It’s hard not to feed off of the excitement that comes with professional sports drafts.
First, you have the alluring prospect of your favorite team adding a talented, young player to its arsenal. True fans will conduct hours of research trying to pinpoint who they believe their team should take. And when draft day comes around, you get to see if you were right or wrong.
And secondly, the look on these kids’ faces upon being drafted is just a joy to behold. These young athletes have been working towards this day their entire life, and with the simple recital of their name, they’ve accomplished their life goal. As viewers, we are literally watching dozens of young adults’ dreams come true right before our eyes. If that doesn’t thrill you, then I don’t know what to tell you.
And finally, the excitement at these drafts is an experience in itself. Fans of every team across the country flock to one arena to observe the festivities, and voice their approval of their team’s selections. A favorable choice will be greeted with a raucous applause, while a questionable pick will be jeered mercilessly.
For all of those reasons, it’s fun to watch a nationally televised professional sports draft. And as I write this, the NBA draft is currently ongoing. So you think I’d be happy, wouldn’t you?
However, somewhere down the road, you come to anticipate these events a little bit less and less. For every die-hard sports fan, there’s a time in their life when a single thought suddenly occurs to them — “Holy shit, I am older than most of my favorite athletes.”
It’s a wake-up call. A quarter-life crisis, so to speak.
And that is why these drafts are a little bit depressing to me. I’m watching 18, 19 and 20-year-olds accomplish their dreams before I’ve even figured out what my dream is. By hearing their name called, these kids are millionaires. Instant millionaires. Before they even play a game, they will have signed a multi-year contract that can afford them a lot of nice, new shiny things.
With the signing of a pen to paper, they will make more than I probably will in the next 25 years.
And it’ll be the only life they’ve known. In the NBA draft, for instance, these kids have been playing basketball their entire lives. Granted, it’s a very, very high level of basketball. But now they’re getting to continue that life, and they never have to go through the process of picking a career, writing cover letters and sitting down for interviews. They get to play a game. And most of them are goddamn teenagers.
Of course, you have to take it all in context. Most jobs don’t pay as well as professional sports do, but it still changes your entire outlook and complexion of the whole thing.
But with aging comes maturity. We all have to resign ourselves to the fact that we will probably never sign multi-million dollar contracts, and that the kids who are being drafted today were just born with God-given talents that happened to exceed ours.
Me? I was born with the gift of sharing my thoughts on a WordPress blog.
I think I got a raw deal.