Watching the NFL draft unfurl slowly over the last three days wasn’t an automatic starting point for a rumination on the job we’re doing of providing our sportspeople with a life after competitive sport and yet it’s not entirely useless either. Consider for a moment that all the players drafted were amateur until this weekend and now they stand on the precipice of great money and fame, or at least that’s the dream sold to them as the draftniks analyse potential outcomes, in some cases for two full years before a player becomes eligible.
Two television networks cover the event live as players’ names and their new team are read from a podium every ten minutes, while each decision is parsed in real time by millions of fans and countless pundits. It’s like transfer deadline day on a three-day acid trip. Its weirdness is peculiarly American. This year the draft was moved to Philadelphia and held on the iconic steps that Rocky used to train for his fight with Apollo Creed. Lay that symbolism on me baby!