At times during this pandemic sports fans were often made to feel guilty when they talked about how much they missed their favorite games.

I mean people are getting sick and dying, millions are unemployed, businesses are shut down and face an uncertain future and yet some of us moan about missing baseball, basketball and hockey.  How shallow!

Well I’m one of those who misses watching the Mets, Rangers and Knicks. Wait a second, I take the part about the Knicks back.  I’ll only care about them when they become relevant again or my 10-month old grandson starts driving, whichever comes first.

I do miss sports, especially during this crisis when it would provide a badly-needed escape from all the sadness.  To be able to spend three hours at night watching Pete Alonso take swings or Artemi Panarin slap shots would be great.

So would spending an afternoon at Toms River South watching the state’s winningest baseball coach Ken Frank in action on the field named after him.

However that has all been taken away and nobody knows when we’ll get it back.

So with that backdrop let me say I had no guilt whatsoever getting excited over the NFL Draft which opened with the first round last night.  All week long I poured over mock drafts, read about potential trades and was pumped up when it got underway at 8 p.m.

It certainly was very different. The first ever virtual draft saw Commissioner Roger Goodell making announcements from his basement with the head honchos from the 32 teams working from their homes as well.

When a players name was announced he did not come on stage to hug Goodell but rather got off his couch to hug his family members watching with him.

It was an outlet for a few hours and an escape that continues tonight and tomorrow.  Instead of debating whether states should reopen we got to hear announcers debate whether or not the Giants took the right offensive tackle.

Consensus is they did not but then again fans ripped them for taking quarterback Daniel Jones last year and he just might be a very good one.

So if only for a brief period last night was a welcome back to sports and I for one was happy to be able to watch it.


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