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Problem of tipping picks starts with NFL

On Tuesday, the NFL asked its broadcast partners to tell their reporters to not disclose draft picks before draft picks are announced by the Commissioner.

Conceptually, I’ve got no problem with complying, because I had planned to comply even before there was a directive with which to comply. The audience overwhelmingly doesn’t want to know the picks prematurely, and any media company that doesn’t give the audience what it wants won’t be a media company for very long.

Philosophically, I’ve got a little bit of a problem with the NFL foisting the responsibility for blocking the picks from becoming publicly known onto the companies that pay the NFL hundreds of millions and/or billions to televise games. Reporters have been tipping picks because employees of the NFL and/or its teams have been blabbing. If folks weren’t texting reporters from draft rooms (and they do) or giving reporters at the draft a head’s up on the information contained on the cards before the contents of the cards are read at the podium (and they do), there would be nothing for people who don’t work for the NFL and/or its teams to disclose.

So before telling employees of companies with which the NFL does business to put a sock in it, maybe the NFL should be telling its own employees and the employees of its teams to do the same thing.

While I’m still not inclined to tip picks because the audience doesn’t want the information, the devil on my left shoulder is reminding me that I don’t work for the NFL. To see whether the angel on my right shoulder wins (for a change), tune in Thursday night.