Zach Berman has a great article on Philly.com today about the NFL’s planning and build-out of the draft setup. There’s not a whole lot here in terms of new information about how things will go – after being held in the green room in the Art Museum, picks will come down the steps after their names are called and roughly 3,000 lucky ticket holders will witness it in person – but this is the first I’ve seen details into how the league plans to incorporate the Franklin Institute into the whole process:
In Chicago, the NFL built “Selection Square” in an outdoor space for the 32 team officials who took the call from their team headquarters and handed in the card with the selection’s name on it. There was a heavy rainstorm during draft weekend last year, and the league wanted a more controlled environment for the team officials this year.
The question was where. They considered housing the executives in the Art Museum, but that space was used for prospects and other events. That’s when the idea came to use the Franklin Institute, down the Parkway on the other end of the NFL Draft Experience.
Each team will have a representative set up under Benjamin Franklin’s statue for the “nerve center” of the draft. They will bring their card to a front desk for verification, and it will then be phoned into Goodell at the Art Museum.
Larry Dubinski, the CEO of the Franklin Institute, called the inclusion of his building in the event “another opportunity to shine on a global scale, and that’s fantastic for both Philadelphia and the Franklin Institute.”
He said that the institute will be open as usual during the draft and that a free viewing gallery for the public will allow visitors to watch team executives as they select the draft picks in real time.
First of all, awesome. Second, I can’t imagine what could go with wrong with allowing fans a free viewing area of team representatives as they make their picks. Let’s see how that goes over when the Eagles zag and take a defensive end no one was talking about.
But I do love the possibility of dramatic music playing as reps walk to the front desk at the Institute to have their picks phoned in (again), and I’ll be highly disappointed if multiple cameras aren’t trained on the area for just that reason.
It looks like this:
The other takeaway from Berman’s piece is that the league and construction crews are doing this somewhat on the fly. Since it’s such a unique setup, they are tinkering and making decisions as they go, still trying to find space for more seats (and press credentials?) as they’re building it. There’s no mention of safety, but allow me to be the lone basket case to point out that a never-before-seen 3,000-seat theater constructed atop steep concrete steps could be subject to engineering missteps. I’m not implying that this thing won’t be rock solid, but I’m not sure I’d want to be in the mezzanine when a stiff wind came through. Indeed, a worker fell 30 feet yesterday and was taken to the hospital (he’s in stable condition).
Anyway, my neuroses aside, the setup looks and sounds great. You can read Zach’s full article here.
Yesterday, Mike Missanelli and Jason Myrtetus, whose skins I have crawled beneath and laid eggs, got all bent out of shape over my continuous criticism of sports talk radio W-L day and threw down the gauntlet at my bony feet: Continue Reading
IT’S SCHEDULE DAY, BABY! The first of 48 consecutive days where, knowing nothing about which teams will surprise by overachieving, which will bust, which will be dealing with injuries, or what the weather will be anywhere in the country and London six months from now, we can definitively predict the Eagles’ record, game-by-game. GIVE ME ALL OF YOUR VAPID TAKES:
SOMETIMES the NFL schedule is set to where it becomes just as important when you play certain opponents as to who they are.
The Eagles had better get most of the kinks resolved in training camp and preseason games.
Let’s just say the Birds need to have most things worked out before their 2017 season kicks off. Unlike a year ago, the NFL, which released the full league schedule Thursday night, did the Eagles no favors; they open the season at Washington on Sept. 10, then travel to Kansas City for what shapes up to be an emotional meeting between head coach Doug Pederson and his mentor, former longtime Eagles coach Andy Reid.
Wow. That’a deep. The Eagles would indeed be best to get out all their mistakes during the preseason, unlike other years, where they just saved them for the entire back half of the schedule. 0-16.
OK, ready, here we go:
Notes: No prime time games until Week 7, and then they have two in a row, and 3 of their next 5. Good bye week. They get the Cowboys, at night, three days before their Thanksgiving game– Cowboys fans must be PISSED. I LOVE those December prime time games. I’m cozy just thinking about it! Brutal late schedule though.
