Roger Goodell announced that all 32 NFL teams are required to practice strict social distancing throughout the duration of the NFL Draft. Team’s General Managers, coaches, scouts, owners, etc. will be essentially partaking in the most glorified version of a high-stakes fantasy football draft possible.
A multi-billion dollar industry that has been on the cutting edge of technology, analytics, research and development is now at the mercy of Jon Gruden’s WiFi connection.
Typically, these teams are holed up in literal ‘war rooms’ with a full staff of I.T., secretaries, assistants, interns and high powered computers, servers and backup systems in place. This year, thanks to COVID-19, there will be 60 and 70-somethings trying to have serious conversations about mortgaging draft capital, multi-million dollar athletes and make monumental selections and trades while their toddler wanders into the room, completely alone.
C’mon, this is a living cartoon.
Teams are reportedly concerned about hacking of draft boards, ‘Zoom’ conference calls, teams stealing draft boards and even playbooks!
Bill Belichick after hacking every other NFL teams' Zoom accounts during the now-virtual NFL Draft. pic.twitter.com/GMBiWXm3H1— Adam Greenbaum (@Greenbaumly) April 7, 2020
During this COVID-19 pandemic, I’m sure that many of you are working from home and have experienced some sort of frustrating problem with Skype, Zoom, your internet connection, device or something of the sort.
Now imagine being given five minutes to pick which 21-year old that you’re going to make a multi millionaire while your dog won’t stop barking at the wind.
In one of my fantasy football leagues, one of my buddies tried to take David Johnson in the first round of the 2019 draft. He ended up accidentally taking David Johnson, tight end, Pittsburgh Steelers, who has three career receptions.
Now imagine the anger of Kevin Colbert when his page hasn’t refreshed in 10 minutes and he tries to draft someone whose already been drafted 10 picks ago.
This won’t actually happen, this isn’t actual fantasy football, but the idea of these ‘Football Guys’ getting pissed off big time is hilarious.
The Ravens have a 15-man analytics department headlined by 25-year-old wiz kid and Yale graduate (who majored in Cognitive Science with a concentration in Behavioral Economics) Daniel Stern on the case. They will be running laps around the Redskins non-existent analytics department. I would assume Ron Rivera and Daniel Snyder are operating on Windows 2000 still.
There are teams who are going to absolutely take advantage of this wild west situation and others that will plummet. Bill O’Brien is so worried about the draft, apparently he’s just going to trade every single pick for an expensive/over the hill player. That might be for the best, BOB. . .
To be a fly on the wall of every NFL GM in their home office, hearing them yell at their wives who try to help restart the modem and curse at their computer while trying to make a trade, only to get hung up on by a confused and offended peer is one of my dreams come true.
Jerry Jones: Hey, Chris (Ballard), it’s Jerry! Look. . . what would it take to get that thirty fourth pi. . . (yelling at his computer) damn it you piece of s***! Always givin’ me trouble!
Chris Ballard: Jerry? Hello?
Jerry: You mother****** stupid son-of’a’
Chris: Screw you, Jerry!
Jerry: Ahh. . . there we go. Chris? Ya’ there?
Jerry: Dang flab it!
I would personally pay a $99 Pay-Per-View like fee to be able to have a live stream of these GM’s and coaches during this draft.
I can’t wait to hear all the horror stories from the frustrations, stress, near trades, mess ups and other comedy that goes down. May the odds be ever in your favor, NFL front offices.