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2017 NFL Draft: The Cost of Guessing...

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In a crowded tavern near my home...

Swine Bastard!

...“The Blarney Boar” sounds like a pub you’d find in Great Britain. Founded by Maggie Shane in the high plains of New Mexico, its name was inspired by her ex-husband, or so the story goes...

Built as a sports bar with a wild west edge, as you walk in, you’ll be met by “Swine Bastard” right inside the doorway. Known universally as one of the worst taxidermy efforts ever attempted, the awkwardly mounted head of a tattered wild boar kind of stares at you as you walk by. Instead of glass eyes, it looks like the challenged taxidermist used black golf balls, which look like they were placed in the poor beast’s skull with a hammer.

The bar’s mascot, Swine Bastard has made Maggie Shane loads of money over the years. Whenever someone starts whining about how bad their day was, or how horrible life has treated them, Maggie will walk to the back bar and ring this huge, dented bell. In a well embedded Pavlovian response, the crowd of locals immediately starts ordering shots of liquor. When they arrive, they’re hoisted in the air, and all in the bar turn to the complainer, then point at the mange bedraggled boar. A chorus call of “Swine Bastard!” rattles the rafters. As drinks are downed, Maggie slides the bill for all the shots to the whiny, sissy-person...

I’m telling you this, because NFL Mock Draft fans really have to be careful when they’re in “The B.B.” I know from personal experience, that if you sound too impassioned as you discuss the NFL Draft and your favorite team’s roster needs in this bar, there’s the very real chance you can go broke and never really understand why? I might also add, keeping an open tab with Maggie could cost you too. She has a tendency to judge whether a whining customer can afford a round of drinks for the whole bar. If he or she can’t in her eyes, the monstrous sum somehow appears on your (my) tab... The last time my friend Brandon and his wife visited me, I took them to the Blarney Boar. I almost had to take out a second mortgage to cover my friend’s passion tinged NFL Draft observations...

Yet, there’s a lesson to be learned here. Mock Drafting - and the NFL Draft in particular - can become a borderline obsession for some (re: me). So here’s a few ways to get a handle on things before the NFL Draft starts on April 27th:

Step 1 - Admit you have no power over the NFL Draft. None! Maybe even less than none? Mock Drafting is an enabler, and draft analysts CAN be the devil. I say can be, since if some of them agree with my draft theories they’re obviously messengers from God himself...

Step 2 - Believe that a power greater than ourselves can return us to sanity... Maybe, all it takes is to let that subscription to ESPN Insider go? Maybe its alcohol, or the rising cost of computer displays after hurling them against the wall. Dig deep, and find a way to seek out a happy place where draft picks slide away faster than Maggie’s famous High Desert Oyster Shooters. (She won’t say what’s in them, but she swears anyone with a “shell fish” allergy can eat them?)

Step 3 - You have to decide to turn your NFL will - and football draft life - over to anyone other than yourself. I mean, look what happened when my friend Brandon turned his Mock Drafting over to his wife? At the very least, his Mock-s had fewer long snappers taken in the first round.

You just have to accept that Mock Drafting is a fool’s errand. This being the case, feel free to let me do all the Mock Drafts you might have swirling around in your brains. OK, there’s a small fee. But think of the pressure I’m taking off your shoulders?

Step 4 - Bite the proverbial bullet, and admit some - or ALL, in the case of my friend Brandon - of your previously well divined NFL Draft prognostications may very well have been “un-right.” Some of you may remember my past profound stance that Aaron Dobson - WR, Marshall/New England Patriots - was a slam-dunk draft pick? Eeek! Man o’ man was I un-right on that one...

Step 5 - Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself, and make sure you know how to laugh at others without hurting their feeling. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gotten used to having an almost continuous laugh track following me around for years. But if I turn to see where its coming from, the laugh track stops, and everyone is looking away at something or other? That this happens every time I make an observation about the NFL Draft is purely a coincidence...

***

May you and your families Easter Sunday be blessed with joy and laughter. Mine is, as I sit here and write this little article at the bar in The Blarney Boar. That scraggly boar-head hasn’t heard his name called all morning, and Maggie seems to be studying the crowd closely right now... A look of anticipation in her eyes, I wonder why she’s turned her attention my way?