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Like My Grandpa Used to Say…I Feel A Draft in Here! April 27, 2007

Posted by doctorolove in Pop Culture Rants, Sports.

I love metaphors. They’re my crutch, my go-to. When I’m in need of a pithy point or skewed view of our pop culture universe, I embrace them like the last girl at the bar after they’ve given last call (Wow…you see that..using a metaphor to describe my love of metaphors..We’re through the looking glass people…)

On Saturday and Sunday, the 32 teams that comprise the NFL will have their version of a debutante ball, only the women in frilly dresses that look like inverted tulips are replaced with tall, often shapeless large men in designer suits of all colors of the rainbow. It is every teams chance to wipe away the mistakes of last season and give a young lump of clay to chance to mold himself into a future black of iron that they will describe in slow motion with the big booming voice of the NFL Films guy. You can patch up the holes that riddle your team like a 1920’s Mob car post gangland battle with human Bondo. And men will watch it like a real, live event, knowing that even though there will be no score, some man with fabulously coiffed hair will give you grades (which matter about as much as the questions on Press Your Luck.)

Now, many people have used metaphors, AKA my one true love, to discuss the draft. They’ve even used the draft itself to act as a metaphor for other things in life (Mike Golic and his Dandy Doodles spring to mind). Yet I find the draft too big for metaphor. The NBA Draft is two rounds long, meaning you get two choices, maybe three if you can bribe the Grizzlies to trading with you (They’re like the Life Cereal’s Mikey of the NBA…try it..they’ll like it.) Two choices make it all the more important. Even the best marksmen in the world can’t hit the mark perfect with only two shots. But if you give them 12 shots (the number of NFL draft rounds) even they can hit a target. No, the NFL draft is a metaphor amongst itself. One big, lumbering bowl of metaphor. Every pick, every angle, every time they utter the words, “The next team is on the clock.” They even use metaphor to describe each pick. Think about the term “on the clock.” You think ticking time bomb. You think sweaty, overweight movie second banana wondering which wire to cut. And each pick is a wire…you take the flashy wide receiver…blue wire…BOOM, your team implodes like an abandoned warehouse full of cocaine. You take the mammoth defensive end with the soft spoken family and the dad who is a preacher…red wire…wipe the sweat off and bask in the accolades.

Now being that the Draft is one big metaphor, each pick is like a tiny little metaphor amongst  itself. If the whole draft is a big Whitman’s Sampler of Metaphorical goodness, each pick is the chocolate collection. The first pick is the mountaintop. You’re the emperor, with everything in front of you. But do you act benign and choose wisely. Or do you make a mistake and wind up like a French King, head on the chopping block wishing you didn’t suggest the cake. The second pick is the porter at Studio 54. Sure, you may not be the sexy shirtless bartender or the decadently coiffed member of the disco set. Heck, you’re not even the well-endowed coat check girl. You’re second-class, but the perks are yours. You get to rifle through the couches of everything left behind. Sure, you may find a used prophylactic or prick yourself with a needle but there are far more vials of drugs and left over coke ridden wadded up hundreds for you to scrounge up.

The metaphors roll blindly on. The third pick is the socks at Christmas. They’re not flashy and the gifts you really wanted have gone to the other kids. But socks can be amazing. Ask the grunts of Vietnam. Ask the Eskimos in the dead of Alaskan winter. Heck, ask Jim Henson. Pick four…the kid in high school that everybody likes but no one finds attractive. Pick four is who he’s taking to prom. Sure, the hot girls are all going with their quarterback boyfriends and even that somewhat attractive goth girl is going with the soccer jock (It may or may not be because of a wager…still checking on that…). But you can still get somebody to go with you. There’s still plenty of fish in the sea. But who do you take? Do you take the girl who will give you a sure “good after party” or do you take that girl you’ve been secretly composing songs about on the guitar you found in the “cool uncles” basement? Choices..choices. Pick five…well that’s the four cards to a flush. You can bet and scare everyone off or you can bet big and scare everybody. But you might get called…who knows?

Which now brings us to pick six. Pick six is scientifically proven to have no metaphor whatsoever. It is because of this that the team sitting at pick number six is in the luckiest spot in the draft. They probably don’t have that glaring of a list of needs. Picking at six meant your team went, what, 6-10. Two of those tough losses with the mysterious fumble or “jobbing you hard” holding calls go your way and you may be in the playoffs. And the major picks are all gone. You can actually survey the landscape. Plus the odds are that somebody has already reached for somebody who just didn’t deserve to be that high. You can go many ways and the kicker is, you don’t have to pay that all that much. Sure, it’s the NFL and the salary will probably be able to buy most of the town of Green Bay, but in relation to the 70 jillion the high picks are getting.  It’s a win-win. And there’s no metaphor. Though you’re still on the clock. And that bad boy is ticking.

So watch this weekend. Sure, it’s the male version of the Oscars (ooooh, what is Brady Quinn wearing?….I love Calvin Johnson in that suit…) but if anything it provides hope. Just know this…no matter how many names you see this weekend and how many metaphors fall like rain, half the picks will disappear. Half will be arrested. And half of those will wind up starring in a movie with Tia Carrere. So, nothings a sure thing. Except metaphor.

Well, death and taxes too, but that’s what English cases call an idiom. And idioms work better in the MLS draft. They don’t deserve metaphor yet.



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