The NFL Draft is Here!
By Chris Barry, PowerHouseGM.com
In preparation for the 2013 NFL Draft, I wanted to share a few final thoughts and answer some questions about how the Draft will work on our site and what you should expect.
First, we have some fun things planned for the Live Draft. We have created a live chat board that our community can use during the Draft, and we’ll be having a few exciting guests join as well.
We’ll also be tweeting with the hashtag #iGM throughout the Draft, and invite you to do the same. The tweets will show right on the same page as the live chat; you can see it here.
When you are ready to do the Live Draft for your team, go to the Live Draft page under “Draft Room.” Be sure you are logged in. If you have more than one team, you cannot be logged in as more than one user in the same browser. You can, however, log in as two different users on the same computer if you use Chrome for one and Firefox for the other (for example.)
Until April 25th, the Live Draft page will have a simple message that says it’s not time yet. Also, you need to advance in your timeline (on the Transactions page) as far as you can – you do not need to advance to April 25th, since we always keep you at least three days behind the real world, but you do need to advance to the 22nd.
You are under no obligation to run your draft “live” along with the real Draft, but it’s a LOT of fun to do it that way. We will be in “near-real-time” for most of the Draft.
What’s happening behind the scenes is not technical wizardry. Rather, I’ll be sitting in front of three laptops, watching the Draft, and putting the picks in as quickly as I can. Doing this while chatting, tweeting, and managing my own two iGM teams is going to be crazy. Where’s the coffee?
There are three things could stall the Live Draft from your perspective:
First, if a player is drafted that we don’t yet have in our prospects database (I’m talking to you Bill Belichick,) I need to create a record for that player in Excel and upload it to our site. This can take 5 minutes or more, depending on how quickly I can find the player and his details.
While we’re discussing obscure players, we have made every effort to ensure that we have everyone who might be drafted in our database. There are well over 800 names in the table. The last prospect we added was British Olympian Lawrence Okoye. If there is a player you might draft that is not in our table, tell us now so we can add him. If he’s not in our database, you won’t be able to draft him!
Second, when trades happen, especially later in the Draft, the details aren’t always immediately available. I need to find these details and enter the trade from the perspective of each party involved (like the trades you mirror on the Transactions page, in-draft trades can be mirrored from either side, as long as you have the resources to do so.) We need to pause the Live Draft until all trade details are entered, which can take 5-10 minutes.
Speaking of trades, the draft order on the site has been updated to reflect the Darrelle Revis trade, which should show in your timeline before you start your Live Draft (in case you want to mirror it.)
Any trades that happen between now and the end of Draft, however, will not show on the Transactions page, because you would not be able to see them in time (because you’re behind three days.) Instead, you’ll see them right in the draft. This happened with the Asante Samuel trade last year.
Third, while plenty of our members signed up and started with the 2012 season, and ran the 2012 Live Draft many months after it actually happened, we have not gone through the process of running the Live Draft literally live in a year. While we don’t expect any major technical issues (those who were around last year will have a laugh here,) this is software, and sometimes software does unexpected things. Our technical team will be by the phone if anything needs to be addressed, so hopefully any outage would be a brief one.
We have updated our General Managers file, too. So, if you end up making a trade with, say, the Jets, take a moment to notice that it says “talking with Jets General Manager John Idzik.” A minor point, but a nice touch, we think!
Finally, a group of our members has been having a great time doing a site-wide mock draft. We’re through R1, but probably won’t finish R2. If you’d like to take a look, click here. At the bottom of the last page of this thread is a list summarizing the entire mock draft.