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Fox draft article

Big Duke 6

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Am I ready for some football?
Of course. Always.

With Masters Sunday a snooze, 1-0 playoff hockey games and four-hour baseball games in April, couldn't we all use a little football right about now?

Hit List
7725860 Better watch out. The last place anyone wants to land is on The Henchman's Hit List. Follow along to see why.

But when I say "football" I mean Adrian Peterson making guys look stupid, a heat-seeking Bob Sanders flying to the ball and teams still kicking to Devin Hester. Not Roger Goodell reading names at a podium.

Sure, like all junkies, I'll watch all or most of the NFL draft. But I'll hate myself in the evening.

The NFL draft is to football what the Montgomery Ward bra section is to pornography. If it's all we have, it will have to do. But we don't have to love it.

This week's Hit List is seven rounds of gripe about seven rounds of hype.

1. Mock Drafts

Please make them stop. Mock drafts this time of year are like gall bladders. Everybody has one, but we can all live without them. The squeegee guy at the Mobil station on Vine has McFadden falling to the Patriots. (He also whispered to me, "Don't sleep on Gholston," but it turns out Gholston is a street in North Hollywood.) Most mock drafts, of course, are based on someone else's mock draft. One of these years one of the handful of guys who actually does his homework has to create a Sidd Finch-type player out of Shippensburg who runs a 4.3 and can do 37 reps at 225 just to see how many other people's mock drafts the guy will make it into.

Hated by Eagles fans and doubted by the experts, Donovan McNabb has carved out a solid NFL career. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

2. The Experts

The nice thing about the actual games is that when general managers turn out to have been wrong about their prized selections, their team loses and there are repercussions. (Unless you work for the Lions.) Oh, that there were consequences for the pundits. I mean, if a guy hypothetically says Marshall Faulk was a bad pick, insists Akili Smith will be better than Donovan McNabb and invites a dissenting colleague to Mike Williams' Hall of Fame induction, well, how about a one-year suspension from draft punditry? (Yes, those three prognostications were made by the same haircut.) Ironically, a GM like Charlie Casserly gets fired in part because of the deluge of criticism from the experts over the Mario Williams selection, but none of the experts get canned when Reggie Bush turns out to be a third-down back.

3. The Paint-Drying Pace

Hey, somebody finally noticed that the NFL draft lumbers. So this year instead of 15 minutes per pick in the first round, teams will have only 10. That's right, only 10 minutes to deliver an entire name even one as long as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie to the podium. Now it should zoom by. If the draft were a prospect it would have just lowered its 40 time from 9.3 to 6.2. With nothing going on between reveals except oft-repeated speculation the draft makes the Dancing with the Stars results show seem action packed. Last year on Day One of the draft the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 3-1, in the Bronx in a snoozer that was thrill-a-minute compared to the plodding exercise in name-reading taking place at Radio City Music Hall. Let's face it, the entire event could be done via fax. Solution: The team's draft clock should work like the clock in chess, rewarding quick decisions and announcements by having the remaining time carry over to later picks. On second thought, that could lead us to "the Detroit Lions are on the clock and have 45 minutes to screw up this pick."

4. All foreplay and cuddling

Most fans are waiting for one thing: to see who their team gets. Everything before that moment is pleasure for someone else and every moment after it is contemplative rumination on the ecstatic (or disappointing) moment. There just isn't enough bang for your buck to merit the time-suck we're getting pulled into next weekend. Especially when your team takes an offensive guard and you have to get excited about a highlight package of interior run blocking that is usually poorly shot and rarely any indication of the guy's promise as a pro. When you see a guy make three blocks, are you any better equipped to say whether he'll be Logan Mankins or Eugene Chung?

Kyle Brady has a special place in the gall bladder of Jets fans. (Ezra Shaw / Getty Images)

5. The bitter disappointment

With so much riding on the reveal at the podium, the wrong name can not only ruin your day but it could taint the next 10 years. No fans have suffered as much or as loudly as Jets fans. Who can forget their ardent "We want Sapp! We want Sapp!" chant right before the Jets took Kyle Brady? If you have forgotten, enjoy


6. The painful slide

Television programmers figured out years ago that people really enjoy watching their fellow citizens win a million dollars. In fact, NBC has proven you barely even need to have any actual show surrounding that compelling opportunity. Not as fun are close-ups on a guy losing millions as his name is not called over and over again. I'm sure there are people who delight in this, but I took no joy in Brady Quinn's humiliation last year. Every year someone starts to slide because of a health concern (Glenn Dorsey?) or a character issue (Randy Moss), and every year the cameras will be there to chronicle his squirming embarrassment. Don't know why, but this bothers me much more than seeing the same guy practically decapitated by Bob Sanders in the fall.

7. The interviews

Oy. Just when you thought it couldn't get any more boring than Goodie reading names at a podium, here come the interviews with the players. We know, you're very excited, it's a great opportunity, blah, blah, blah. Most of these guys don't need the NFL's tutorial on how to say nothing to media. They're already experts. You know what would jazz this up? Having Charles Gibson and George Stephanopoulos ask questions that have nothing to do with football. "You've just been selected with the number one overall pick, but I notice you don't wear a maize and blue lapel pin. Do you hate your alma mater?"

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