Sports News Without Access, Favor, Or Discretion

Both the ESPN and NFL Network draft broadcasts were Johnny Football-obsessed tonight, but the Worldwide Leader was especially interested in the Heisman-winning Texan. Led by a drooling Jon Gruden, ESPN mentioned Manziel 113 times—nearly four times as often than any other draftee.


By the numbers, as aggregated from closed captioning:

  • ESPN brought up Manziel's name 83 times, and referred to him as "Johnny Football" 30 more.
  • The total of 113 mentions outpaces that of the top five draft picks combined.
  • #1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney came in second, earning 29 mentions on ESPN.
  • The network's longest period of time without mentioning Manziel: 18 minutes, 50 seconds—spanning the first three picks of the draft.

Obviously, there's some survivorship bias here, with Manziel falling to the 22nd pick. However, even simply going by mentions after the player's slot (and ESPN talked about Manziel clean through n0t only his 22nd slot, but basically the entire 23rd slot as well), Manziel racked up 14 mentions after his slot package. Clowney had five, Bortles had four, and each had a good deal longer than Manziel to be mentioned again.

Here's the overall distribution of mentions for all players drafted tonight:


Manziel accounts for 26% of all those mentions. (Clowney, as mentioned above, came in second; he earned 7%.)

NFL Network wasn't far behind ESPN, with 105 total Manziel mentions (only 12 utterances of "Johnny Football"). But the league's official TV channel mentioned the other players more often (Anthony Barr 275% more mentions, Clowney got 13% more, Bortles 26% more for example).


Here are some word clouds (created with from the night's broadcasts. First, ESPN:


And here's NFL Network:


As usual, caveats: closed captioning data is not canonical, and misses things on occasion.

To contact the author of this post, write to or find him on Twitter @bubbaprog.

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