If the NFL Draft is its own sport, its own separate entity, then it probably ranks somewhere in between hockey and soccer on the grand list of this country’s most popular pastimes ... Eh, who are we kidding? It probably fits into the Top 3, somewhere in between actual NFL games and college football.
In 2013, the first round of the draft on ESPN did a 4.1 TV rating nationally. A four-freakin’ one! For reference, only HBO’s Game of Thrones can compete with that type of number. GOT did a 3.9 last week. The second place show, Real Housewives of Atlanta, did a 1.9. The NHL semifinals did an 0.7. MLB’s Sunday night game did an 0.5. It should also be noted that the 4.1 didn't include the NFL Network draft coverage numbers. In summ, football and football-related things only garner these type of numbers in today's world.
So we know that the NFL Draft is now the definition of an “event.” And Roger Goodell, ever the capitalist, is now about to truly treat it like one.
New York Post writer Bart Hubbuch tweeted out Wednesday that an NFL source tells him that eight different cities (Boston, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Orlando, Chicago, Los Angeles, Arlington, Texas and Canton, Ohio – site of the NFL Hall of Fame) have applied to host the 2015 draft. This would lead one to believe that there is already an “application process” in place.
Beyond the fact that our dear old Draft is about to become a rolling stone, there is another “futuristic” factor in play. Hubbuch’s source says that the NFL could hold the draft in separate cities … SIMULTANEOUSLY! The gall of this Goodell guy, huh?
Beyond the fact that the Jets’ first round pick could soon be booed live from three different arenas, we could see team representatives make picks “virtually,” according to Hubbuch. Had we gotten on this whole cyber rep thing earlier:
Goodell: “Now selecting on behalf of the Oakland Raiders, live from Philadelphia, Al ‘Hologram’ Davis!”
Hologram Davis: “We’ll take da fast Watkins kid from Clemson.”
Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter: @BurkeMetroBOS