bob from Biloxi is giving his views instead of Ted “The Tank” Thompson from Tennessee….They have actually started the 2013 Mock Drafts before the players chosen at the 2012 Real Draft have done little more than hold up their new jersey and smile wide for the camera….

So now for my four readers that have not shut off their computers in disgust or said, “Hey, I didn’t realize the 2013 Mock Draft had started!” and switched to a different website, I now get to the original intent of the column – to give you my thoughts on the 2012 Draft (Head bow).

I have to admit that except for occasionally filling the peanut bowl for Joel or accidently getting in his pacing path when the Chiefs are “on deck”, I only intermittently watch the proceedings. However, even from my limited scope I know that while every draft is different, there are a few things that are universal… 1.) The New England Patriots will trade up, down and sideways and will somehow end up with 42 picks for this year, 12 picks for the upcoming year and 1st pick of the players’ sons yet to be born; 2.) The Raiders will use their number one pick to acquire some obscure player that creates a plethora of papers being shuffled by the 412 commentators and a mad scramble by the cameraman to pull up something more recent than his 7th grade Pop Warner pic; 3.) The predominantly Giants and Jets fans that make up the live draft audience will boo ANY pick if it is not for one of their teams – Gandhi, himself, could be up there holding a jersey but if it’s not the right colors, forget about it…and lastly, that Joel will tell me at the beginning of the draft (and anytime I venture into the room after that) there is a chance the Chiefs will draft an Iowa Hawkeye (his college equivalent football obsession).

But that is just my CliffsNotes version, while Joel is in it for the whole Director’s uncut edition. First, Joel would like to give a shout-out to the “Programming Powers That Be” who decided to take this event and change it from a one-day event held on a relatively obscure channel to a three-day Primetime Extravaganza played out on numerous major networks. Clad in his Chiefs paraphernalia (I guess in the event Romeo decides to stop by and ask his opinion personally), the big screen is blaring, the computer booted up on the infinitesimal chance that a fact has been missed, beverages and snacks at the ready so he is not hindered by human sustenance needs and he is locked down for the duration (I held my ground on renting a Johnny-on-the-Spot).

And then, before we know it, they are announcing the last player of the 2012 draft – Chandler Harnish, the player who gets to start his NFL career with the lovely moniker “Mr. Irrelevant” attached to his name. Really??? They couldn’t come up with something a little more hopeful like “Mr. Save the Best for Last” or “Mr. The World Loves an Underdog”? I asked Joel if there was ever a Mr. Irrelevant who became a star player that earned me one of Joel’s patented “pat the little missus on the head” looks, which I have endured over these many years. This look is directed at me anytime I ask what I think is a reasonable question but which “Chief Rainman” thinks EVERYONE should know. Since he is not 12, he does not preface it with a drawn out “DuH…” but believe me, it is implied. After I roll my eyes and give him MY patented “For God’s sake, just TELL me” response, he pauses and then says with a flourish…..”Ryan Succop.” The Chiefs’ very own Ryan Succop – I can only wonder….Was it just a coincidence that someone with the last name of Succop became successful? Or was it a preordained message from the cosmic forces on the game plan that Ryan would someday need to break the Mr. Irrelevant curse and fulfill his destiny?

With the last parting words from Chris Berman or Rich Eisen, depending on which channel you are listening to, the 2012 draft comes to a close. The imprint of Joel’s backside on the couch will soon be a memory, his complaints of the Chiefs not picking Hawkeye player Marvin McNutt a mere whisper in the wind. All that is left is for each team to get their final grade for their draft picks – Oh no, we don’t wait to SEE how this draft actually plays out – before the first ball is snapped or the first QB is sacked, the drafts are graded (I really wish my college educational system had embraced this concept and given me my grades BEFORE I took my tests – think of all the time I could have saved on that pesky studying).

I will leave all of the statistical analysis about the draft that will be written and dissected and discussed to my fellow AA writers, but I would like to feel that I, too, am contributing to the betterment of the game of football. So on that note, a shout out to the 2012 Mr. Irrelevant – Give it your all at training camp, learn the plays, hone your skills but in the end, I have one word of advice for you….Succop, my friend, Succop…

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