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Original Issue

Long Day's Journey Into Naught

SOME THINGS Idon't get. Tip jars at the cash register of self-service cafes. Airportsecurity guards who point you to a one-hour line and say, "Enjoy."People who sit for 10 hours watching the NFL draft when they can read about thewhole shebang in five minutes on the Internet as soon as it's over.

"So," myeditor sniffed, "why don't you watch it and see what the fuss is all about?Really break it down, like the bloggers do."

Me and my bigmouth.

10:08 a.m. MDT
It's just me, my couch springs and my companion for the day, ESPN host ChrisBerman, who opens with, "For three quarters of a century Radio City MusicHall has been the home of so much top-line entertainment, and in the NationalFootball League, it doesn't get any more top line than this." Right. Whatis two on the 50 at the Super Bowl when you can see No. 1 pick JaMarcus Russellhold up a jersey in a $3,000 suit and $20 baseball hat?

The Hall is jammed with yahoos in jerseys and face paint. But for the love ofhumanity, why? There's no ball, no game, no score. Basically, they will sitthere for hours while virtually nothing happens. Isn't that what soccer'sfor?

Even worse, there are thousands of fans at Ford Field in Detroit waiting to seewho the Lions draft. "Get a life," I grumble. And then it hits me: I'msitting on my butt in Denver watching people in Detroit sit on their buttswatching people in New York sit on their butts. We are at gluteus maximus.

We're at the eighth pick, and Notre Dame's star quarterback, Brady Quinn, whomany thought would go in the top three, is still untaken. He's the only playerleft in the green room, with nothing else around but empty tables andhalf-eaten sandwiches. It looks like Bobby Brady's birthday party. The camerascatch his every cringe. Poor s.o.b.

Surely the ninth-picking Miami Dolphins, who at this point will have to starttheir accountant at QB, will jump on Quinn, right? Wrong. They take tiny,fragile Ted Ginn Jr. (WR, Ohio State), whom they need like the homeless needlava lamps. What's their drafting method, a Magic 8 Ball?

1:02 p.m.
Note to self: The NFL draft is more boring than Amish porn.

I would rather stick forks in my ears than hear ESPN draft czar Mel Kiper'svoice again. Only the Quinn saga keeps me going. He still hasn't been taken,and now he's gone from the green room. Maybe he's seeing if it's possible toget a Ferrari deposit back.

Phew. Cleveland traded up to the 22nd pick to get poor Quinn, who's beensequestered in another room. How's that for a day? Abject humiliation in frontof the nation for four hours, capped off by winding up a Brown.

My favorite statement of the day: ESPN analyst Sean Salisbury argues that NewEngland's first-round pick, Brandon Meriweather (FS, Miami), shouldn't beconsidered a character risk even though last year he was involved in a brawlduring a game and returned fire in a shooting incident. It was "a one-timeincident in both cases," Salisbury said. "They weren't repeat with thegun and repeat on the field." That's a good lesson for you kids out there.If you're going to rob a bank, could you just limit it to one?

More proof that this day causes drafts between the ears: ESPN's Steve Youngjust used resurgence as a verb. He said New Orleans Saints quarterback DrewBrees "resurgenced" his career after leaving San Diego. Young isusually more intelligenced than that.

My girlfriend is back from her painting class. She reports that it's a 72°Saturday with achingly blue skies. "Solid measurables," I reply.

This is now the longest first round in NFL draft history—six hours and eightminutes. I can no longer feel my legs.

A merciful God ends the first round. For three weeks everybody but VladimirPutin was doing a mock draft. So who was right? Well, Todd McShay of Scouts,Inc., had five of the first six right but cooled off fast and wound up withnine out of 32 dead-on. SI's Peter King was unusually off, with's Vic Carucci had four. The winner in my survey of draft pundits?Kiper, with 10. My point? Mock drafts are a bigger waste than José Feliciano'sHDTV.

Berman, who now needs a shave, says to go to ESPN2 to watch the rest of rounds2 and 3, but I swear, if I have to sit through one more pick, I'm going toresurgence my lunch.

So, I quit.Besides, I have a good excuse for quitting. Unlike the real bloggers, I onlyhave a limited amount of sp

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The NFL draft is more boring than Amish porn. I wouldrather stick forks in my ears than hear Mel Kiper's voice again. Only the BradyQuinn saga keeps me going.

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