Saturday, April 18, 2009

So I obsess over a few things

I'm a geek. You might not have noticed by now but... yeah I kid. All four of you noticed on Day One.

I'm a comic book geek, movie geek, scifi geek, Trekkie (yes, I accept the term), XPhile, lit geek, cat geek, cheese geek, tall-long-haired-brunette-with-huge-tracks-of-land geek (I have a fetish, so? especially if she looks great in a Wonder Woman cosplay uniform), and sports geek.

I know that last bit sometimes doesn't square with all the other geekdoms - well other than the cheese and the tall brunettes with yabbos geekdoms - but, yeah, I get it from my mom's side of the family (poor Grampa was a Cubs (or was it teh Braves?) fan, Mom knows ever syllable of the War Eagle fight song). And having grown up in the Tampa Bay region from 1977 on, I got hooked early to the Tampa Bay Bucs pro football team (having them go to the playoffs when I was nine started the fan crush). So yeah, I follow a lot of football, college and pro.

I also obsess over the annual NFL rookie draft.

Not everyone gets the draft, I know. It's a hyped-up non-event in their eyes. No game is actually played out. No one really wins, or really loses (unless you're the Browns or Lions or Raiders, they haven't drafted smart in years!). It's a real-life version of Fantasy Football where REAL team owners get to select newbies to fill out their rosters, nothing more.

Except, except, except... There's a reason thousands of fans do follow Draft Day, or at least the First Round.

How the teams draft can tell you how the coaches and owners are thinking about their team's chances for the coming season. Who a team drafts can tell fans what to expect, what holes in the team line-ups needed to be filled. Like a few other team sports (baseball and hockey for example), pro football has a whole line-up of diversified player positions that require specific skills, so a team drafting a Wide Receiver with their first overall pick is telling fans they're trying to upgrade their passing attack. Like basketball, football draftees can immediately see playing time on the field their rookie year (baseball and hockey both have farm systems in which rookies can hide for years before seeing pro-level play time), so a top draft pick can become an immediate star first game of September.

Another thing is that NFL Draft Day is a time when both the college level fandom and pro level fandom intermix. College football fanaticism is actually bigger than the pro game (more schools, more regions, more history), and not all college fans are pro fans (and vice versa). Draft Day is when fans from Wake Forest can gather to watch a top-rated Defensive linesman can get taken by the Green Bay Packers, or the Oakland Raiders, or the Cincinnati Bengals (poor guy) or the New York Jets (whose fans will boo him anyway. Lord, those guys would boo the Pope if they could).

Draft Day IS a day for the fans, because it gives fans a chance to gather at local watering holes (or at a team's draft party, or AT the draft in New York City itself) and bicker and whoop and praise and curse the team they follow.

It's a HUGE day for me, because like I told you earlier the Bucs are mah team. And from 1984 to 1996, the Draft Day was really the only real fun day a Bucs fan could have, trust me we were THAT bad a franchise those years. So yeah, I'm into the draft.

This April 25th, I hope to gather with a few Bucs fans in the bay area (perhaps Oldsmar, there's a Buffalo Wild Wings there that might have wifi handy), and maybe even liveblog it from this blog. Hope you don't mind... but it's not like I've got a lot of reasons to write about librarianship these days...

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