Explaining the NFL Draft to my mother

The Los Angeles Rams are on the clock. With those words by Commissioner Roger Goodell, the 2016 National Football League Draft will commence. Many Americans will obsessively follow every moment of every pick and every trade. My parents will be watching the news or reruns of “Murder, She Wrote.”

If you love football, the Draft is a lifeline that prevents leatherheads from losing their ever-loving football minds during the offseason. From the end of the Super Bowl in February to the season opening kickoff in September, NFL fans have so much pain and suffering. The Draft is not an actual game, but it is something.

For those who do not understand football, the NFL Draft makes even less sense.

Mom: So who is playing?

Me: Well all 32 teams are playing, but nobody is actually playing. It is not a game. It is where they select the players who will enter the league.

Mom: Selecting players? You mean like when you were a kid and the gym coach told you to stand on one side and Mikey to stand on the other side? Then you would pick Kenny and Mikey would pick Johnny until you both had teams?

Me: Well, yes, but it is a little more detailed than that.

Mom: Ok, so each team picks what players they want? What is going on while a player is being picked?

Me: Well different teams have different needs so they sometimes make trades. Teams call each other on the telephone and make deals.

Mom: Hours of people making phone calls? Really, people watch this? While the workers are making phone calls, what is the audience doing?

Me: The fans are watching the guys who make the phone calls and hoping that their team picks the players the fans want.

Mom: So they are sitting around watching people make phone calls? Then after a team picks a player, the fans sit and wait until the next team picks a player?

Me: Yes.

Mom: What if the player does not want to play for the team that picks him?

Me: That hardly ever happens. The players do not have a choice. The teams decide, not the players.

Mom: How long does this last?

Me: Three days.

Mom: People spend three days watching people make phone calls and choosing players? Do they at least when this is all over play a real game?

Me: Not until five months later.

Mom: You actually sit around and watch people make phone calls. Wow. So how do they decide who chooses when?

Me: The worst team from the year before chooses first and the best team that wins the previous Super Bowl chooses last.

Mom: That sounds like socialism. I thought sports owners and players were capitalists. Why shouldn’t the best team pick first and the worst team pick last?

Me: That would give the good teams an unfair advantage.

Mom: How is that unfair if they earned it?

Me: Mom, it’s the rules of the league. I don’t make them. I am just a fan. During the season I watch the games. When it is not football season I have nothing to do but sit around and spending three days watching people making phone calls to each other.

Mom: Well honey, if it makes you happy, enjoy it. I cannot imagine sitting down for hours doing that, but if you like it, that is all that matters. Anyway, I have to go. Your father and I are about to watch a “Murder, She Wrote” marathon.

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