With the opening night of the NFL Draft approaching rapidly, all aspects of the coverage are going to ramp up, and one of the biggest components to the whole event is information. And more specifically, how quickly can someone report or “break” the news/information that they have?
Now, if you follow social media regularly, and obviously, we do, the Adam Schefter’s and the Ian Rapoport’s etc., are constantly breaking news, as it happens, primarily on social media.
They are powerful “information brokers,” who often have the info before the team’s themselves have the full story and are releasing the details.
And that brings us back to the draft or more specifically, the coverage of the draft. And the “tipping” (revealing) of draft picks before they are announced.
In recent years the NFL has basically mandated that it’s television partner, ESPN, stop revealing who the selection was going to be in advance of the commissioner announcing it. This would include showing that player (most of the time on the phone with the team picking him) prior to him being selected.
Of course, the draft is also televised on NFL Network, but it’s given that none of their broadcasters or information reporters would go against this policy.
However, there are guys like Fox’s Jay Glazer, who does a fantastic job of finding out information and until this year, he was not bound to keep draft pick info off social media, etc. That’s changing because his employer, Fox, is for the first time simulcasting the NFL Network’s broadcast of the draft and NFLN is even also going to use Fox analyst and former Cowboys Hall of Famer Troy Aikman for analysis.
So, this week, Rich Eisen host of his own national radio/tv daily show, and the top t.v. host for the NFL Network. And, he’s their host of it’s upcoming draft coverage that has been almost crusading on his show and his social media for all reporters/analysts to stop giving out the info of what a team is about to do, right before the do it, on draft night.
Eisen has faced criticism and rightfully so, that if reporters and other info people that don’t work for networks broadcasting the draft find out who’s getting picked and want to reveal it, then it’s their choice.
Eisen had Glazer on his show Friday afternoon, and the subject of tipping or not tipping picks came up. And Glazer, who used to do this regularly for previous drafts, has changed his stance and explained why:
"I don't work for Twitter, so why would I put it on Twitter first?" –@JayGlazer talked about tipping picks during the #NFLDraft and why he saves the football scoopage for when he's on the air: pic.twitter.com/0hQ6haRBEI
— Rich Eisen Show (@RichEisenShow) April 20, 2018
One more thing that should be pointed out: while Eisen is 100% that it is a television event that everyone who’s interested in is glued to, it’s not the viewer’s fault that they want the info, now. Nor is it those who are in the “info” business'” responsibility to hold off revealing what they know.
If, as Eisen told Glazer and the audience, that they are “three picks behind,” that’s television’s choice and inefficiency. And, at that point, you are virtually asking for the info to get revealed before the picks are shown in that scenario.
We at F.F.I. understand both sides, but, it’s 2018 and we get information (scores, trades, arrests, etc.) everywhere almost instantly on everything. So, we don’t have a problem with a pick being tipped.
And, as it also came up in the Eisen-Glazer discussion, if you don’t want to know a pick before the announcement, you don’t have to look at social media. It’s completely your choice.
And, because the TV partners won’t be showing it or telling you in advance, you can enjoy the drama like early days of draft coverage before the internet, etc. and you won’t know what’s coming.
It’s completely up to fan/info seeker, as to what they prefer.
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