Back when the NFL Draft was a Saturday/Sunday affair, I had a couple buddies (brothers, actually, what up, Andrew and Brock?) who used to gather with some of their other friends for the entire weekend and make a huge party out of the draft. We're talking kegs, entire animals cooked on an open fire, gambling, the whole nine yards.
With the advent of the Thursday night/Friday night/all day Saturday format of the draft, their event took a cataclysmic hit, if not died altogether. To this day, not attending one of those weekend-long extravaganzas is one of my bigger regrets.
That said, Brock, Andrew and their draftophile buddies are about the only ones for whom the change in format isn't working.
The three-day draft format has been a home run for the league -- three days of coverage instead of two, and two of those days in prime time. Roger Goodell has had some shitty ideas as commissioner (fortunately, most of them haven't made it to "implementation" phase), but the three-day draft isn't one of them.
Other than my friends' chicken-fried draftapalooza, the only other casualty of the full-weekend draft's demise has been full-on binge drinking. The Thursday night telecast of the first round makes it hard for any sane person who values his job to go balls out with the booze on Night One.
And the three-day format makes imbibing for the whole draft something that only a person with the liver of three John Granatos could handle.
So when I do my first ever Battle-Drink card for the NFL Draft, I want to make sure that it's very "Friday and Saturday friendly," allowing you to keep the party going all weekend and making even the least interesting parts of the draft to the casual fan somewhat intriguing.
So without further ado, here is the summary of this year's Battle-Drink BINGO card for the NFL Draft:
B ("Sip") column: The buzzword column. Anytime that Mel Kiper, Todd McShay or any of the talking heads on ESPN's telecast utters the phrase in a square, take the corresponding number of sips. I ('Gulp") column: The combine column. Anytime any of the aforementioned talkers mentions one of the characteristics in this column, take the corresponding number of gulps.
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N ("Chug") column: The television production column; all of these items are related to the ESPN broadcast. Even the first one about SEC players is peripherally related as ESPN and the SEC announced their partnership on a new network this week.
G ("Shotgun") column: More production elements, including possible drinks during potential draft-day interviews. If Peyton, Eli or Archie Manning gets interviewed (or Danieal Manning, for that matter), that will be a weekend changer for you.
O ("Shot") column: And it wouldn't be a draft without having to do a few shots, so I added a handful of inevitable ones here. Eventually, Tyrann Mathieu and Marcus Lattimore and maybe even a punter will be drafted, so have your liver prepared.
Enjoy the draft this weekend!