I’m as big a pro football fan as anyone. I’m in front of the TV every week for the Giants’ games and at least have the TV on for many other games. I may not actually sit and watch every NFL game but I have an interest. The games make good background noise if nothing else. I’ve played fantasy football every year since the late Eighties. That was before the age of computers when my league had to figure out who won and lost our games by looking up the stats in newspapers. Pencil and paper, baby.

At the end of April is the NFL draft. That’s where all the NFL teams get together and choose which college players they can hire. The draft is televised every year now. As entertainment it’s pretty much a non event but still a few football starved friends and I get together every year. We hang out and watch the draft. It’s a good chance to get together because you don’t have to pay too much attention to the actual draft. Social events don’t need something that demands your attention interrupting them.

Now, for the first time, the NFL has come up with even more of a non event to watch. The NFL scouting combine. To be fair it is such a non event that it’s only on the fledgling NFL network which my cable system doesn’t even offer. I can’t see it. At least the NFL draft is on ESPN. But still it’s only the first year the combine is televised so it may grow into an even bigger non event.

The NFL scouting combine is where college football players and NFL scouts get together in one place (Indianapolis) so the potential draftees can get measured, weighed, and race to see how fast they are. I haven’t seen it but I can safely say that I think the entertainment value is zero. But still people want to see it. Only the hardcore need apply.

The funny thing is that a lot of the top guys coming out of college don’t even participate in the NFL combines. That’s because there is another day, NFL Pro day, where college athletes work out for NFL scouts. I guess the top guys don’t want to be seen with the rabble. I have no idea if NFL Pro day will be televised. I think it is not centralized like the combine so it would be harder to shoot. The scouts show up at individual colleges for Pro Day.

I don’t watch any other sports besides pro football with any regularity. Sure I’ll catch a baseball, basketball, hockey, or soccer game every now and then but I have no favorite team in those sports and don’t care much who wins or losses. So in the football off season I only flip by ESPN for shorts bursts. But in those short burst I’ve managed to catch some NFL combine news. Yes, ESPN has reporters there keeping an eye on who can run a 4.3 forty.That’s a forty yard dash in 4.3 seconds and the difference between being drafted in the first round and getting millions of dollars and not being drafted at all.

These reporters can make whole segments out of nothing. Opinions based on opinions based on opinions about who the surprises and busts will be. Who will move up in the draft because of these work outs? Who will move down? Opinions and speculation from talking heads is running rampant this week. Opinions on who has “character” and who doesn’t. It’s easy to tell who doesn’t have character. They’re the ones getting arrested. Dead giveaway.

So if you have the NFL network you can tune into the new ultimate football non event. At lest until they invent another one. I think they should televise the GM meetings where they decide to cut veteran players for salary cap reasons. That would be exciting non event TV.