American sports love the draft. The draft is a time when the teams who didn't do so can grab the best and brightest college players and try and help their struggling fortunes. Some teams draft very well, snaring players well down the list who turn out to be legendary (Tom Brady) some teams pick poorly and grab expensive top-end players who end up sucking (a list too long to pick just one). Occasionally a pick with mountains of hype behind them, turns out to actually be pretty good (Lebron James).
But the most fun with the draft comes from thinking: What would I do?
This weekend the National Football League held their draft in New York (and televised nationally). My Jets were picking 17th and I predicted (correctly) that they were going to trade up (swap picks with) another team to get a flashy quarterback from California. But this is why it's fun.
Instantly message boards that follow football were swamped with Jets fans discussing the ins-and-outs of the trade (three players and two other draft picks for one pick), was it worth it, how much will it help the team, and most importantly what would they have done.
So it becomes a time of imagination, when fans and commentators get to pretend to take over a team and decide what they would do with their picks. Yes, it's basically a role-playing game. In fact the whole thing is only 2xD20 away from being called a "quest".
But the most fun to be had with the draft (in any sport) is the question: if every current player was available and you had the first pick, who would you take?
- Basketball – Lebron James, that was easy
- Rugby – ummmm, a flanker, someone like Richie McCaw before he became Mr Injury… or a decent midfielder…um, oh fuck it, Richie McCaw
- Football – Christiano Ronaldo, he's good and will bring in fans
- Cricket – oh, like I know… one of those Indian openers would be pretty good I suppose, not a bowler
- American Football – this is one of those things where I almost know too much to decide, also it doesn't help that in American Football you are essentially picking two teams… I would take Michael Turner
So now it's your turn, you know that you can't help yourself.