Liotta: Weekend’s draft fulfilled all guilty little pleasures 

Guilty pleasure. There’s none better.

Television reality shows? Horror movies? Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition? Facebook?

There has never been a more decadent guilty pleasure than the NFL draft. And this year they supersized it.

Three days of debate, discussion and drooling over 20- and 21-year-olds parading across the Radio City Music Hall stage. Prime-time Hollywood. Simon Cowell must’ve loved this parade of praise, gallery of glitz. And I soaked up every minute of it.

Who would the Niners draft with their third-round pick without a general manager? Would the Seattle Seahawks goof things up with Pete Carroll at the helm? What in the world would the Raiders do? Pick after pick.

More Mel Kiper Jr. than any human being needs to endure.

Sure, Thursday night’s first round got most of the attention. Friday’s second and third rounds drove the debate. And Saturday’s finale gave the true football geeks a chance to fantasize about the possibilities of gems no soccer mom or NASCAR dad even fathomed.

And the beautiful thing about the best of our guilty pleasures is that deep down we know they mean nothing. They’re just fun to enjoy.

Even more so than the NFL drafts that came before this one — the bright lights of prime time will do that — everybody has an opinion regarding who succeeded and who failed.

And what we have to remember is that no matter what we hear, what we read, nobody knows what happened over the last three days. There are no winners, no losers. Not yet.

And Niners fans should know this best. Was that first-round pick from Mississippi Valley State touted to become the Jerry Rice who re-wrote the record books? Was that third round pick out of Notre Dame hailed as the Joe Montana every quarterback since has been measured against?

It’s going to take another five years to determine which team won and which team lost in this draft. There are tendons to tear, hearts to break, willpowers to prevail that have yet to be determined.

Nonetheless, while even the kids whose names were called, whose fortunes were made, have no idea if they have what it takes to succeed in the most difficult of professional sports, it was fun to watch.


Random thought

Jason Taylor to the New York Jets. From the Miami Dolphins. Do fans even matter any more?

Remember Taylor’s rip into Jets fans, formerly public enemy No. 1, who could never resist making disparaging remarks about the team’s fan base.

Imagine the Giants re-signing Jeff Kent or bringing Tommy Lasorda in as a consultant. Giants fans would throw up. Imagine how Jets fans are going to feel when Taylor takes the field as a member of Gang Green.

They’re going to gag.

Tim Liotta is a freelance journalist and regular contributor to The Examiner. E-mail him at

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