I'm glad the NFL Network exists, because it really puts ESPN's obsession with the National Football League in perspective.
Case in point: the league-owned channel will be covering the 2013 NFL Draft live for 47 freaking hours this weekend. Considering the draft lasts three days, that only leaves 25 hours uncovered by the NFL Network. I mean, I know they banned reporters from tweeting draft picks early, but... maybe if you put in nearly two full days of coverage, you deserve an early tweet or two.
The show gets going at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. That's right, NFL Network will be airing seven hours of day-of-draft pre-coverage. The net will have crews live from their studios in Los Angeles as well as Radio City Music Hall. During the day, Chris Rose will anchor coverage from New York, while Andrew Siciliano hosts from LA. The list of analysts (this will be getting longer, so buckle up) includes Kurt Warner, LaDainian Tomlinson, Charley Casserly, Charles Davis and Brian Billick. The 1-7 p.m. ET block of pre-draft coverage will feature interviews with Andy Reid, John Elway and Jerry Jones.
The NFL Network's "A-Team" so to speak takes over at 7 p.m. ET, live from Radio City. Rich Eisen -- sports TV's best studio host -- runs the show for all three days of the NFL Draft. Please keep him in your thoughts. He'll be joined by Mike Mayock, Marshall Faulk, Steve Mariucci, Michael Irvin and Deion Sanders. Ian Rapoport and Daniel Jeremiah will be in the pit (because the NFL Draft also doubles as an Ozzfest revival) providing additional analysis. Melissa Stark, Kevin Frazier and Angela Simmons will work the red carpet. Kurt Warner sticks around live from Los Angeles to provide his take.
On Friday, NFL Network is again live from 1 p.m. ET onward. Eisen has Mayock, Davis and Billick by his side. NFL Network scales down on reporters and analysts on days two and three of the draft, but it is no less impressive. Eisen and co. take over at 4 p.m. ET on Friday.
Saturday's coverage gets going at 10 a.m. ET. Scott Hanson anchors coverage from Los Angeles from 10-11 a.m. ET, with Heath Evans, Jamie Dukes and Casserly alongside. Eisen will again host from New York with Mayock and Davis, but he'll have guests throughout the day. Brian Kelly, Les Miles and David Shaw will all be along throughout the day.
NFL Network will have reporters on site at a bunch of team camps. They'll be live from Arizona, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, both New York teams, Baltimore, Dallas, Cleveland, Washington, Minnesota, Kansas City and Seattle.
The network also has a bunch of ancillary programming, if you can possibly believe that. Mike Mayock will do a mock draft on Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, and he'll host a draft conducted by other NFL Network personalities tonight at midnight, because that's what you can do when you're on the NFL Network. Rich Eisen will host a draft special edition of his excellent podcast on Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. A show that features past No. 1 picks will air tonight at 9 p.m. ET, and it'll follow up with a Top 10 show of draft day moments at 8 p.m. ET.
So, you know, if you need to hear somebody talk about football over the next few days, maybe NFL Network is the place to do it.