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Can Tech Support Help Us With the Smart Boards, Please?

NEW YORK - JUNE 26:  Players pose prior to the 2008 NBA Draft at the WaMu Theatre at Madison Square Garden June 26, 2008 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Chuck FortContributor IJune 21, 2009

I love the draft; NBA, NFL, it doesn't matter to me. It's an exciting time for franchises looking to bolster their rosters, and for everybody and their brother to create a personal mock draft.

ESPN has used technological advances to create a more interactive display of mock drafts as well as recaps on Sportscenter via the touch screen smart boards. It's neat to watch how the players are categorized by positions, and how Todd McShay, NFL draft expert, or Doug Gottlieb, NBA draft expert, can drag a player to the next spot in the mock draft.

Unfortunately, these machines are far from infallible.

After the 2009 NFL Draft, Michael Smith, an ESPN journalist, was on Sportscenter recapping the draft for the Philadelphia Eagles. He used the smart board to show each of the players selected by round, but he had a hard time dragging the players to the slots. Every time he would get close to the slot and let go of the player's info, it would slide back to the positional listing.

The poor guy was flustered by the end of his camera time. Those who have seen Michael Smith understand that he is a pretty cool customer, but he wasn't a big fan of the smart board when he was finished.

Recently, I noticed when Doug Gottlieb was using the smart board for his mock draft, the show anchor made sure that he got all the players in the right slots.

I like seeing the analyst use the smart board to show the picks and have the players ranked within each position. Hopefully, the analysts will become more comfortable with the technology and improve their finger-touching skills, or the screens will become easier to control.

Otherwise, an intern behind the scenes will have to pull a ventriloquist act to avoid having any more embarrassed journalists.

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