Thursday, February 7, 2013

Go Deep, Throw Long: How Drafting is like the Superbowl

I'm a Maryland girl, born and raised. So, I guess I'll be starting with this.

Is that a cheetah? Nope, just Jacoby Jones.

But let's not mince words. I'm not going to be a fair weather fan because, really, I'm not a fan at all. My husband is a football FANATIC. He literally knows more than anyone I've ever met, like some kind of NFL Rainman. We root for the Redskins in my house, though. So, I am happy for Baltimore and my Ravens-fan friends. I can't pretend to be particularly interested.

However, Sunday night, sitting in the living room of my friend's house, surrounded by roaring fans and lots of buffalo wings, it occured to me that a football game reminds me a lot of the drafting process. Well, okay, it didn't actually occur to me then. I remembered I needed to write a blog post for today and I started thinking about how to tie in the Superbowl. And THAT'S when I saw the similarities.

Below, a couple examples of how writing and football have more in common than you think:

Football Games
Writing Process
1.      To keep things in small, easily digestible chunks, every football game is divided into quarters and these quarters are divided into smaller segments whenever the game clock stops.
1.      To keep things in small, easily digestible chunks, most books are divided into chapters and these chapters are divided into smaller segments whenever you get a chance to write. (i.e. 1000 words a day)
2.       Whether on an offensive or defensive line, each player in a football lineup has a specific job to do.
2.       Whether a protagonist or antagonist, each character in a book has a specific job to do.

3.       An End Zone is a 10-yard-long area at both ends of the field — the promised land for a football player. You score a touchdown when you enter the end zone in control of the football.

3.       “The End” is the promised land for an author. You feel an intense sense of accomplishment when you enter “The End” into your document.

I could go on -- but, in the end, be you Jacoby Jones or Joe Flacco or Stephen King or Sarah Dessen, there will always be an inevitable similarity: humanity. The joys and successes of Superbowls or sold books or finished products. The unfortunate days of failed plot lines or missed passes or lost games. We are all in it together. Cheerleaders. Players. Fans. Writers. It's the game of life, baby! Play it.


Kelly Fiore's debut, TASTE TEST, is forthcoming from Bloomsbury USA/Walker BFYR in August 2013. You can find her at or @kellyannfiore on Twitter.

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