By Daniel Taylor, For The Miami Student
The best time of the year is football time. And in 2015, that's the entire year.
In January, we were knee deep in playoff football. February is, of course, the Super Bowl. In March, we watch college players wear the weirdest clothing Under Armour can provide while they run 40-yard sprints and jump as high as they can. Then April roles around, and we focus on the draft.
May ushers in days two and three of the draft, which is followed by speculation for an entire month. June is relatively quiet, providing only offseason workouts that the NFL Network will cover 24/7. Mini-camps in July bring the new season to life, and the preseason begins in August.
The sports world is pretty much dominated by the NFL all year. Despite all of the misdeeds the players have been guilty of (murder, domestic abuse, rape) the NFL remains atop the sporting pyramid in America.
That's all fine and well from August through February, but why do we care about the months March through July? Simple. We are addicted to football. The addiction cannot be broken.
One of the key cogs in the NFL's world dominance plan is the draft and the events that lead to it.
When the sport is in its most vulnerable position, the draft keeps the base fueled up and ready for the season.
During this time, the NBA and NHL are playing their respective two months of playoffs, and the MLB is just beginning. All three sports are turning at once, and what dominates a huge chunk of ESPN coverage?
The NFL Draft.
According to the Nielsen Company, 32 million people tuned in for the first round of the NFL Draft last year.
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The peak viewership for the NBA last year was the finals game, which 22.4 million watched.
Let that sink in.
What exactly do we tune in to
watch when we turn on the draft? What are we tuning into watch this season?
We watch as four or five network talking heads discuss the potential careers of 22-year-olds.
Not only do we watch, but we also get emotional!
Fans boo and hiss as the wrong picks are made. Entire fan bases explode if a team makes the boom pick.
When the Cleveland Browns chose Johnny Manziel last season, we witnessed something absurd.
Browns team president Alec Scheiner told ESPN last year that from the moment Manziel was selected through 5 p.m. the next day, the team sold over 2,300 season tickets for the 2014 season.
The thousands of people who bought season tickets because of Manziel were (un)fortunate enough to watch him start an astonishing one game. He threw 35 passes.
In other words, Manziel threw one pass for every 65 season tickets.
Good on you Cleveland, good on you.
We see incredible busts year after year, but on draft night these players are declared the next best thing. They are anointed the savior of the franchise.
Take JaMarcus Russell, for example, who was taken number one overall by the Oakland Raiders in the 2007 NFL Draft.
Russell was lauded as the Raiders' messiah.
Mel Kiper Jr., the ESPN draft expert, said Russell would be the equivalent of John Elway for the Raiders.
You hit the nail on the head with that one, Mr. Kiper.
Kiper also said Jimmy Clausen was the fourth best player in the 2010 draft … where is Clausen now?
I mentioned Kiper is an expert, right?
All mocking aside, the NFL Draft is one of my favorite events of the year.
The NFL has done an amazing job of marketing the event and makes it a must-watch TV program, at least for two days.
When the draft begins next Thursday, I'll be tuned in, like all of you, watching grown men walk across the stage to get a hat and jersey while they hug another man and take pictures.
Why? Because it is football, baby!