Look, I'm not gonna knock anyone for watching the NFL Draft. There's no accounting for some people's tastes. I mean, let's be honest: "Real Housewives" became a franchise, and that was nothing more than selfish, middle-aged, plastic surgery victims drinking and yelling at each other. So, it's not like anyone in this country can really knock anyone else for their viewing choices. At least people who watch the NFL Draft have a legitimate reason for doing it. I don't watch it, but then again, I watch "TNA Impact" every week, and I know going in that no less than 60% of that show is complete crap. So it's not like my tastes are the standard by which all things should be judged.
But I'm begging you, if you love the NFL Draft, you'll stop watching it for a little while.
Think of this as a precautionary tale. I used to love the NBA All-Star Game, and so did a lot of other people. Then, corporate America noticed. Now, I have to watch ESPN pretend that Jon Barry in a Darth Vader mask is funny or some sideline reporter ask Jason Alexander what he thinks of the game. It is painful to watch, and they don't even have the good sense to put it on before the game, where I can cheerfully ignore it. Nope, it's right in the middle of the game, during the timeouts. Timeouts brought to you to Haier (the official refrigerator of the NBA).
The All-Star Game became a grand spectacle of commercialism, with product placements, celebrities in awkward comedy skits, and the goddamn musical acts. Now, I don't love the NBA All-Star Game as much anymore. It's become overblown and filled with horseshit.
There used to be a coolness about watching the best players get together and play a game. Now, it feels like the NBA is telling me, "Yes, this is cool, and you should watch." Instead of it just being a fun game, it's become "Must See TV," because the hype machine tells you that it is, and four months out, the promotion has already begun. And look, Beyonce! Because now, the game can't just speak for itself. The game needs to draw in all demographics, since basketball lovers just aren't enough.
The simplicity of a cool idea has been lost in all the glitz and glamour that's been artificially added (by Hyundai, the official midsize sedan of the NBA). Look, I just wanna watch a game. If I want to see Bruno Mars or Kanye West in their skinny jeans, pantomiming through their latest hit, then I know where to find them. There's MTV2, BET, VH-1, E!, radio stations, the VMAs; a ton of other places that make way more sense than a basketball game. Everything doesn't have to be an opportunity to sell me something.
And it's not just the All-Star Game. Look at the Super Bowl. Look at the BCS Championship. Look at Wrestlemania. Instead of just being about the game (or the matches), it always has to be a "larger-than-life, multimedia, grand-spectacular-extravaganza!" Brought to you by Texas Instruments, official calculator of the NBA.
The worlds don't always have to merge, but that's not how corporate America see it. There has to be synergy, and cross-demographic appeal, or some other words that I don't completely understand. I don't even know if the ones I threw out were right. And this is the future of the NFL Draft if it gets too popular.
They've already gotten ahold of the Super Bowl. Don't let them do the same to the NFL Draft. Because once they have Rebecca Black performing before the first pick (brought to you by Summer's Eve, the official douche of the NBA), it'll be too late. You're dealing with Corporate America here, and they don't learn. Remember, Ashlee Simpson was booed at the 2005 Orange Bowl, and they still trotted her out there for the 2007 Rose Bowl, where she got booed again. These are not smart people. They will RUIN your cool little private party.
So do yourself a favor, stop watching the NFL Draft. At least for a little while. Just read the Yahoo! Sports coverage or something. It's already setting ratings records, so time is short. Please. I'm trying to save you from THEM.
And it probably won't hurt for you to cut back on the Combine, too.