HO HO HO. GET OUT YOUR SNOWBALLS AND STRIFE.
A little birdie tweeted at me today. The NFL schedule will officially be unveiled tonight at 8 p.m., but leaks are bound to happen. Mark Eckel already reported that the Eagles will play the Giants September 24 at home and December 17th away. And now the maestro would like to report that the Eagles will play on Christmas night, at home, against theeeeee Raiiiiiders on Monday Night Football. That’s gonna need an ugly sweater!
I own this offseason.
OK look, maybe I’m stating the obvious here, and I’m not trying to rip the otherwise hardworking reporters who covered this nothing burger– it’s their job. And the Eagles guys do it better than maybe any other team’s media. But when I joked about getting turned down for a credential for the draft because I didn’t cover the NFL the way the NFL wants you to cover the NFL, this sort of thing is what I was referring to. This is how the NFL wants you to cover them.
They want the media to be present and accounted for when a team calls a meaningless press conference, like the Eagles did today, to provide the masses with filler to keep interest piqued for the most overhyped sporting event on the calendar. They want you to dutifully question Howie Roseman and Joe Douglas about their thinking heading into draft day without even so much as a grammatical smirk at the fact that Roseman and Douglas have literally no incentive to say anything even remotely true or to tip their hand in any direction:
Roseman says Zach Ertz's production has been solid. Hasn't ruled out drafting a TE though.
— Bob Grotz (@BobGrotz) April 20, 2017
I’M SHOCKED they aren’t publicly ruling out positions! I would’ve thought for sure that Roseman and Douglas would’ve enlightened us all, killed their negotiating leverage in possible draft day trades, and told us that they are absolutely not taking [insert three positions] and focusing on [insert two others] in the first round. I can’t believe they didn’t do this! I mean, look at how fucking stupid this is:
Most press conferences are useless. This one – the week before the draft pow-wow with guys whose job it is to put up smoke screens – is downright doublespeak. You’d have a better chance of gleaning insight on Kim Jong-un’s thinking on North Korean state TV than you would listening to Roseman and Douglas today:
Howie and Joe seem genuinely in lock step with one another
I don't think Mixon is off their board.
— John Barchard (@JohnBarchard) April 20, 2017
Ohhhhh boy, Joe, they bought it! They bought it! THEY ACTUALLY BOUGHT IT! We successfully toed the line on a piece of shit so we didn’t look like we were condoning his actions, but also maybe fooled a few teams into thinking that we’re crazy enough to draft a felonious abuser in 2017.
All this is – literally all this is – is a way for the NFL and the Eagles to keep up interest in the draft, fuel speculation, rumor and inneuendo based on vapid clichés and “reading between the lines” to stoke the caller boards at sports talk radio stations, fill the increasingly useless 15-minute regional sportscasts, and give a few columnists something to bat around in their daily, pointless missives. The media will happily transcribe the quotes and act like Howie said something fit to print, while sports talk radio generates two hours of conversation based off Joe Douglas’ head fake:
There have been teams that have come out and said that Mixon is off their board (but not the Eagles) – @JoshNorris
— 975TheFanatic (@975TheFanatic) April 20, 2017
Me? I’ll stick by my informed rumor mongering that the Eagles could be looking at a defensive lineman.
You may have had to answer a survey to read this.
If you’ve read this site for any length of time, you’re likely familiar with the process of answering a few survey questions to unlock content. We’ve been using Google Consumer Surveys for almost four years. Google’s answer to a “paywall,” the surveys contain questions put out by market researchers (companies trying to find which product you prefer, which logo concept is better, or just general consumer preferences) on which we get paid per answer. They have been very successful and one of the most efficient ways to monetize the site, with little to no impact on visits (in fact, they are up substantially since we started using them in 2013). I was sort of shocked at how few people complained about them, and the question I got most often related to confusion over why the text was greyed out.
