The Super Bowl is already an all-but-official American holiday, and it looks like the NFL Draft Day is on its way to becoming one as well. At this rate, important dates for football will supplant the existing holidays, and the sport will be firmly entrenched as our new civil religion. The Draft is like that agonizing time in PE when the team captains take turns choosing their players from the class, but mutated and engorged a thousand times over. At least, that’s the understanding a football layman like myself has of it.
I don’t know how crucial it is that a piece of entertainment about the Draft ensure that such a layman can understand it. Enough people understand football that a movie or book can probably take for granted that the audience knows the rules and history of the game going in. But Draft Day is unlikely to appeal to even the most dedicated scholars of football. Directed by Ivan Reitman and starring Kevin Costner, the film’s release is timed to be in close proximity to this year’s real-life NFL Draft. It’s a pity, then, that the movie features so little of what one could reasonably expect from a story about the Draft, namely the wheeling and dealing that goes on behind the scenes as different teams try to get the best picks they can.