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NFL Draft 2011: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers And Empty Talk

With the NFL Draft kicking off Thursday at 8 PM, the final rumors and hypotheses are starting to fly. The Buccaneers will take a pass rusher. No, they're going to take the best available player. No, no, no...they really want an offensive lineman or someone to replace Aqib Talib. Heck, they'll take anyone.

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But who are we kidding? Who can actually predict how the draft will fall out? It's a dynamic event, with teams adjusting their strategies based on who's still on the board when their turn comes. Many of the words shed about the draft are empty words - spouted because people will listen and skyrocket ratings, but not because the news is actually all that noteworthy.

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Joe Posnanski had a blog post the other day talking about just this very concept: empty talk.

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You've noticed this, no doubt, but there really are many, many things we talk and write about in sports that have nothing whatsoever to do with reality. Think about how much talk there was this off-season about Cliff Lee pitching for the New York Yankees.

Well, of course, Cliff Lee did not sign with the Yankees. And all that talk, all those words, all that computer memory, all them just disappeared into the ether. It wasn't just that the talk was meaningless ... it became entirely empty, like it had never even happened. We live in the era of the Story Mirage. Once Lee signed with the Phillies, all those stories became less than worthless. They became invisible.

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Who knows who the Bucs will take with their first pick tomorrow, but there will be plenty of time to analyze the move after it's already happened. At this point, I can't wait for the draft to get here and be done already. I'm so, so tired of listening to empty talk.

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Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.