Why Do We Love The NFL Draft?

The biggest story of the NFL draft today, by far, was the Cleveland Browns and their first round picks of Joe Thomas (OT) at #3 and Brady Quinn (QB) at #22. As a tribute to my roommate who is a die-hard Brownie, I decided to let him guest-write a column on the blog (even if it is to the dismay of fellow Raven fans). He will share his thoughts about a memorable day for a franchise that has been down in the NFL cellar for so many years and is notorious for draft-day debacles and first round busts.

Here it is:

At the end of every April, the sports world seems to stop for the NFL draft. Never mind the NBA or the NHL playoffs, the draft is all that matters. But why? Well the obvious reason is because ESPN and every other major media outlet tells us so. But they also throw NASCAR down our throats, and I still haven’t bought into that.

The true reason is that the NFL draft can provide fans with hopes and dreams like no other sport. The draft provides the type of fresh start that is only attainable in real life by joining the witness protection program. As a die-hard Cleveland Browns fan, I have been through many drafts with highly touted picks. Some come through, but unfortunately many for the Browns don’t (Tim Couch, William Green, Gerard Warren, Courtney Brown). But no matter what, the draft always provides hope that eventually a pick will come through and my team will return to glory. And I know that every NFL fan feels the same way about their team and their picks.

When the Browns drafted Joe Thomas I was excited, but surprised, that they passed up on a quarterback who had himself dreamed of playing for the Browns. Now all the attention was on Brady Quinn, who as the 4th rated player on Mel’s big board, and would certainly be drafted very soon. Yet, as team after team passed on Quinn, we all began to wonder how far he could fall. It seemed like the farther Quinn fell, the more sympathetic of a figure he became, and the more the announcers and media proclaimed their disbelief that the future Tom Brady or Dan Marino was still available. (By the way I didn’t make those comparisons up. http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/story/10155503). Certainly many later round teams and fans began to hope that he would fall to them.

Quinn and Condon were relatively cool under the intense scrutiny, which will certainly help the duo as the quarterback struggles through the inevitable rookie learning curve. Finally, at pick 22, the Browns pulled the surprise of the draft and the audience was finally spared from having to repeatedly see a picture of a 4-year old Quinn in Browns gear. When the Browns drafted Brady Quinn I could barely talk. My roommate, a proud Ravens fan, actually congratulated me on the pick as if somehow I had something to do with it. And of course, I accepted.

Today is a new start for every team and NFL fan. Who knows what picks will actually turn into stars? Right now I really don’t care. All I know is that today I feel on top of the world. I hope you feel the same.

-Will Karim (Roommate of columnist Matthew Allinson)

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  • Ron

    After getting back form a concert, I just watched the 1 a.m. Sportscenter for post-draft recap. They’re still showing the picture of lil’ Quinn in the Kosar jersey. I’ve got a feeling we’re going to be seeing a lot of that in the next couple of months.

    As a fellow die-hard Browns fan (are any Browns fans not die-hard?), I’ve already noticed an attiduinal shift not only among the fans, but also the team itself and the media. Finally, the national media wasn’t only mentioning the Browns as the butt of a joke. Minutes after the Quinn pick, ESPN’s draft crew was circling the Browns’ dates with Oakland and Miami this season. Sportscenter lead with Phil Savage’s “people will look back at today as the day things turned around” quote. We may still only be the fourth-best team in our division, but at least there’s reason to hope now.

    Speaking of hope, here’s hoping Eric Wright keeps himself out of trouble. The last thing the Browns need is a Pacman Jones.

  • Here’s hoping Ted Ginn makes cuts toward the middle and John Beck is youthful as a 26-year old graduate…

  • Tom Brady MVP in 2008? Hard not to be when throwing balls to Moss and Stallworth.

  • Tucker Finley

    Kudos to the Browns for getting an OT and a QB for him to protect…. Tom BRady will have a wonderful year with Moss and Stallworth. This next season should be very exciting with all the offseason activity.

  • New England Patriots: We need more rings.