With the Super Bowl over and no Pro Bowl to fawn over, the football writers and talking heads at ESPN are focusing on the singlemost boring time in football: the NFL Draft. It doesn’t start until April (frankly, to my surprise, as SportsCenter will invariably begin wall-to-wall coverage of the Draft within a week…I will end up hating Mel Kiper, Jr. and religiously watch MLB Network’s Hot Stove Live within that time). This year, to make it even larger than it should be, they’re doing the first three rounds over two days in prime-time (Day 1, just the first round, will be at 7:30 on 4/22, with Rounds 2 and 3 on 4/23 at 6:30…covered wall-to-wall by ESPN and the NFL Network). On that note, here are four more nuggets of trivia on the NFL Draft:
- The great thing about the Draft: tickets are free – football fans just have to get in line at the Radio City Music Hall. However, it’s only been at Radio City for six years – the first public NFL Draft was held at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, then after a spat between the Jets and Cablevision over the ill-fated West Side Stadium project, it was held at the Jacob K. Javits Center for a year, before moving to the Cablevision-owned Radio City.
- Since 1976 (back when the draft was in the 17-round format), the last pick in the Draft was known as “Mr. Irrelevant,” and has been awarded with a weeklong vacation in Newport Beach, California – but that’s not to say Mr. Irrelevant is, well, irrelevant. Take last year, for example – when “Mr. Irrelevant” kicker Ryan Succop became the starting kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, tying the rookie field goal percentage record with 86.2% made and led all rookies in points.
- John Elway is, of course, famous for his back-to-back Super Bowl wins and Hall of Fame career with the Denver Broncos, but it was baseball where he got his start. Elway spent two years with the Oneonta Yankees (Oneonta, by the way, lost its baseball team just weeks ago when the Oneonta Tigers moved to Norwich, CT) before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts with the first overall pick – and then being immediately traded by the Colts to the Broncos (interesting equine theme, don’t you think?) for two players and a first-round pick.
- After a betting scandal at Florida State left him without a place to play college football, quarterback Adrian McPherson turned to the Indiana Firebirds, throwing for 61 touchdowns and running for 19, while throwing only 5 interceptions, earning him a fifth-round draft pick by the New Orleans Saints. It went downhill from there, though – in a 2006 preseason game, McPherson was run over by a golf cart by none other than Tennessee Titans mascot T-Rac (a raccoon, the state animal of Tennessee, in case you’re wondering).
Join me for next week’s edition of Thursday Trivia, when I discuss five bits of trivia about a topic to be decided.