Shocking The World At The 2012 NFL Draft In New York City

The 2012 NFL Draft has come and gone, but not before I documented my journey as I took part in last week's big events in New York City. Being an NFL fan is easy and fun, but being an NFL blogger means event after event after event. I wouldn't trade it for the world, so to give folks insight on how I fared for this year's draft, I decided to pen everything to share with the readers. Hope you enjoy.

Wednesday, April 25th: Pre-Gaming Before The Draft

I arrived in NYC, ready to get the draft events underway. One thing I didn’t do last year was head to Radio City Music Hall to see how long the line is for fans waiting for tickets for tomorrow’s big day. When Steelergurl and I arrived, I was in awe as the line was wrapped around the corner at 7:38 P.M. There’s never been a doubt in my mind that NFL is king, but to see the fans in droves patiently wait for their tickets was amazing. No other sport in this country brings the fan fare the way the football does.

Headed back to the hotel to get ready for the ESPN Pre-Draft Party. There’s a small problem, though; I received the invite for the red carpet event but never received the address from the PR person in charge of the event. Ultimate PR fail! Oh well, I missed the open bar, but my night isn’t a waste. I head to Benny’s in West Village for some margaritas.

Thursday, April 26th: Time To Head To Radio City Music Hall

Finally! The 2012 NFL Draft is here. But before I go to Radio City Music Hall for this evening's festivities, I head over to the NFL headquarters, as I received a personal invite to meet with the commish as well as view the new facility. Check out the run down on what happened over at HQs by clicking here.

After the NFL HQ tour, Steelergurl and I head over to RCMH. We get our press credentials and find our seats, which were six rows back from the far left stage. Not bad! I take the moment in, as I sit near people I admire and respect such as Mike Freeman (CBS Sports), Aaron Nagler (Cheesehead TV/Bleacher Report) and Matt Miller(NFL Draft Scout) at Bleacher Report.

The best part about the draft always has been the fans. From the ferocious boos at Goodell's initial walk across the stage, to the “RG3” chants from the waves of Redskins fans while Luck was still on the stage savoring his moment, the fans make it all worthwhile. Typically, Jets fans take over Day One of the draft, but by far, Redskins fans were the HTIC (Head Team In Charge) on this night. Burgundy and gold was everywhere, waiting for the moment when they announce that, in fact, Robert Griffin III was the new QB of their team.

Also on Thursday, we saw a total of eight trades in the first round, something that’s uncommon. Many described this to be a deep draft, with players ranking first round talent dropping to the second round or later. Best part of the night: when fans starting chanting, "OVERRATED!" as Ryan Tannehill walked across the stage after Miami declared him the eighth overall pick of the draft.

Friday, April 27th: Flag Football and Day Two

Before heading over for Day Two of the draft, I received a last-minute invite from Nike regarding an event they had at Times Square. Nike had put together an event called the “Broadway Bowl,” which brought together NYPD/FDNY officials alongside famous actors, performers and athletes.

The flag football game stopped everyone in their tracks as they walked thru Times Square, watching as the guys (and girls) on the field played like the game had playoff implications. It was a great event and, once again, Nike shows why they are the best in the business.Hosted by The Insider’s Kevin Frazier and Hot 97’s Angie Martinez, the event brought out famous names such as Mark Sanchez, Justin Tuck, Matt Ryan, Dwayne Bowe, 49ers great Ronnie Lott, former Jets QB Browning Nagle, rappers Jadakiss and Ace Hood, actor Pooch Hall (The Game) and many more. The Nike event had tons of kids in the audience, and they all received some gifts to take home with them. 

Off to RCMH, where Day Two of the NFL Draft was about to begin. Many people think the fanfare slacks off during Day Two, but there are just as many fans there than the day before. Fans still dressed up in their Sunday gear in the audience, waiting for the event to start.

As was the case last year, the Bud Light VIP section was back in business and rowdy as ever up in the middle balcony. Each year, a group of people win tickets to Bud Light events during the NFL Draft. The events also includes a VIP section at RCMH that gives fans beer and pizza during the duration of the event. Each year (as the night goes on and the beer starts flowing), the crowd gets louder and rowdier. At one point during a trade that allowed the Broncos to move up to select one of their picks, the Jets fans in the BL section started to chant, “Trade Tebow Back!!” You gotta love New Yorkers.

One this night, Giants, Jets and Eagles fans are the loudest, and Giants fans made their presence felt as former DE Michael Strahan trotted his way on the stage to announce the Giants second round draft choice. However, the loudest ovation of the night, hands down, went to Lions great Barry Sanders, as every fan in the building got up to cheer and pay respects to one of the NFL’s greatest talents. Fans kept the evening alive with some fun trash talk, chanting and interacting with others that love the game the way they do.

Saturday, April 28th: Time To Go

Heading home... no one goes to Day Three of the draft anyway. Plus, I'm missing my family. I check the selections on my phone as they come in, while heading back to MD. Thank God for technology!!

Overall, another NFL Draft weekend was a success. If I ever needed a reason to love the game just a little more, this was it. I had a great time and I can't wait until next year. Check out all of the pictures from this weekend's events by clicking here.

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