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Attending the Draft in Person

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Patsfanin Philly, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Two other fathers from our area and myself took our 11 and 12-year-old sons up to New York and attended yesterday's NFL draft. As a parent and a football fan, it was a great experience that I hope my sons will remember it for a long time.
    We took the train up on Friday night and after checking in to our hotel (hotels.com found one across the street that had only opened the day before) we went out to see where we would have to wait on line early Saturday morning. A security guard informed us that people were already lined up waiting for wristbands that would guarantee admission and this was at 8:30 PM Friday night. We joined the line of about 500 people and waited 5 hours to get the wristbands which were like gold and given out individually starting at one minute after midnight. There were rumors of people offering up to $300 for them but we weren't selling ours.
    While waiting on line, people would come and go and bring food back from the local pizzeria and sharing with complete strangers to pass the time but it was a party-like atmosphere with fans of every team present. Luckily the weather cooperated so the time passed quickly. There were college students from Rochester who came down after finals, a Jets fan from Albany, Eagles fans from Maryland and of course Cheeseheads from all over.
    Once we got our bands, we went back to the hotel for some shuteye.
    The next morning those that hadn't gotten wristbands (or didn't know) waited in a different line that stretched around a few city blocks. We got breakfast and toured the NBC facilities before getting on a separate line for admission at about 9:30. We waited for an hour or so while they checked bags and made sure that everyone in our line had the requisite wristband. The time passed quickly with fans (mostly Jets, Eagles, Pats, Bills but few Giants fans) of other teams joking and irritating each other. The name Mike Mamula came up a few times for example.
    Once inside the wristband was exchanged for a ticket for a reserved seat and a gift bag.
    The bag had a radio embossed with the NFL logo that picked up FM stations and both ESPN and NFL Network that that broadcast on two different stations inside the Hall. They had TV screens simulcasting NFL Network and ESPN booths selling NFL merchandise.
    During breaks, NFL Network was bringing fans up to the stage and asking them trivia questions for prizes and broadcasting in house to the audience. My son a sixth grader at a suburban Philadelphia school was called up to be asked a question by Doug Jolly, the Jets Tight End.
    Wearing a Patriots T-shirt and hat (I'm a native Bostonian) he got a round of boos when they asked him where he was from and which team he supported. Neither Philadelphia nor Boston got a lot of love up there. He got the question right (What year was Frank Gifford drafted, 1950,51,52 or 53?) with a little help, wink nod and they gave him a prize of a full set of Topps cards and an autographed hat. They asked him who he thought the Patriots would draft and he replied Tye Hill or Manny Lawson. The funny part was that at the same time, the Rams were getting ready to draft Hill and about 30 seconds after Jason made his guess for the Pats, the Rams drafted him. The best part about being on stage was walking past the orchestra pit with all the teams' tables and seeing the ESPN broadcasting team up close while they were on the air broadcasting and seeing it up close.
    The interesting part is that once a team made it's choice, it was electronically sent out to all the teams and they reset the clock to 15 minutes, even before the Commissioner made his announcement of the pick. So when Paul Tagliabue was announced the selection, the clock was already down to under 14 minutes for the next team. A few times, they let it slip before the announcement and started showing either the player or highlights before his name was announced. They showed Jay Cutler in the waiting room so everyone knew he was the selection before announcing it.
    After the first round was over and our assortment of Eagles, Patriots, Rams and Panthers fans were happy, we left and took the train home to catch up on some sleep.
    For any football fan, it is a great experience and while TV captures part of the experience, being there is a lot more fun.
  2. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Rookie

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    Glad you guys had fun
  3. marty

    marty Rookie

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    Thanks for sharing your day with us Philly! Sounds like you had a great time and I'm sure your son will always remember it! Fun to hear about some of the details of the day!
  4. stcjones

    stcjones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    great post

    Glad you guys had so much fun!! that is something that I have always wanted to do.....just don't know if I could handle all those stinking jets fans though.......good post
  5. shmessy

    shmessy Maude Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow, great stuff PFIP. Loved that behind-the-scenes info.

    Thanks for letting us experience some of that vicariously through you.
  6. Patsfanin Philly

    Patsfanin Philly Rookie

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    Thanks.
    Some other observations...
    1) Vernon Davis is big and I'm glad he's in the NFC. I was standing next to Doug Jolley, a TE and then Davis who was waiting to do an interview and he was huge in comparison. His agent, Ethan Lock (repped Moe Williams, Tiki and Tait of KC) was smiling from ear to ear. Why shouldn't he? His client was selected 5th, is in line for a big payday and could be a rookie of the year candidate (my bet is on Addai by default)..

    2) While we were leaving the pit with all the team reps, I was looking for the Pats table to get a picture but couldn't find it. I was looking around and most team reps didn't give it a second thought but I was near the Colts table and the guy gave me a dirty look. Maybe it was the Pats sweatshirt that I was wearing or the Pats hat/Rodney jersey that my son was wearing. It was good to know that even Pats fans get under Indy's skin.

    3) Everybody was complaining about the distribution process for the wristbands as one person at a time went into the office stepped up to a spot and was given the band. In this post 9/11 age in New York and with the level of security involved, I would not have been shocked if this was intentional. They could and probably did use a form of facial recognition software to identify potential criminals or terrorists.
    http://www.biometritech.com/features/roundup051502.htm

    4)The acoustics were great but it was Radio City Music Hall...
    5) There is no place like NYC, thankfully... While waiting in line we were across the street from NBC studios and the rainbow room. All those people taking the tour or going in on the second floor walked past a waiting crowd of hooting guys. One woman hand signalled her phone number (or that of her friend) to a crowd member. The weirdest moment was this very large woman wearing a bright lime green outfit who lifted her shirt and flashed the crowd.
    I think more that a few people were scarred for life as a result......

    6) Why do they have a life size picture of the Houston Oilers on the stage?
    It was one of the four big frames. I know it's Earl Campbell but unless they were trying to celebrate the history of the NFL, it seemed out of place with the other three......Couldn't they find a more modern one???
    7) It was amazing how well all the fans of the different teams got along.There were no fights just lots of good-natured kidding. I did detect a LOT of jealousy on the part of Jet fans.
    "Hey Pats fan, you owe us at least one of those Lombardi trophies. Without Mo Lewis, you don't win those trophies."
    I just smiled..
    8) Waiting on line, WFAN, the NY all sports station drove their van by and gave out keyrings with their logos, throwing them to the crowd. Most of the crowd threw them back at the van before it drove off.......
    9) To get people to show up on Sunday and avoid an empty audience. If you showed up early and stayed to the end, fillig out a form, you were guaranteed a ticket to the 2007 draft...without having to wait in line......
    More later

    ***tech question- Does anyone know how to insert a picture into a posting if it's on my computer and doesn't have a URL?
    Thanks in advance....
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2006

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