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Sports Then and Now



NFL Draft Is Fulfillment of A Dream For New Pros 5

Posted on April 24, 2010 by Dean Hybl
Pittsburgh Steelers fan Zachary Hatfield got to fulfill a dream by announcing the first round draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Pittsburgh Steelers fan Zachary Hatfield got to fulfill a dream by announcing the first round pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

I will admit that when I heard that the NFL Draft was going to three days and moving to prime time I rolled my eyes and thought they had really jumped the shark. However, after watching most of the “action” over the last two days, I now realize that rather than reaching a point of over-exposure, the NFL has turned an already great event into something even better.

When it was first shown on Sunday afternoons and then moved to Saturday, the NFL Draft on ESPN was always interesting to see some of the inner-workings of the NFL. Even though no team technically won or lost during the draft, over the years it developed over a “must see” event for football fans.

However, by the middle of the last decade, the first round had gone from being exciting to being excruciating. With each team usually taking their 15-minute allotment, the first round dragged on for between five and six hours and even the most loyal fans had a hard time staying engaged for the entire first round.

As they generally do, the NFL and ESPN recognized what they needed to do to make their prize event even better and a couple years ago reduced the time between picks and made the draft a two day event. That helped speed up the first round and make many wives across the country football widows for an entire weekend in April. Read the rest of this entry →

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      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

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