It’s Wednesday, April 26, 2017, less than 24 hours before the day of the 2017 NFL Draft.
6:51 AM – My alarm clock on my phone goes off, but instead of struggling to hit snooze like most days, I turn it off, sit up, and stare straight into my closet. Most days, this is a sign that your body is trying to get up even if the rest of you isn’t ready yet. Today, though, it’s my brain running through everything I need to finish before draft day.
7:33 AM – After showering and getting ready for the day, I sit down at my kitchen table and begin scrolling through Twitter with a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios in front of me. (Even sports journalists need their fiber). For most people – newspapers, news websites, or even blogs are their go-to when looking for what’s happening – but for me, it’s Twitter. Think about it, anything important happening in the world of sports is going to be on a Twitter timeline somewhere. The secret it to just scroll long enough to find it.
8:00 AM – Okay, enough procrastinating, it’s time to start working. So, like all stay-at-home journalists, I head to my desk, plug the laptop in and start working. The only problem, it’s the day before the draft.
I know, most of you who stuck this article out are thinking, “yeah, it’s the day before the draft. There are plenty of things to talk about.” Well, you’re wrong.
Who will the Steelers draft? Done. What surprise players are options? Done. Steelers Mock Draft #100? Done. Why this player does/does not work? Done.
It’s the day before the draft people! If you haven’t gotten every aspect, hidden crumb, and tiny crack in the wall covered you aren’t doing your job. The Grinch would leave more behind than the media has.
“So, what do we do as readers?” you ask. Here’s my advice – enjoy the day. You have 24 hours before the Christmas of football, go and enjoy it. Look up mock drafts and get a feel of who your team is looking at. Dig into names you want/don’t want your team to draft. Study all the hard work the media has done and trust me; you’ll be even more fired up about tomorrow night.
Reminisce about the good and bad drafts of the past. If you’re a Steelers fan, talk about how great it is to have Martavis Bryant back. At this point, you’re doing everything the media is – finalizing your knowledge – but without writing it down. As someone who’s covered my fair share of drafts before, trust me, this day is almost as much fun as tomorrow.
For the people covering the draft, this is the day you learn everything you thought you already knew about every player out there. I don’t care if it’s Myles Garrett or your local community college if they get drafted, and you don’t know anything about them it’s going to be a lot of two-minute research and some embarrassing commentary.
Go shoot a round of golf and talk about who you’re hoping goes where. I do it every year with some buddies, and I learn more about players than I did by reading up on them. Or watch some ESPN, sit on your couch, and look up a bunch of mock drafts. Whatever your ideal pre-draft day consists of, go out and do it.
Today may not be the most entertaining day in terms of article releases. For the most part, the media is letting everyone know how to watch, listen, or follow the draft and when their team is picking each round. So, instead of digging for new information, go find some old.
Enjoy NFL Draft Eve. It may not be the most newsworthy holiday out there, but for all of us football fans, it’s one of the most exciting days of the year.
We’ll see you tomorrow.