It’s time for the NFL draft, which has turned into a huge affair. The popularity of football has grown in the last 10 years and so has the draft. For the unfamiliar, throughout seven rounds over 3 days, the best university players are claimed by certain teams. So, why is the draft so popular, especially among men?
First, football as a sport is definitely appealing to men on many levels. It involves aggression and rough housing and is very visual. Most men connect with this on a visceral level. Few men in the West are hunters in their daily lives, even though our brains are wired for it. Watching football allows us to reconnect with our ancestral roots as we watch guys clobber each other over a thrown projectile.
Second, most men (and women) live pretty bland, boring, predictable lives. They have mostly given up on their dreams too. The kids in the draft represent something else. They are elite athletes who have risen above the rest. They receive the accolades, get the fame and fortune, and live an exciting life. It’s easy for men, especially those past their prime or who will never have a prime, to live vicariously through these guys.
Finally, the draft is a way for guys to feel more connected to other people. Modern life can be very isolating. People don’t know their neighbors and communities are rarely connected in the way they once were. However, one way people are still connected is through sports teams. It might sound odd, but for many people, sports teams are on the level of religion. They provide community, culture, and bonding. The draft is a big part of that, as fans watch as their teams select their new heroes.
But, in the end, what matters is that the NFL draft is fun and exciting. So, go out with a few friends and enjoy it. Connect with your masculinity and ancient roots. And, for those of us who are fans of hapless franchises (I’m a Browns fan), it’s also a time when hope springs eternal.