Because everyone else seems to love it. A New York Times’ article this week, for example, previews today’s Senior Bowl, and specifically its relatively newfound media exposure and frenzy. Some excerpts:
“This week’s practices in preparation for Saturday’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Ala. served as the beginning of an intense three-month evaluation that will culminate with the NFL Draft in April.
Much of this week’s work takes place in the lobby of the Renaissance Riverview Hotel, where players face an unending succession of questions from team officials on everything from injuries to past disciplinary problems to their willingness to shift positions.
By now, almost all players have agents, but a second tier of financial advisers and marketing representatives compete for their business in the lobby. Autograph hounds, a fixture in recent years, have been relegated to a parking garage.
As recently as three years ago, the Senior Bowl was a relatively low-key affair, with a local supermarket as its title sponsor. [And] ESPN limited its coverage to the game and news media coverage was sparse. Now the clothing manufacturer Under Armour is the title sponsor, blanketing its logo throughout the city and issuing players athletic wear for the week. The NFL Network broadcast[ed] two hours of live practice coverage each day, along with an evening wrap-up show and Saturday’s game.”
One player not in attendance however, is Matt Ryan of Boston College (pictured), predicted by most to be the first quarterback taken in the draft. But Ryan’s absence is not exactly a surprise—his agent Tom Condon (CAA) had client Brady Quinn forgo the event last year, and Condon has historically encouraged his QB clients to not partake in pre-draft workouts (which some argue may have contributed somewhat to Quinn’s ultimate draft day plummet last year). And another highly touted quarterback, Brian Brohm (represented by David Dunn) will also miss the game due to an ankle injury.
And be sure to check out SI.com’s “last stock report” following the final day of practices. At the quarterback position, projected first-rounder Andre Woodson and South starter Colt Brennan’s stocks appear to have dropped significantly, while likely second or third-rounders Chad Henne and John David Booty (the North starter) continue to impress scouts.