BALTIMORE, MD –
League commissioner Roger Goodell and the NFL announced Monday (April 6) that the NFL draft will be virtual.
Actually, the writing was on the wall last week after EA Sports announced that it will be apart of the NFL draft. NFL expert analyst Ian Rapoport shared the information on his Twitter over the weekend.
As the NFL works on a virtual draft experience for prospects, 2 interesting notes:
— EA Sports will create a virtual moment of the prospect walking out on stage meeting the Commissioner.
— Each prospect will choose a HS to receive a $2,500 grant towards their football program.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 3, 2020
I expected an official announcement from Goodell this week. According to him, this year’s NFL draft will be a completely virtual experience. Per ESPN, the team’s personnel will handle their operations from their homes. There will be no group gatherings.
“We have made this decision for several reasons,” Goodell shared in a memo sent to the 32 NFL teams on Monday. “All clubs will not have access to their facilities, which is contrary to the fundamental equity principle that all clubs operate in a consistent and fair way.”
A good option.
It appears that the NFL has explored other options. It’s likely that the NFL will be the first league to return to play after the virus. We’ve gone weeks without sports and the televisions have been showing re-runs of sports history.
Even if this is the only option, it’s a good one.
“Moreover, we want all NFL personnel to comply with government directives and to model safe and appropriate health practices,” Goodell continued. “Our staff will carry out its responsibilities in the same way, operating in separate locations outside of our offices. And after consulting with medical advisers, we cannot identify an alternative that is preferable from a medical or public health perspective, given the varying needs of clubs, the need properly to screen participants, and the unique risk factors that individual club employees may face.”
A bright option.
We’ve been in the dark for a few weeks now.
Honestly speaking, watching re-runs of old sports moments serves as a tragic reminder that I didn’t need. Something about seeing the television fixated on the past makes me nervous about the future. I can only tolerate a few moments of it before I have to change the channel.
Maybe “nervous” isn’t the right word. But, definitely concerned.
When the NFL Draft airs April 23rd-25th on ESPN (because I forgot to mention that), the whole world will be watching. It’s the first moment of light that will show that the sports world still lives on. It’s kind of like, this draft could show that the world will return to its axis one day. The league is preparing for a future by bringing in the future of the league.
They’ll be bringing in the future with us watching. We’ll be reminded that there will be a tomorrow for us.