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NFL Draft to Expand to Three Days; First Round in Prime Time

Yesterday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell notified the 32 NFL teams that the 2010 NFL Draft would be a three-day affair rather than the standard two days that we've come to get used to.

Not only will it be a three-day affair, but the first round will take place on Thursday night, 22 April, starting at 7:30 PM Eastern/6:30 Central. Rounds 2 and 3 will take place on Friday, 23 April, beginning at 6:30 PM Eastern/5:30 Central. The fourth through seventh rounds will be held starting at 10:00 AM Eastern/9:00 Central on Saturday, 24 April. There won't be anything relating to the draft on Sunday because, hey, who wants to watch something relating to the NFL on a Sunday?

From a personal standpoint, I really, really hate this idea and can't understand why on Earth the NFL would go this route. Yes, having the first round in "prime time" might bring in extra money and that sort of thing, but let's take a look at this. If you're starting the first round of the draft at 7:30 PM Eastern time. . .figure five or ten minutes for yapping between the NFL Network/ESPN guys before the Commissioner officially kicks off the proceedings. Then, you've got 32 first round selections, each of which can take up to 10 minutes. . .and that's if there aren't any trades or any other shenanigans taking place.

That's 320 minutes. . .which, if my math is correct, is right around five hours and twenty minutes. This means you're looking at Round One concluding right around 1:00 AM Friday morning on the East Coast. And this is going to sound weird and everything, but there are lots of football fans that have to. . .get this. . .WORK on Friday. If you've got to get to work on Friday, who the heck is going to stay up until one in the morning watching the first round of the Draft? Nobody that has any desire to keep their job, that's who.

I don't get why they feel the need to make this a three day event in the first place, but if you're going to go that route, why not make it Friday/Saturday/Sunday? Is it entirely because the prime time viewership on Thursday night is, presumably, that much higher than it is on Friday night?

What do you folks think of this move? Do you like the NFL going to three days, or is the NFL just totally screwing with a good thing here?