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Post Draft Thoughts

NFL: NFL Draft Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports
  • I would like to laud NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for his conviction to keep the 2020 NFL Draft on schedule. Goodell showed exemplary prescience and leadership in standing up to the array of disgruntled GMs and TV analysts who wanted to postpone the draft.
  • What Goodell deserves greatest applause for—-is keeping on schedule for one group in particular: the draft prospects. The draft weekend should always be first and foremost a celebration of the prospects’ achievements and hard work.
  • That’s why—-having watched every NFL Draft since ESPN first aired it in 1980—-this was my favorite draft because it harkened back to the old days when the draft was primarily focused on the very reason why the draft exists: the prospects and their life journeys.
  • It was so refreshing to have a draft minus all of the gimmickry, pageantry, ostentation, pomposity and superficiality. In essence, the telecast traded in swanky, glitzy scenes draped in neon lights amidst raucous crowds from Las Vegas for the intimacy of recessed lighting and house lamps from a diverse array of Amercan kitchens and dens.
  • Major kudos to ESPN and the NFL Network—-for providing highlight tapes on well over 200 of the draft’s top prospects. As a Cardinals’ fan, I was delighted to see Trey Wingo, Mel Kiper, Daniel Jeremiah and Louis Riddick perform highlight segments for all 6 of the Cardinals’ picks. Right up until the 255th pick, the ESPN/NFLN crew were keeping their focus on the prospects. Amen and high praise for all of that—-all three days of it.
  • The tributes to the hospitals, medical staffs and coronavirus patients were classy and a poignant way to keep the current pandemic in proper perspective. Kudos to Roger Goodell, the NFL, Rich Eisen and all of the participants in the group Zoom chats for raising over $100 million dollars, to aid in helping the medical staffs and the victims of the virus.
  • The music breaks were well timed, not overdone and the song choices were outstanding. All of these gestures smacked of deep and profound sincerity.
  • The one major cause for concern that struck me very vividly was the preponderance of white owners, GMs and head coaches juxtaposed with the preponderance of prospects and families of color. Did you notice the disparity?
  • It’s alarming that in 2020 there still appears to be the perpetuity of racial stereotyping when it comes to “brain trust” leadership and the “work force.” I absolutely recognize and respect how hard everyone has worked to become an NFL GM or head coach. However, the optics, particularly at the GM position are troubling when it looks like a fraternity of middle aged white men.
  • I refuse to believe that there aren’t equally qualified GM candidates of color. Heck, I spent the entire pre-draft season profiting from the insights of Louis Riddick (ESPN) and Bucky Brooks (NFLN). And a number of others including Charles Davis and Willie McGinness.
  • The two sources of comfort from the troubling racial disparities, at least to my own way of thinking, is the exciting emergence of NFL QBs of color—-at least the old stereotypes at the QB position no longer exist (2 of the 4 QBs drafted in the 1st round are QBs of color)—-thus, this provides a strong ray of hope that we will once see a day where NFL leadership teams are racially diverse.
  • The second source of comfort is knowing how handsomely the draftees will be paid. They are the ones playing the game and putting themselves on the line, thus they deserve the highest levels of compensation for their hard work.
  • Ultimately, I believe the 2020 NFL Draft was an outstanding way to bring people together at a time when people are feeling so isolated, worried and anxious. The draft attracted a record viewership of 8.4M across all three days.
  • This draft also provided the participants and the viewers with a first-hand look at how technology can make everyday communication that much more facile, meaningful and accessible, especially at a time when people are forced to be “physically distancing”.
  • Where Function Follows Form—-I came away from the draft feeling very strongly that “we are all in this together.” I hope you did too.
  • Therefore, for that and the opportunity to delight in the accomplishments of this year’s 255 draftees and the hope that these young men are bringing to their teams and fans, I feel especially thankful.
  • I don’t think I have ever felt more hopeful for the future success of our Arizona Cardinals.
  • This short video, courtesy of Red Sea Productions of the Cardinals draft picks is awesome.