Let me start off by saying that I don't understand man crushes. I understand perfectly wanting to hang out with the guys. Have some laughs, eat until you puke, you know, the works. It's normal and natural to want to hang out with your buds, but, for the life of me, I will never understand man crushes. You know how it goes. A certain guy (let's call him Steve) meets a really cool guy (let's call him Mark). Steve really comes to like Mark as a friend, and Mark reciprocates the mutual feelings of "bro-ness". However, Steve becomes obsessed with Mark. He insists on always hanging out with Mark, always has to be the center of Mark's attention, and he experiences a giddiness only rivaled by a 12 year old girl at a Justin Bieber concert. I saw it as a teenager (somewhat understandable as teenagers want to be popular), and I've seen it as an adult (inexplicable and inexcusable). Seriously, get a woman.
I give you that rant in complete understanding that I am going to contradict myself somewhat in the remaining portions of my post. While I am baffled and appalled by man crushes, I admit to falling victim to yearly draft crushes. While being giddy at the presence of another man is awkward to say the least, I have found that draft crushes are fairly normal amongst football fans. A draft crush would be defined as an overwhelming desire to have your favorite team (in my case, the Colts, obviously) draft a particular player and the associated giddiness that accompanies that expressed hope. The months leading up to the draft cause you to fall in love with a particular player, and there is severe heartache as a football fan when that player is either drafted before you have the opportunity to pick, or, the even more gut-wrenching scenario, your team passes up the player only to have him go the very next pick (this happened to me last year). It's like being one of those teenage boys who invite Kate Upton to be his date to the prom, only to find out that Rosie O'Donnell was the one that showed up to your doorstep. It not only sucks, it's sickening. Unlike that scenario, luckily, there are times when the alternate pick is better than your draft crush. In that case, you chalk it up to a simple crush that had no chance of going the distance, but, sometimes, you find the one you can commit to. When this happens, it's a magical fan to player relationship that brings tremendous amounts of joy (especially when that player helps to win the Super Bowl). I will admit that my draft crushes have been hit or miss (mostly miss).
While man crushes continue to be just plain weird, draft crushes are a near inevitability to the hardcore football fan. The following players have been my yearly draft crushes since my first in 2006. I invite you to share your's in the comments. I also invite your judgment if draft crushes aren't as prominent as they seem to be from my experience.
2006 - Laurence Maroney. Addai was the better pick. Bad crush.
2007 - Patrick Willis. I developed this crush while there was still the possibility of him going in the late first round. Paul Pozluszny was my updated crush. Anthony Gonzalez was taken by the Colts. Good Crush.
2008 - Without a first rounder, I didn't develop much of a crush on someone to be drafted by the Colts. If I had to choose someone, it was CB Mike Jenkins. Good and bad crush.
2009 - Hakeem Nicks. Took Donald Brown. Nicks has been a good and bad crush. Brown has mostly sucked, but I don't know where we would've been this year without him.
2010 - I was lukewarm at best on everyone this year. Nobody reallying struck my fancy from this draft.
2011 - Nate Solder. Anthony Castonzo was drafted. Good crush. Nice consolation prize.
2012 - Do I even have to state it? I will anyway - Andrew Luck!!! Tremendous Crush!!!
2013 - Xavier Rhodes. Keenan Allen was my backup. Bjoern Werner drafted. Too soon to tell (except Allen. He was a beast).
2014 - Jordan Matthews. He could be there. I really hope we grab him if he's there. We need defensive help, but I think his skill set is too close to Reggie's to pass up. He may not be "special", but he'd be a great pickup.
So there you are. I know some of you are more fond of late round crushes. Feel free to express your draft crushes with potential for all rounds or even potential undrafted sleepers.