Everyone has been told at some point “it’s not personal, it’s business”. It is a profoundly ridiculous comment. Of course it is personal, business is how we take care of our families, pay our bills, put food in our mouths. Same thing with sports– fans often think that it is separate from life. We think it is a time to take a break from what we know of as right and wrong. It is some sort of “pass” on good behavior. Consider how much time you spend watching, thinking about, or reading about sports, and just remember that it is probably a big component in our life. That is not a terrible thing, but keep in mind that things like the NFL draft are about real human beings. It is about young men that have worked and dreamed their whole lives to achieve a dream. It’s not about us as fans, and our need to build up our self-esteem in the event that our team wins. With that in mind, here are a few reminders of what the draft means to the people directly involved.
Jaylon Smith Gets A Team To Believe
Jaylon Smith, a top, if not THE top prospect in the draft, and an exceptional human being by all accounts, suffered a devastating injury in a bowl game, expected to fall sharply in the draft, gets a call from the Cowboys, much earlier than expected:
Gerald McCoy Keeps a Promise
Gerald McCoy, who promised his dying mother just a few years before that he would finish college. He went back for his junior year when he had been eligible to enter the draft. He dedicated draft day to her, and did finish his degree. This is also when a player “broke the hug” barrier with the commissioner. When pandering sports writers tried to stoke the flames of discontent between players and the league, and insecure, petty “fans” boo whenever they feel they need a boost to their self-esteem, McCoy made it evident that this is a moment of joy for a young man’s young life in which he has worked for with blood, sweat and tears.
The Prodigal Son
Tyrann Mathieu, a legendary knucklehead in college, who pretty much threw away his career as a football player, was taken in by ex teammate Patrick Peterson and his family, and turned his life around. He was taken by Peterson’s team in the third round, and since has become the model of accountability, thoughtfulness, and reason in a time when many are finding it very easy to blame everyone else for their problems.
Mark Ingram’s Dad Sends a Message
Mark Ingram gets a message from his dad read to him right after he was drafted. His father, who was in jail at the time, actually got time added to his prison sentence when he jumped bail to see his son play at Alabama.
A video the NFL put out of fathers’ comments after their sons got drafted:
Football is Family
Observe the meatheads in their natural environment as Gronk gets drafted. Evidence that it is not just a player that gets drafted, but that the whole family does.
A Draft Called-Shot
After Mike Mayock of the NFL Network called on Minnesota to pick Moritz Boehringer, they did just that.
Grow Up. Or Not.
A reminder that we don’t need to put on a front of being stuffy and serious about the draft, the NFL Network broadcast teams cracks up sophomorically at mention of a player named “Beavers”. What didn’t help is that the next pick announced was named “Bush”. Cut to commercial…
Pretend GM Makes a Big Call
Sonny takes Vontae Mack for the first pick overall, showing once again that character matters.