In an interesting column on FoxSports.com, Jason Whitlock looks at the NFL Draft and how the event was able to triple the viewership of the NBA Playoffs.
His main argument is that the NFL Draft better showcases the “right to rise,” and the sense of hope and optimism that comes with American opportunity, freedom, and capitalism. In essence, the NFL Draft is a quasi-celebration of conservative principles, that hard work and talent pay off and that the hope of success drives us all to do more than we thought possible.
While Whitlock likely did not intend for a broader political argument to be read into the piece, he is on to something about the NFL Draft. There is something unique about the “synergy” he notes at the various levels of college football and the integration of our American values that makes watching a player like Eric Fisher go from an unrecruited tight end to Central Michigan star to the eventual first pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Whitlock contrasts the NFL’s success with the NBA’s general lack of intrigue. He notes the NBA cap that does not encourage a “free market” in the way the NFL does. Additionally, he notes the early entry of freshmen basketball players. With this access into the league, there is a greater emphasis on “potential” rather than the results-oriented approach of the NFL Draft.
In the post-NFL Draft analysis, it is interesting to ponder the reasons why the grand event is so captivating to so large an audience. As Whitlock notes, it is a hopeful event, and it is a thoroughly American event.