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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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    • Drew Pearson: Mr. Clutch
      August 7, 2021 | 6:59 pm

      Drew Pearson

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former NFL wide receiver know as “Mr. Clutch” for his penchant for making big receptions at crucial moments of the game. After waiting for more than 30 years, he is finally earning his rightful place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a member of the 2021 Hall of Fame Class.

      During his decade with the Dallas Cowboys, Drew Pearson had a habit of making the big catch at the right moment to help the Cowboys time and again snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

      The favorite target of Hall of Fame quarterback Roger Staubach, Pearson was widely recognized as one of the great receivers of his era. Though at the time of his retirement many expected Pearson to easily breeze into the Hall of Fame, his enshrinement was derailed by changes to the game which artificially inflated receiver stats and made the numbers he produced during a time when wide receivers weren’t catching 100 passes a season seem inferior.

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