The NFL Draft is the TV equivalent of an open-book test, one taken by professional broadcasters and network analysts. They've know the subject from the inside, and they've been covering it ad nauseam for the past two months, including those final five-hour draft previews Saturday on both ESPN and the NFL Network.
Watching the dueling NFL Draft presentations presented a challenge. Would it be better to set up dual TVs with sound on each or opt for picture-in-picture on one screen and toggle between them for the audio feed? We opted for the latter.
Some notes on the networks' oral exam, also called the actual telecast.
ESPN gets the edge. Its corporate culture features improved news reporting, lots of analysis, great graphics and a deep stable of talent. The ESPN screen's "Pick is In'' alert was understated compared to the NFL Network "Selection'' headline. ESPN, as is its wont, cut away fairly quickly to "Baseball Tonight'' right after the draft's 256th and final (Mr. Irrelevant) pick Sunday night ... The NFL Network presentation was hardly second-rate. The network is availing itself of many eager and capable on-air personalities. It had combine and NFL Films video, along with the unflappable and seemingly indefatigable
On the Patriots' draft philosophy: "Take the highest player on our board. You never have too many young players, especially at positions where you have many players ... Draft picks are opportunities to build your team.''
While both shows had NFL Commissioner
Eisen was a constant throughout the two days, as he is on the NFL Network's daily "Total Access.'' He signed off calling the weekend's assignment "an honor.''
ESPN broke into the Nuggets-Hornets game early in the coverage and teased the 9 p.m. Lakers-Jazz telecast with a
The NFL Network ran banners saying "6 Days No More NFL Network'' and, on Sunday, "5 Days No More NFL Network,'' directing viewers to IwantNFLNetwork.com as part of its campaign to get off Comcast's sports tier. However, there are an awful lot of us who think the NFL Network is just where it should be; namely, on a sports tier for sports fans.
His head-to-head with McShay over Miami's pick of West Virginia quarterback
...Eisen on predicting trades: "You know something's going on when you see the trade phones working in the pit where the picks are checked for accuracy and pronunciation before they go to the commissioner to be announced.''
...Eisen on the mixed reaction the Radio City Music Hall gave the Jets' pick of Sanchez: "There are a lot of Patriots and Giants fans here who don't like to see Jets fans happy.''
...Nice work by whoever played "Hail to the Redskins'' after Washington took
...You know the NFL Network was monitoring ESPN and vice versa. Too many times one telecast would emphasize something only to have the other come back with similar commentary a minute later.
...Berman when ESPN didn't have video of Oakland's second-round pick, Ohio University safety
...ESPN was able to jump the gun on some of the draft picks by monitoring video of potential picks on their cellphones in so-called green rooms.