Today, as you read this, is one week from the best days of each spring.
Next Thursday — as I have for the past 15 years or so — will be the first of three days which I have continuously said should be national holidays.
It’s the annual NFL Draft.
Thursday night is the first round, Friday night is the second round and Saturday features rounds three through seven. I take each day of the draft off for a vacation day and enjoy game day food, the excitement of my team’s selections and delve online for anything and everything related to the proceedings.
Now, I know, this might be considered excessive by some, but I miss football. I like strategy. It’s the end of April and there hasn’t been a meaningful kickoff in months. I’ll take what I can get.
Playoff basketball in the NBA is all right, but it only takes watching the last 2 minutes of the game to figure it out. Plus the Miami Heat missed the playoffs by one game, so, no to the whole thing this year.
NHL hockey is great — especially in the playoffs — but the Florida Panthers didn’t qualify and, well, I don’t care about other teams.
Major League Baseball is under way, but it’s really early and the Miami Marlins rarely are on television, so, I’ll keep track, but I’m not losing my mind over it.
I’m addicted to football and I need a fix.
Now, before anyone else can say it, yes, I enjoy the Dodge City Law. It works for while, but it’s not the NFL, not my Miami Dolphins, there is no Draft, so, while it’s exciting and I am a fan, it’s not the same. It gives me a taste, but doesn’t quench my thirst.
So, I vacation during the Draft. I make barbecue or nachos, I drink beverages, I read everything on the internet, I stalk Dolphins’ beat writers for the latest rumors and I immerse myself into three days of NFL.
My children understood, letting Dad have his time. My wife understands, taking vacation days herself this year for the first time — allowing us to spend Draft Days together in football bliss.
I’ve made my case for this to be bigger than it is. I suggested Draft parties and large crowds discussing each pick on each day.
I even had some college students agree with this plan last year as they were picking up supplies at Dillons. I was there for diet black cherry soda, but that’s another column.
The NFL Draft is interesting. It explains how rosters are rebuilt, how executives make deals to gain more draft picks or to use picks to make a move up for particular players. It’s the business side of football and — to me — as interesting as game day strategy and moves.
So yes, I’ve been preparing. I constantly read stories from the Palm Beach Post, Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. I’ve been glued to NFL Network, watched hours of ESPN and listened to hours of talk radio.
Quarterbacks are too much of the conversation. There are 11 players per side during a game, yet every network focuses on quarterbacks. As good as Tom Brady is, there are always 10 other players on the field when he is.
The Dolphins were 10-6 and made the playoffs. Can they improve? Can Draft selections make a difference? Will last year’s rookies grow into NFL ready veterans, or will they be busts? Can the front office execute what the head coach, Adam Gase, wants them to?
These are questions which will be answered beginning next Thursday.
My annual vacation is here. I’m so excited and ready for the NFL Draft to get under way. My version of spring break begins next weekend.
What are you doing for the holiday?
Roger Bluhm is the managing editor of the Dodge City Daily Globe. Follow him on Twitter @roger_dcglobe or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.