Lately, however, more publishers have joined Google’s program, which has meant that the number of available surveys has decreased. You likely haven’t gotten as many lately. So we’ve added a backup option from a company called Survata. They look a little different, but the process is identical– answer a few questions to unlock content for the day. Chances are you’ll get one of the two survey options once per day.
There will always be people who intentionally lie on the surveys (mostly the mongrels in the comments), and that’s fine. But for those of you who like the site and enjoy what we do, know that the more honestly you answer, the better the data is, and the better it is for us. When I first put these up in 2013, I told you the money would be used to hire a second full-time writer, and that’s exactly what happened. The plan remains the same– the more revenue the surveys generate, the more I can grow the site. Philly sports are in a bit of a lull, so it doesn’t make sense to have two full-time bloggers at the moment, but I want to be ready for when one of the teams turn the corner so we can fill the homepage with more content every day, produce more videos and podcasts, and be the place for Philly sports content online.
Since the Survata option is new, there might be a few hiccups (I’ve had some people say they keep getting asked their age– this is supposed to only happen once, but if you’re using private browsing or clear your cookies, then you’ll get asked again). We’re experimenting with where at how they’re shown to find a good balance between frequency and annoyance. Some of their surveys are longer than the Google ones, and basically we have to test them live to see how frequently the longer ones show up, how much impact they have on visits, etc.
These are high-paying, premium ads. The alternative is what most websites offer: video pop-ups ads. I still think surveys are the better option, because they can often be completed in much less time than a video ad, and they don’t bog down your computer or start blasting sound at you while you’re at work. All data is completely anonymous. The answers are aggregated based on age and sex and given back to the market researcher. No personal information is passed along, and I don’t see any of the responses.
In a perfect world, we’d rely solely on subscriptions, direct advertisers and apparel sales, and not ad networks and surveys. But for all but a handful of a publications that’s an unsustainable solution. No one revenue stream is enough on its own, and it’s always been about having a healthy mix. The surveys are just a part of that. So once again, thanks for your continued support and don’t hesitate to let me know about any issues you see.
This is just what I needed, today, the 1,086th day since a Philly team has won a playoff series (F!)– John Middleton and his billionaire hair on the WIP Morning Show, which thankfully posted a video so we can all see Middleton’s rich-ass locks in their rich-ass glory. HE JUST WANTS TO WIN:
John S. Middleton has one goal: win 🏆 pic.twitter.com/v0z65shM8I
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) April 20, 2017
— SPORTSRADIO 94WIP (@SportsRadioWIP) April 20, 2017
“The most important reason professional sports teams exist is to win. And if you’re not aiming to win, then you really don’t belong owning a sports team in my opinion… but I’m not gonna give you some pablum(!) that you have to go through a process.”
I predict he’ll kill a man, maybe several, if he doesn’t win a World Series by 2020. He is the lone Phillies executive who cares not about your fanciful nostalgia and just wants rings. In fact, I’d be shocked if he hasn’t already started tampering with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Mike Trout by sending them singing stogie-grams carrying cigar boxes full of unmarked bills. I mean, this is a guy who made his money in BIG TOBACCO. You think he gives a shit who he hurts or what rules he breaks en route to another WFC? No way. Not one bit. Hell, he just threw the gauntlet down at Joshua Harris’ feet with that process dig. Fact-check: Middleton is richer than Harris. None of that cute private equity shit– Middleton deals in raw, unfiltered cigar smoke. Harris cowers at the mere thought of such brute-force capitalism. I don’t know why, but somehow I just turned this into a showdown between two billionaires. WHO WILL WIN FIRST? I like the direction the Sixers are heading, but somehow my money is on Middleton. I’m convinced he will buy the trophy – like literally purchase it from Major League Baseball – before he lets the Yankees get another one. I love this guy, so much so that I’m not even gonna blog about all the bodies that turn up in his wake as he machetes through professional sports in search of a championship. Hey Gris, if you’re not doing anything constructive, run into the living room and get my stogie!
UPDATEhere: You can listen to the full interview .