The NFL is welcoming a much larger fan presence at next year's Combine

Perhaps recognizing that this whole thing is a big charade anyway, the NFL will open up 6,000 tickets to its Scouting Combine in 2017, which will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in March.

Last year, the league allowed 1,500 fans in, along with televising the event.

"We wanted to continue to allow for fans to get closer to the game when there's so much hope during the offseason," said NFL senior vice president of events Peter O'Reilly, via ESPN. (Acknowledging that the offseason is sometimes the only time for hope may be a targeted play at the Cleveland market.)

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Fans will also get access to something called the "Combine Corner," where they'll be able to run the 40, and have their vertical and broad jump measured -- things that can only be done at the Combine Corner and certainly not at any gym with a stopwatch and measuring tape.

This is the latest move by the NFL to make sure that every single week of our year is in some way focused on the league. One question: How will the scouts feel about 6,000 cheering fans making noise while they're trying to make whatever observations one makes at the Combine?