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News » What the NFL draft really offers - hope


What the NFL draft really offers - hope


What the NFL draft really offers - hope
Barack Obama doesn't sell hope as effectively as the National Football League. No one does.


Years ago, when newspaper sports writers were kings, Major League Baseball sold hope quite effectively. Sports pages touted the smell of fresh-cut spring grass and the crack of a bat and ball as symbols of renewed hope.

The seemingly universal envelope of spring-training optimism drove our conversations and crowned baseball as our pastime.

Then Jordan retired for a second time at the conclusion of the 1998 season, closing the door on the league's golden era.

Derrick Rose is a very nice rookie, but he's not quite Air Jordan. And when Rose bounced from Memphis after an eight-month visit, he wasn't as well known as Matt Stafford, Michael Crabtree or even Mark Sanchez, a one-year starter at USC. More important, no one in Chicago believes Rose is going to make the Bulls title contenders as a rookie.

Trust me, there are Lions fans who believe — hope — Stafford, a few other rookies and the right free agents can make the Lions 11-5 and playoff threats. Ben Roethlisberger won 14 games as a rookie and took the Steelers to the AFC Championship. Why not Detroit?

Eventually Stern is going to fix the NBA draft. He's going to get the NBA Players Association to adopt a rule similar to the NFL's, which stipulates that its prospects spend at least three years being touted as NFL solutions biding time in the college game.

MLB's draft has never been special and never will be. Bud Selig should condense his offseason free-agency and trading period to three days and turn it into a reality TV show. Bring all the free agents, their representatives and baseball executives to New York and call it the annual MLB Convention. I'm not baseball savvy enough to come up with the rules for how this would work. But it can be done.

If baseball and basketball ever plan to challenge the NFL again, the NBA and MLB need to come up with clever offseason marketing campaigns that sell hope as enthusiastically and effectively as the NFL draft.

You can e-mail Jason Whitlock at ballstate0@aol.com



Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 24, 2009

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Matt Katula Name: Matt Katula
#70
Position: C
Age: 25
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