Comparison: Watching the Democratic National Convention vs. watching the NFL Draft

posted: 27 August, 2008

Both the DNC (or the RNC, I guess) and the NFL Draft share one major characteristic - that one must really stretch the imagination to consider either to be entertaining, yet both are watched by millions anyway.

The NFL Draft I always thought was the worst form of entertainment - it's just waiting for someone to walk to a podium and read a name, repeated every ten minutes for two days.    That the NFL has managed to convert the draft into a major televised event says a lot about the success they've had marketing their own product.  The draft comes two months after the Super Bowl has ended, when NFL fans are in a huge drought of football-related entertainment.  They could probably televise kids playing Madden and get good ratings at that point. 

The conventions aren't as successful on this front as they occur in the middle of a ridiculously long election season, when many people are starting to get sick of it all.  Thankfully, the convention, which is largely four days of people making speeches, only occurs every four years - well, I guess there is a party convention every year but we only see 24/7 media coverage during presidential election years.  

At least the NFL Draft can be surprising, though only the first round is really interesting and not even consistently. I can't imagine being surprised by anything during this convention.  Unless Joe Biden drops the F-bomb or something, I'm sure any "excitement"  will be excrutiatingly minor.  As acclaimed as HRC's speech was last night, it was just her doing what she had to do.  This is where the phrase 'towing the party line' comes from, I guess.  Even Chris Matthews, who loves the charades of electoral politics more than anyone else on TV, just said that the roll call hasn't been meaningful since Adlai Stevenson chose his VP through it. The MSNBC guys are bored and keep talking over top of the silly state history speeches, just like Mel Kiper Jr. discussing why one draft pick's stock has gone up or down since the combine.

I vowed never to watch the NFL Draft again about 2 years ago, and I don't think I'll ever turn back.  Yet I'm glued to this meaningless roll call vote even though it's 1:27 AM and I have to work tomorrow.  Seeing some clips of college football players might be more interesting than this but I wouldn't get to see a bunch of Democrats in a calm mosh pit.

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