Longer NFL Draft Moves to Thursday Night

Bad news for Raider and 49er fans who love them some "30 Rock." The NFL Draft is moving to that time slot. The league announced that beginning with the coming 2010 NFL Draft, the draft will be a three-day event where the first round is held Thursday night. 

Not this Thursday night, mind you, but a Thursday night in late April. The 2010 NFL Draft is scheduled Thursday, April 22 through Saturday, April 24.

There will still be seven rounds to the draft, but they will now be spread into three consecutive days of marathon, hours-long broadcasts. Speed dealers must be thrilled about this.

Round one moves to Thursday night and will start at 4:30 Pacific Time. Teams still get ten minutes allotted to make a pick. With the proceedings in the evening, we now have the tantalizing possibility that a top ten pick will get arrested partying before the first round telecast has even ended.

Rounds two and three move to Friday night -- or Friday afternoon on the West Coast. The second round will begin Friday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time. For us, it's almost coming full circle back to the days when the draft actually was on weekday afternoons. And workplace productivity on draft day was next to zero.

Rounds four through seven move to Saturday, and will start at 7 a.m. Pacific. Yes, that's 7 a.m. Pacific time on a Saturday! Another blatant example of East Coast bias in sports event scheduling. I can kind of do those 10 a.m. regular season games, but 7 a.m. is asking an awful lot. And you can pretty much write off doing any any sober activities that Saturday if the draft starts at 7 a.m.

This is all designed to improve television ratings, as Thursday tends to be television's most-watched evening. But it's also likely in many households to set off epic battles for possession of the the remote control.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who cannot wait to hear that Madison Square Garden crowd when they've had the whole day to get drunk before they start heckling draft picks.

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