There’s a spoiler etiquette that exists on Twitter that is nearly impossible to define, but that certainly doesn’t stop people from getting all huffy. You see this all the time with popular TV shows, because it’s considered bad form by West Coasters for people to post reactions to new episodes while the East Coast feed airs. For some people it goes much further — many who DVR’d a show want a grace period of at least 24 hours or even longer.
Usually when it comes to breaking sports news on Twitter, the sooner the better. That is, except for the NFL Draft. Last year, most every draft pick in the first round was tweeted by a reporter minutes before the ginger commissioner came out and announced the players’ names on TV. The complaints from NFL fans were loud, and ESPN has enacted spoiler regulations that apply to their top NFL insider.
This probably applies to Chris Mortensen as well. ESPN is rarely shy about controlling their personalities’ social media platforms (just ask Bill Simmons), and they’re going to protect a program that garners high ratings every year. That also applies to NFL Network insiders, but not Jason La Canfora. He left the NFL Network to join CBS Sports a year ago, and he says he plans to tweet whatever information receives as soon as possible. While this seems to be a pretty standard way to go about things for someone who reports the news for a living, even Deadspin (ESPN’s loudest critic) can’t fully get behind La Canfora’s stance. That’s how much people hate spoilers.
We’re giving away two pizza parties this week from Amici’s East Coast Pizzeria (as you have have seen here and here), and that got me thinking about how people watch the NFL Draft. I’ve heard of people throwing draft parties, but that seemed to be more common back when the draft started on Saturday mornings on the West Coast. Now that the first round is on Thursday, do people really get together, order a bunch of Amici’s combos and cheer/boo at their television screen when the picks are made?
I got an email this morning from the 49ers saying their outdoor block party at San Pedro Square Market in San Jose — which is known as the San Francisco 49ers Draft Bash — is sold out. How many people are going to be checking their phones at the Bash, and does it constitute a draft party foul if you shout out the pick before Roger Goodell steps up to the podium? Can you imagine the game of telephone that would be going on if one fan heard about the 49ers trading up in the first round? By the time the trade was announced on TV half the people at the Bash will think the 49ers drafted the Honey Badger with the 10th overall pick.
I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet. On one hand, it’s kind of fun to watch the names get announced on TV. Makes me hearken back to the days of my youth, when I’d scamper down the stairs on Saturday morning, curl up on the couch with a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles and watch Paul Tagliabue shake hands with first rounders while the drunk New Yorkers in the crowd hooted and hollered as if they had any idea what was going on.
That being said, I’ll be checking Twitter for news because the NFL Draft isn’t an episode of Homeland or Mad Men. I’ll be writing about this stuff on Thursday evening, so the quicker I know what’s going on the better. If you’re someone who hates spoilers, stay off Twitter for a few hours. Seems rather simple, but nothing in our entertainment-trumps-everything world ever is.
The contest question of the day is this:
***How do you feel about reporters “spoiling” the NFL Draft on Twitter? Will it change the way you watch on TV or use social media?***
Feel free to piggyback off that question with your thoughts on NFL Draft parties, whether you like ESPN’s coverage better or if you prefer NFL Network, or if you like the new Thursday/Friday/Saturday setup compared to the way it used to be.
Once you comment, you’re entered to win one of two 10-person pizza parties, where Amici’s lets you select your choice of several pizzas and salads. It won’t be in time for an NFL Draft party this year (unless you really get moving quickly on things and set it up with Amici’s to do the party on Saturday for the fourth through seventh rounds), but there’s really no way to spoil a free pizza party no matter when it occurs.