Chicago Sun-Times

NFL makes first day of 2010 draft meaningless to Bears

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The 2010 NFL draft has already become anticlimactic for Bears fans.

The first day of it, any way.

In a move to squeeze every possible prime time minute out of the draft, the league has made the draft a three-day event and will kick things off on Thursday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. with the first round taking place that evening. With the Denver Broncos already owning the Bears' first-round pick as the final part of the bounty they paid for Jay Cutler, it might be a slow evening.

Rounds two and three will be held on Friday starting at 5:30 p.m., and the rounds four through seven will begin starting Saturday morning at 9 a.m.

"We continue to look for ways to make the draft more accessible to more fans," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "Moving the first round to prime time on Thursday night will make the first round of the draft available to fans on what is typically the most-watched night of television."

The league estimates that the evening action will conclude at 10 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

It could make for more jockeying on Friday and Saturday before the thing gets started again. It used to be that picks at the top of the fourth round were a hot commodity. Teams finished up the third round on Saturday night and started evaluating their boards. When they saw a player they really wanted, they'd be motivated to pick up the phone and try to get in position at the top of the fourth round when the action resumed Sunday morning. Now, teams will be able to examine their boards over the course of two evenings and plot potential moves.

We can't imagine this is something that agents are looking forward to dealing with. When an agent has a client with hopes of being a high pick and he starts to slide, it's never a great position for the agent, who can be an easy target for the player to blame.

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16 Comments

This has got to be one of the dumbest ideas Goodell has ever had. This doesn't, "make the draft more accessible to more fans" because the first day (Thursday)starts at 7:30 pm EST, which is 4:30 pm PST. Most West Coasters will be at work during that time, and Friday is even worse, starting at 3:30 PST.

I'm a Bears fan and I know the first round will be a bit boring for us, but I'm still a huge NFL draft guy. NFL Draft WEEKEND was tradition. Now that the tradition is gone, the Draft will be less enjoyable and harder to watch because of where I live. Thanks Roger.


It's a dumb idea but I guess they will get more ad revenue out of it. "It's all about bucks, the rest is conversation." Gordon Gecko!

If the NFL really wanted to milk prime time why don't they go back to the old system with seventeen draft rounds. Then they could pace it over a week's time. That offensive tackle from Palooka State during the third day of the last hour...mmm, can't wait.

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It's not when it starts, but the amount of time between each pick. Why not 10 mins on the 1st & 2nd round.?

I can understand why some people will hate this move, but look on the bright side. If you can take off work early enough on Thursday, and take off work on Friday, then it becomes a whole long weekend of draft enjoyment. Just something to think about.

Could not agree more, Mike S. As a transplanted Bears fan on the west coast, 4:30pm and 3:30pm will essentially mean I'm missing out on the vast majority of the most exciting parts of the draft. Brilliant move Goodell. I have been a loyal draft fan since I was just a kid. Haven't missed a single minute in years. It's even become a tradition with my friends to make it a "guys' weekend" for the draft.

The draft is mainly followed by long-time, loyal and fervent NFL fans; NOT casual NFL fans. Not only do I think this will fail in its attempt to lure casual fans, I think it will succeed in marginalizing many of the loyal fans.

You just lost one viewer, Goodell. Thanks for screwing me.

What a freakin retarded idea. i like goodell's strict approach with the players but his draft and pro bowl ideas have been terrible. we are losing our tradition. next thing you know the super bowl will be held in a prime time Thursday slot!

The best way to render the first day meaningless is to win the Super Bowl.

Actually that would be a good trivial pursuit question for Brad. Brad, what would happen if the last picking team on, say day one, decided to wait until just before the clock started the second day to make their first round pick?

I live like 15 time-zones away so personnally I don't really mind, but like Brad indicates, doesn't this make for more interesting and fun-to-watch jockeying and dealing by the teams? I'm all for that.

I'll bet people who watch the draft also watch the mindless crap that is about all that's on TV with the exception of PBS and one or two programs per week. Most of the draftees disappear once training camps are over and are never heard from again.
Did anyone really expect something for the fans from the NFL? That'll be the day.
Bah humbug

I like the idea because the draft comes a couple days sooner. I know it's all about money, but I still support the idea.

The Bears will have a late 1st rounder when they trade Urlacher or Vasher next spring?

dahli you're nuts if vasher gets that kind of trade attention. hopefully you are right because a 1st rounder for #31 would be great.

this draft idea is not well thought out at all, for reasons posted above. hardcore NFL fans are indeed getting marginalized and i hope this falls flat on its face.

Thursday nights I'm usually so exhausted from work and busy checking my kids' homework or making sure that they're being picked up from practice that I am lucky just to get a 30 minute block of time to watch the Office, so I guess I am happy the Bears don't have a 1st round pick. I'm afraid that Goodell will now mess with the game times of Sunday games. I heard a few years ago that Goodell was considering pushing the start times for Sunday games to later. I believe that part of the success of the NFL has to do with the Sunday times. Most families can actually watch the games. I don't think it is a coincidence that the two most popular professional sports (MLB and NFL) in America have their games during the times kids can watch (summertime and Sundays). Sure, maybe the NFL might make a few extra bucks now, but how much long term would they hurt by not having kids grow up watching the games? Don't screw up a good thing, Roger.

National Football League.When i was young,My father paly it with me ometimes .Although he was so busy.

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