Kurt Busch is one of the most talented drivers in NASCAR. He's a former Series champion and winner of over 20 Sprint Cup races. However, he is also one of the biggest jerks in sports. His list of feuds with other drivers is a mile long, as are his incidents of vulgar, abrasive abuse of reporters, crew members, and people in general. After his most high-profile instance of being a jerk towards ESPN's Dr. Jerry Punch (with over a million views on YouTube) at the end of last season, he parted ways with the famed Penske Racing.
Now, Busch races for essentially a non-competitive, sponsorless team, one of the biggest falls down the ladder in recent memory, most of it attributed to being a terrible person. However, despite vows to change, Busch's behavior has been just as bad this year. First there was an expletive-laced rant and meltdown at Darlington that led to a hefty fine and probation. Now, here's video of Busch verbally abusing Sporting News reporter Bob Pockrass after a Nationwide Series event at Dover. Observe.
Pockrass was clearly only doing his job by asking Busch about some close racing on the track and how his probation affects his performance, a reasonable inquiry based on Busch's laundry-list of past transgressions. Pockrass definitely wasn't trying to "start stuff" and wasn't asking "stupid questions." Of course, there are those in the media that look for a "gotcha moment" by baiting an athlete into saying something they'll regret. But, in this case, Kurt Busch simply took what little rope was given him and once again hanged himself.
Not only was it too little too late, it's arguably moving in the wrong direction. Here's what I would do:
*Do we really need the delay between the pick being submitted and Roger Goodell walking out? It should take a guy in a truck less time to type in a name than it takes for Goodell to walk to the podium, and since all these video packages have been prepared before the draft anyway, there's not really any reason for the process of punching in the name not to automatically bring up all the graphics and videos you would need. If at all possible, Goodell should walk out the instant the pick is submitted; the only time you need more time to cue up the video anyway is if the person isn't in the green room.
*No delaying the next pick while all the other pomp and circumstance for the previous pick is going on. I wonder if the new CBA may have had anything to do with the backlog we went through Thursday night (certainly the networks speculated it had something to do with the flurry of trades), which would mean that sort of thing would increasingly become the norm. Move the player interviews to two reserved spots in the green room, one for each network, like the NBA draft does. The player should get off the stage as quickly as possible, and maybe if the next pick is already in Goodell shouldn't have to walk back and then back to the podium, but have the card delivered to him.
*If cutting down the time between pick announcements and cutting the delay before pick announcements aren't options, then just embrace the new world Twitter creates. Release the embargo on showing kids on cell phones - I didn't think those took away anything from the draft anyway. We don't really need Roger Goodell to tell us what the pick is, as evidenced by the fact that Twitter is a problem in the first place, and as evidenced by the last day of the draft where most picks just appear at the bottom of the screen and are usually ignored by the talking heads for some time and possibly forever. Maybe have the picks announced by team executives from within the war room, as their method of making their pick, and accept that there will be some delay for the networks to put up graphics and cue up videos. Maybe even do the entire draft the way you do the last four rounds, with the NFL tweeting the picks the instant they're in, with those tweets triggering the ESPN and NFLN graphics. Hell, at that point you could just do the draft coverage from studios in Bristol and New Jersey, and book a small ballroom to host the green room guests to meet with Goodell, similar to what the NFLPA was threatening during the lockout. I bet the draft would be improved without all the hooligans in the stands cheering and booing every pick anyway.
DON'T USE TWITTER, THEY DID NOTHING WRONG, YOU PEOPLE ARE BEING IMPOSSIBLE, You can react to twitter later, you know if you scroll down you can read previous tweets...crazy huh.This is the dumbest compliant this site has ever had, the TV broadcast cut down on tipping pics a ton and YOU had the option of using twitter or not. It's not absurd not to use twitter every second of your life.#Whinybabies
I don't think it's quite so simple to say that Schefter, et. al. are just "doing their jobs" by reporting the news. Sure, they are NFL reporters, but I don't believe they are doing an extensive amount of work by "reporting" each draft pick seconds before it's done. Especially when, for a variety of reasons, the machine of the draft itself isn't able to announce them as quickly as the reporters are. (This probably does lend itself to more discussion about why our time is wasted with the on-stage time, secret handshakes, and picture taking that delay the whole process, but I digress.)
I am struck by what I think is a fair comparison: TV writers/critics. They certainly have access to the details of plots of our favorite shows before they are aired. They probably even watch the episodes. But they don't Tweet out the details as soon as they learn them, because, of course, that would be spoiling. As viewers, we have no option but to wait for the show to be revealed to us in its natural course.
As an NFL Draft viewer, I, too, have no choice but to wait for Herr Goodell to announce each pick. It doesn't do me, or Adam Schefter, any good for him to spoil the pick minutes or seconds before it is, at last, revealed to the public. What good does it do anyone for Schefter to do this? I don't think it's unreasonable AT ALL to ask him and his cronies, to just, you know...cool out for a bit? And let us enjoy the draft without it being spoiled on Twitter in advance?