In today's modern era of free agency, teams can be bought, players can be shipped in from overseas, and dynasties can be dismantled in the snap of a finger - or the drop of a pen. But lost in all of this spending frenzy is the declining value of professional drafts.
Not so in the HansonRealEstate.com Scratch League, where who you draft defines your team. And this emphasizes why the pre-draft combines are so important for team captains who must draft and not just buy the next Dice K.
ESPN 8, or The Ocho, carried the combine this year complete with analysis from draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. Now the big buzz from the NFL combines is always who comes in two to three inches shorter than expected. Not so with the HansonRealEstate.com combine. I mean, Norm Duke is only 5 feet 6 inches and 128 pounds and I would take a late round flyer on him any day. So instead, the combine started by measuring the length of the bowlers' slide. Short slides put undue stress on a bowlers' knee and no one wants a first-round draft pick to tear a meniscus three weeks into the season.
Forget about the number of 225-pound bench-press reps a bowler can do. Too much muscle just forces the ball into an early roll and leaves it DOA when it gets to the pocket. But if you can't lift 12 ounces at least 25 to 30 times during the combine, how are you ever going to survive come game day? And short of last call, which usually isn't announced until after the league has finished for the night, when will a kegler's 40-time ever come into play? However, without a proper run-out technique, how are you ever going to let the other team know that you know your ball is going to strike every time you throw it like that?
When the dust settled on Monday, the draft came down to strategy. Every draft has its own signature and this one was to pick low in the first round and set yourself up for a high selection in the second. Of the bottom 11 averages on the board, eight were chosen in the first round. And yet only three of the 14 teams didn't finish with an average between 585 and 600. Whether or not the strategy will work will be determined over the next nine weeks of the league.