April 22, 2020

Meet the guy who’ll measure your Bronx cheers at the NFL’s quarantine draft

Booing the commissioner is one of the NFL’s great draft-day traditions. It’s not going away entirely.

Roger Goodell can run, but he cannot hide.

One of the most reliably funny moments at the annual NFL draft happens like clockwork in the 1st round. The commissioner, Roger Goodell, steps to the podium to announce a new selection — and fans of the picking team shower him with appreciation boos.

Philadelphia Eagles fans are especially merciless (back in the late ’60s, they booed a raggedy imitation of Santa Claus). Last year, ESPN apparently tried a little audio trickery to tame the volume of the draft-day jeers.

This year’s draft kicks off on Thursday night — giving content-craving sports fans something to talk about between episodes of ESPN’s Michael Jordan docuseries “The Last Dance.” Teams will make their selections remotely to comply with social distancing orders.

If you thought Goodell is off the hook, you thought wrong

Because Caio Brighenti is the hero cooped-up football fans need right now.

Brighenti came up with a way to measure how teams’ fan bases react to each draft pick — in real time. He’ll be using comments from Reddit to measure sentiments for all 32 teams.

And he’s adding a 33rd: a “Goodell Boo-Meter,” which captures the sentiment of all NFL fans.

Pretty good for a guy who openly said he’s working on the project to avoid doing homework (he’s a senior at Colgate University — so who could blame him?). Last season, he entered the NFL’s Big Data Bowl as a one-man team and made it to the finals.

But what if Roger puts Caio on mute?

The boo birds will find a way to fly. Bud Light said this week that it’ll forward your #BootheCommish tweets to NFL HQ — it’s collecting money for charity in the process.

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