sorry, i didn't post anything last night - free wifi is pretty scarce in midtown manhattan!
The trip on behalf of the steelers has been amazing so far. The NFL couldn't have been nicer. 25 teams chose to send a lucky fan to be their rep. We spent yesterday morning at a rehearsal at radio city music call not much to rehearse, but you know - there's a method to walking the red carpet! halfway through rehearsal, the commish showed up. Now, i know many here would like me to have done something inappropriate - but he was exceedingly gracious and nice. He went out of his way to interact with us all day. definitely a 10 on the cool scale. In the morning we had radio city to ourselves. the fans from the afc north and I decided that for the sake of the experience - we would engage in a 48 hour truce.
At 3:30 we were picked up at the hotel and taken to 30 Rock cafe for a mixer. Sadly we had to leave before the players arrived - and they also had those guys locked down to the point there was no interaction. I was looking forward to a selfie with johnny football. oh well! at 5:45 we loaded up on the bus and were dropped off at radio city. in order of the draft we stepped off and were given an official draft hat in a case to carry into radio city. the red carpet was cool. tons of media, flash, tv, reporters and fans screaming.
Our seats we directly in front of the podium. literally 3 feet away. prior to the pick they take us back into the 'prep room'. for those interested, they have a rack of #1 jerseys all in the back. when you see on the tv, 'the pick is in' - it's actually been in for about 5 minutes. The jersey people already have the names pieced together of all the athletes in attendance. they take that 5 minutes to heat press it on the jersey. The commish walks out and makes the selection. At that point the team reps walk out from stage right and present the jersey to goodell. then we leave and the player walks out from stage left to get the picture with roger and talk to deion sandcastle.
When I was speaking with roger prior he asked who i wanted. I knew the odds were slim, but my prefs were a WR (mike evans), an OT (jake matthews) or a CB. When I talked to him onstage he was laughing with me. he said, hmmm - pit chose a LB! I replied we have a tradition of great LB's - hopefully this one will keep that tradition going. He asked where my wife was sitting so he could turn and pose with me for pictures from the stage.
The night was awesome. The steelers don't really wheel and deal, so I figured my pick was a one and done. some teams selected a player not in attendance so roger just took pics with the team rep and then autographed the draft card and presented it to them.
7 teams cheaped out and didn't sent anyone. the bills, falcons, cards, niners, bears, green bay, and redskins. what a douche move. the jets picked someone but since they're local all they did was send the tix. the poor jets fan was on his own for transpo, parking etc. philly sent up their folks in a limo. baltimore used the train. we all stayed at the marriot next to times square.
For the record, I have literally spent the last 2 hours trying to upload pics here. i've changed the size, the dimensions, the file type. none of it works. I have a bunch I want to share - but the site won't accept anything.
if the mods can figure it out - let me know and i'll try to post them late tonight or tomorrow when I get home. round 2 in a few - gotta get my gear on!!