Moving back to what LinkedIn refers to as “the greater New York City area” (read: Hoboken, New Jersey) affords one many luxuries not readily available in other parts of the country. Chief among them are actual bagels, the eternal winter and nightly concerts including bands you’ve never heard of in Brooklyn. One of the underrated aspects of the city, however, is the availability of free events featuring fairly prominent public figures at which you might learn a thing or two about a thing or two. When I learned that three of today’s most important Internet sports writers were gathering at Le Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village to discuss the acclaimed Madden NFL video game series, naturally I had to attend.
The NFL Draft is the biggest football event of the year, behind only the Super Bowl. Since its inception, the Draft has grown from a collection of anonymous dudes in a room picking college players to a television ratings bonanza that is broadcast in primetime and spans three days. The NFL Network now provides coverage from the early NFL Combine, and you can now catch footage live from the Pro Days of the Draft’s biggest stars.
But undeniably, the worst bi-product of the NFL Draft’s ascension from non-event to the blockbuster of the NFL’s offseason is the endless cycle of mock drafts and marginally updated mock drafts. The NFL Draft keeps Draft experts in business the same way Game of Thrones has single-handedly kept the fake blood industry alive. Every few weeks, Draft experts produce articles that drum up the hype train of certain players while decrying the follies of others, who ran 40-times slightly slower than expected or failed to prance around their Pro Day with just the proper flair.
I’m not interested in mock drafts. I don’t want to read Mel Kiper’s predictions on how the NFL Draft will play out, like he’s Professor Trelawney trying to read tea leaves. I don’t want to know who these teams will draft, but who they should be drafting.
James invited me to give a few thoughts on each of the games. I am not nearly the college football addict he is, though few are. My responses will be in italics. – Rory Masterson
Thanks for joining me, Rory! And thank you reader for allowing me to pick a slate of Top 25 games that I am only qualified for by way of too much time on my hands on Saturday. If you haven’t heard, Texas A&M and Alabama is on tap this week (EDIT: as well as some talk of impermissible benefits, y’all). But there are other items of interest in Texas too. Items like Longhorn football. I don’t even know if there is enough ESPN money that can save Mack Brown if things fall apart. Mack Brown schadenfreude not floating your boat? Well then, there’s Texas Tech and TCU. Ah, Kliff Kingsbury – the cure for the common Texas archetype. Not satisfied with that? Then, there’s Bay – wait, they have a bye week? Please play again, Baylor. That would be super (yes, please)! Enough Texas talk. It’s starting to smell like brisket in here – LET’S GET IT!