Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Formula One 2014: Complete schedule, standings, driver info

Some advice from a rookie NFL fan as the draft looms: it's time to play by my rules

Regular readers will know that my relationship with fans of American football got off to a rocky start: I wrote about it, and they wanted to throw rocks at me.

Regular readers will know that my relationship with fans of American football got off to a rocky start: I wrote about it, and they wanted to throw rocks at me. To restore goodwill, I have since tried to educate myself in the ways of gridiron, and have grown to appreciate it. So I am genuinely looking forward to watching my first NFL Draft this week. Who else but the Americans would make a glitzy spectacle of an administrative process like sharing out rookies?

The extravaganza is especially remarkable when you consider it is a glorified version of the way we used to pick teams at school. The weak teams get first pick an idea I would describe as slightly Communist if I wasn't trying to build bridges here and then follows a few rounds of ritualised humiliation until one team effectively says: "Oh, sir, do we have to have Batchelor?" The draft has become so beloved that perhaps the NFL might like to incorporate some other playground rules into their fine sport. How about:

Shirts v Skins. No need for costly uniforms, as one team simply strips to the waist while the other remains fully clothed. The idea was tested, to limited approval, by Janet Jackson in 2004. Three and in. An excellent way to fill unpopular positions, this rule is soccer-specific and requires the scorer of three goals to immediately become goalkeeper. Could be adapted for the NFL, by making quarterbacks swap with blockers after throwing three touchdown passes.

Ball-owner's rules. This is self- explanatory. Whoever owns the ball decides the rules, often on an ad hoc basis. A model probably favoured by Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president. Play until tea. Avoid the restrictions of a set time frame and simply play until mother calls you in for refreshments. Well, it works fine for cricket. Will Batchelor is a writer, broadcaster and self-confessed cynical sports fan

sports@thenational.ae

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Chris Burch will play fly-half as part of a new-look back line for the UAE national rugby union team that will face Singapore at The Sevens grounds in Dubai. Sarah Dea / The National

Chris Burch to lead UAE’s charge against Singapore

he UAE’s bid to safeguard their place in the second tier of Asian rugby against Singapore next week will be piloted by a player who was contemplating retirement from the sport at this time last year.

 Seiichi Shimomura, centre, is part of a Japan squad that is the gold standard for sides such as the UAE, here in a Asian Five Nations rugby match at Dubai on May 10, 2013 and Singapore aspire to reach. Marwan Naamani / AFP

UAE and Singapore are rugby teams with a similar tale to tell

The UAE versus Singapore in rugby: a battle to see whether our expatriates are better than their expatriates, surely? Well, maybe not for much longer.

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 Sharjah Cricket Stadium's colorful past was never like this – the IPL match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Daredevils was loud, raucous and commerical. Pawan Singh / The National

No need for rose-coloured glasses when Sharjah Cricket Stadium host IPL

Sharjah still plays well as India's home away from home when it comes to big-time cricket, but the commercial overtones were in overdrive.

 Jorginho accepts the challenge that lies ahead for Al Wasl's improvement, and the club says it will give him time ... if they see results.  Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Wasl will give Jorginho time but results in Arabian Gulf League are needed

Al Wasl officials said they will provide Jorginho, their new coach, sufficient time to change the club’s fortunes while also warning that his fate ultimately will depend on results.

 Mickael Barzalona riding Sudden Wonder, left, to victory in the Tattersalls Millions Trophy at Newmarket racecourse on April 17, 2014 in Newmarket, England. Alan Crowhurst/ Getty Images

Godolphin boosted by performances of two fresh horses at Newmarket

Be Ready underwhelms in Craven Stakes during otherwise successful day for stables

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National