Friday, May 31, 2013

Meet Roger Goodell's Good Friend, The Easter Bunny

Is the Easter Bunny ruining the NFL offseason for NFL executives, rookies, and fans? No, it’s just Rodger Goodell and the financial wizards that run the NFL. Financially is moving the Draft back two weeks into May is a great idea, but as of now it’s only financially a logical move. Multiple members from front offices across the NFL have come out saying the idea hurts the flow of the offseason and the players effected by the offseason. 

"You'd be hard-pressed to find any football-side person in the league in favor of it,'' said one AFC general manager, who requested anonymity. "Unless you consider having more time for draft preparation a benefit, more time for paralysis by analysis, there's nothing to like. I've tried to think of one (positive), but I haven't yet.'' (, Teams not buying 'Easter Bunny' excuse for moving NFL Draft to May, by Don Banks)

The bigger problem is how the Goodell and the decision makers are explaining the change. The explanation that was given was that there is a scheduling problem with the normal Draft date and Radio City Music Hall. Really? The NFL can’t get the time slot that they have had for years? It’s a little hard to believe, and this anonymous NFC executive feels the same.

"The league coming out and saying this is because of the Easter Bunny and the show is almost embarrassing,'' one NFC club executive said. "This is the NFL. You think we couldn't get those dates or make something work if we really wanted to? This is about moving the draft into May for (TV network) sweeps month. I'd rather somebody be honest and come out and just admit that it's about ratings and TV issues. But I get it. I suppose we all should be thankful in that everybody in the league benefits financially when the league has success from a TV perspective.'' (, Teams not buying 'Easter Bunny' excuse for moving NFL Draft to May, by Don Banks)

No one is buying the Easter Bunny explanation and hopefully Goodell doesn’t expect them to. The truth of the move is that the NFL knows it can make more money through TV broadcast by moving the Draft into a better time slot. For the 2013 NFL Draft , NFL Network and ESPN combined to have 20 million viewers. That is a lot of viewers to see offensive tackles with the first and second pick. Like Kevin and I spoke about in the Sports Biz Report: Draft Edition, this wasn’t a star studded draft year like 2012 with names like Andrew Luck and RG3 leading the way. Moving the Draft into a more prime spot will net the NFL even more of a profit. 

The movement of the Draft causes more problems than benefits in the eyes of the masses as of now. It could be beneficial down the road, but we will have to wait to see. The problems that have been brought to light are a bigger gap between the Draft and Free Agency/The Combine, less time post Draft for the rookies to adjust, and more media speculation about the Draft that coaches and general managers hate. 

Some are speculating that the movement of the Draft is a precursor for the rest of the offseason moving around, and then an eighteen game season. An eighteen game season is a whole different animal that we won’t bother sizing up until that realistically materializes. Then again this could be a one year deal for the Draft because there really is a scheduling conflict, so there is no reason to get upset over what could be a one year wonder. 

I like the movement of the Draft on the financial end, but on a football operations and fans end I agree that this is rubbish (rubbish is the censored word for how I feel about this matter). This matter isn’t about football operations and the fans though. It’s about marketing, media, and money. Hopefully Goodell is slipping the Easter Bunny some cash because as of right now Goodell is getting his way. 


Zachary Cintron is a sophomore in Drexel's Sport Management program with a minor in Music Theory and Composition.  Zach also writes for his personal blog, Sports and Music Weekly. You can follow Zach on Twitter at @cintronz.

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