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Gary’s Blog: Draft Musings

By Gary Dickman.

I love stats. I like the way stats usually explain why a sport has the results it has. Once in a while, I can’t figure out why a stat shows a specific number. Here’s where I’m going with this: Last week, we finally had the NFL draft. I enjoy a little of what the draft has to offer. I don’t like the five-month buildup as it’s too long and overhyped, both the buildup and the draft. And this is the shorter version. Way back when, the NFL draft used to be 17 rounds, now it’s seven. In the first round, teams used to get 15 minutes between picks. Now it’s down to 10, still too long, but better than what it used to be.

The stat I was referring to is actually based on TV ratings. The first round of last Thursdays first round drew 12.5 million viewers. That’s more than any game of last year’s NBA Finals, more than any game of last year’s World Series and more than the Academy awards (okay, that one I understand). Now I know a lot of people feel differently than me on this. I know the draft is important, and it’s fun. But more people watched the first round than the Lakers and Heat last October? Can someone explain that tome? I like the NBA Draft much better. It’s one day and two rounds. Goes by much faster and I know most of the players drafted.

By the time the NFL draft has rounds four through seven on Saturday, I might know three or four of the players. Maybe it’s a former UH player or a quarterback from a Power 5 school. I know a guy who lives here, and several years ago he flew to New York City to watch the draft in person. The way it worked then, it was first come, first serve for tickets. So fans would line up 12 hours before the first pick to make sure they’d get in. Thats something I would never do. I’m not a fan of waiting on line for anything. It’s unavoidable at stores, but those are pretty short lines.

I love how there are so many so-called experts when the draft takes place who claim to know that the player drafted in the sixth round by their team is “Good.” Thats all they claim to know about the player. But I’m glad this draft is over, as after the first two rounds I do lose interest. What I do like about the draft is the reaction and emotion shown by players who are realizing their dreams coming true. That I like. Which made the reaction of the number one pick, Trevor Lawrence, pretty funny. Everyone who follows football have known since January that Lawrence was going to the Jacksonville Jags. So when they announced his name and he was home with friends and family, Trevor hardly reacted. He forced a smile, slowly got up and hugged everyone there. Not exactly reality TV at its best.

I liked last year’s format, although I didn’t like the reason for the changes (COVID-19 protocols). But having all the NFL coaches and draftees in their house gave it a nice touch. I liked watching Bill Belichick and his dog in the house. Either way, I’m glad this draft is over. Of course, I’m already seeing mock drafts for next year. Come on, are you serious? Then again, the NFL kind of knows what they’re doing. Next week will be the release of next season’s schedule, and it’s on prime time on ESPN. All it is will be the dates of the games. We know the day the regular season ends and exactly who every team is playing and where. So the dates and who’s playing on Monday and Sunday nights will be announced next week. Do we really need a prime time special for this?

I see that the University of Hawaii is moving along in completing the necessary arrangements to get the temporary on-campus football stadium ready for use in September. They’ll be about 9,000 seats for this season, hopefully 15,000 for 2022. Those won’t be enough, but as of now, we don’t know how many can be used for fans. I think it’s safe to say that it’ll be less than 100% capacity. That might explain why UH has said that they’ll be no off-campus parking for football game. Athletics Director David Matlin said that they’ve had 10,000 fans at SimpliFi Arena at Stan Sherrif Center and just used the parking garage, so they wouldn’t need more parking for a max of 9,000 fans at football games. That makes sense, I also think, reading between the lines, that David Matlin feels it won’t be close to 100% capacity allowed, so the parking garage will be good enough for this year.

I have heard from a source that parking will still be a hot commodity, so the price for parking is going to be unbelievably high. I don’t want to write what I heard because I have hard time believing it’ll be that high, but don’t be surprised if it’ll be a dollar amount that will shock you. I hope what I heard is wrong.

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