The Dead Zone
I don't care how good of a writer you are, you can't make Orwin Smith interesting.
If for some shocking reason you don't know, Orwin Smith is currently the sixth running back on the Packers' roster. Orwin Smith has zero carries for zero yards in his career. He has also caught zero passes for zero yards. As far as I can tell, Orwin Smith has been involved in zero meaningful plays in his NFL career, which includes a few weeks worth of work on the Packers' practice squad last season and just about nothing else.
But despite his completely negligible impact, I was going to write about Smith for today just in case. He is, after all, on the Packers' roster today, which means he could have a chance to be a contributor at some point this season. It's a long shot, but it's possible.
However, I've decided against it, because I've discovered an ax to grind: the NFL off-season is getting way too long.
Yes, I know, the off-season is the same length it's always been. But the structure is different. Instead of April, the NFL Draft is now in May, which is a completely transparent move by the NFL to control a longer chunk of the sports calendar. Previously, NFL off-season events were scattered between February and April, with the whole league now more or less going dark from the draft to minicamps and training camp.
Now, the league has the draft in May, minicamps in June, training camps in July and into August, then the preseason and regular season from August through January and into February. Following the Super Bowl, the league obviously hopes that free agency, the Combine, and regional combines will bridge the gap between the end of the season and the Draft, at which point the whole cycle begins again.
It's certainly the NFL's prerogative if it wants to monopolize as much of the sports calendar as it wants, but it makes me wonder if Mark Cuban was onto something with his "pigs get fat, hogs get slaughtered" statement.
(Side note: I think he was getting his idioms confused. He was probably trying to say "bulls make money, bears make money, pigs get slaughtered", although that really wouldn't make sense in this context.) Certainly there's only so much effort a fan can put into following the NFL. By trying to make every day of the year a big deal for the league, I think the NFL runs the risk of burning out its fans.
For that reason, I'm going to try to fight the system. No, I won't write about Orwin Smith just to fill time in the dead zone between free agency and the draft. No, I won't manufacture controversies or dig up dirt on people in the off-season. If I have nothing to say, we'll say nothing.