The NFLPA announced today that it would not encourage drafted players to boycott the NFL Draft next month, ending weeks of speculation that there would be nobody for Roger Goodell to shake hands with.
Instead, the union (or ex-union since they have "decertified") will hold a three day dinner called "The Debut" for players and their families.
As an NFL fan, I for one, was hoping for the boycott.
Let's face it, the only fans who watch the draft are the hardest of the hard core. We are the only ones who have stayed up late analyzing mock draft after mock draft.
We are the ones who will watch all the televised rounds all weekend long. This is really for us. We don't need to see guys in suits and baseball caps smiling.
We just want to talk about the game.
The normal draft pick coverage is the same every year.
The commissioner strides up to the podium with his index card, announces the pick, at which time a young man wearing a suit that costs more than your car comes out, shakes hands with Rog and holds up a jersey for a picture.
Then they cut to Mel Kiper or Mike Mayock, or whomever talking about what a great/terrible pick that player was. The analysis is quick and hurried because they have to cut to someone like Suzy Kolber, or even worse, Stuart Scott, to ask the newly drafted player inane questions like "how does it feel to be a number one pick?"
The same questions and the same answers. Answers that usually entail the words "honor", "family" and cliches like "I just want to get in camp and contribute to the team".
How is this enriching my life as a fan?
Wouldn't you rather there be no player to interview? Wouldn't you rather hear more analysis and break down of the player, the fit for the team and potential prospects for success?
The way it is now we get a rushed sound bite followed by boring interviews that reveal nothing.
Is there anything more frustrating than having the analysis of your team's pick cut short so you can hear how the latest Cowboy draft pick "feels" about his chance to play in Big D?
We had a chance to avoid all this with the NFLPA boycott, but it appears we can get ready for more interviews, more shots of guys yukking it up in the green room, talking on their cell phones in anticipation of their turn.
Had the players boycotted we would have also been spared anyone getting the Brady Quinn treatment.
Who doesn't remember poor Brady waiting it out in the green room, desperately trying to force a smile as player after player was selected before him?
Even the most ardent Notre Dame hater felt bad for Quinn that day.
A boycott would have spared Cam Newton the same fate (he will drop down the draft, trust me).
I suppose, in the end, it's a special day for the players and a boycott probably would have been viewed as a sign of the players unwillingness to work on solving the ugly contract issue.
But, for a while, I was excited of the prospect of skipping the feel good interviews and just focusing on the picks themselves.