Watching the 2008 draft
And it was finally called exactly that, the draft. None of this "NFL Annual Selection Meeting" rubbish that Paul Tagliabue always started proceedings with. Tags was a good Commissioner but he was a lawyer at heart and hence a stickler for accuracy, Roger Goodell always seems to come across as one of the lads and hence the atmosphere seemed a lot more relaxed from the outset.
And the 10 minute limit on picks helped to improve things still further. I mean, most Jet fans were only slighty pissed by the time their pick came around this year instead of being complete inebriated.
The NFL Network team were excellent as always with Rich Eisen doing as good a job as Chris Berman ever did, albeit with slightly less humour but the same amount (of lack of it) of hair. His comment of "Let the masses rejoice" when the Jets made a good pick was a classic.
But the star of the show was Mike Mayock. Spot on with every piece of analysis, calling seemingly every pick, and doing it without any of the self-promotion that Mel Kiper always engaged in. Even Roger Goodell was giving Mayock credit during his time on the set on the second day.
A few random thoughts from my living room
I always enjoy the part when the draft pick is wheeled out on stage to hold up a team shirt. And I loved the touch this year when Jake Long held up a Dolphins' No.1 jersey to signify how many games they won last season.
Serious bling award goes to LSU tackle Glenn Dorsey. That wasn't a watch he was wearing - it was a diamond encrusted transporter bracelet from Blake's Seven. And how come no-one drafted his mother? She looked tough and ugly enough to play defensive tackle herself.
Detroit are on the clock and Matt Millen is heard to comment "what do you mean, we're not taking a wide receiver?"
It's just as well that Jets only has four letters otherwise their fans would never be able to do their "J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets" chant. This must also be why Giants' fans cannot do this for their team as six letter spellings are beyond the comprehension of most New Yorkers.
The Bucaneer selections
I love the way "so-called Buccaneer experts" are all over message board passing comment on Aqib Talib's selection. Just because you subscribe to a so-called "inside source" does not make you even remotely qualified to second guess the Buccaneer front office. They do this scouting thing for a living. You have a lap-top and a job at McDonalds.
So the first day ended with the Bucs getting the corner and receiver that we all expected them to do. No real judgement can be passed on any draft's success for around three seasons. I mean, five years ago today, Buc fans were excited over the selection of Marquise "get your arse in the huddle" Walker.
Paul Stewart, April 2008