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What's Next: Refs Gone Wild?
PHIL TAYLOR
April 30, 2012
8 a.m.
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April 30, 2012

What's Next: Refs Gone Wild?

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8 a.m.

Your alarm goes off, waking you to the old Hank Williams Jr. cry, "Are you ready for some football?" Of course you are. The NFL has made sure that you are always ready for some football, because the league is with you everywhere, all the time. Even now, in the off-season of 2014, the NFL isn't just in your thoughts; it has moved into your brain and built a house with a two-car garage.

8:30 a.m.

As you get dressed your smartphone vibrates, thanks to the NFL app that alerts you whenever a new mock draft is posted by anyone anywhere. There was a time when NFL reporters took one shot at predicting the draft each year. Then they began to put out versions 2.0 and 3.0. Now fans also create their own mock drafts, and even though no one in the history of human existence has ever correctly predicted the entire first round, you feel good about your latest effort, version 246.0. You check your phone, eager to see whether this new entry, from a blogger in Boise, has that USC offensive tackle going to the Bills at No. 10 or the Cardinals at No. 13. You are concerned about this even though you would not know the kid if he walked into your bedroom at this very moment and chop-blocked you.

9 a.m.

You're driving to work, listening to the Tim Tebow Channel. The satellite station broadcasts play-by-play of the quarterback's greatest moments on a continuous loop, interspersed with Tebow's reading Biblical passages and sound bites from his best locker room speeches. It gets you pumped up in the morning, which wouldn't be a problem except that everyone in the marketing department is getting tired of your sprinting down the hall, head-butting them and yelling, "Let's go!" and "God bless" on the way to your office.

10:30 a.m.

After making sure the boss can't see your computer monitor, you switch to the site that's live-streaming the latest NFL-uniform fashion show. You remember the one in 2012, when after weeks of anticipation, the new uniforms were revealed to be almost identical to the old ones, but this time there's buzz about a major change: Anonymous sources are indicating that the pirate on the Raiders' logo might have his eye patch switched from the left to the right. You hope all the major networks will interrupt regularly scheduled programming if it happens, because coverage otherwise would be restricted to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPN3 HD, ESPN Classic, ESPN International, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPNU, ESPN.com, WatchESPN, ESPN the Magazine, ESPN Video on Demand and ESPN Mobile Web.

12:30 p.m.

You complete your online purchase of tickets to NFL Combine: The Musical. The Broadway production has drawn rave reviews, especially for Neil Patrick Harris, who dons a fat suit to play the role of Jets coach Rex Ryan and belts out the showstopper, a reworked tune from West Side Story, to a chorus line of prospective draft picks:

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