Saturday, April 23, 2005

Best day of the year

It's my birthday, and I'll write a running diary of the NFL Draft if I want to. It will come in several installments, and here's the first.

8:30 – Wake up. Draft day, birthday, this is awesome. I’m joined by Pete-Nye, Bill, Nate, and Abby.

10:40 – Returned from a donut run that was an absolute debacle. I don’t even want to talk about it, but at least we finally have donuts.

10:41 – Major League II is on TNT. Abby points out that we could watch the DVD and avoid the commercials. We do that.

11:40 – DVD is over, so we watch the last 20 minutes again on TNT.

12:04 – Welcome to the Javits Center! The opening video montage shows Braylon Edwards, who is decked out in a nice suit and a pink shirt. Looks like he got his watch at Target.

12:06 – Torry Holt has joined Kiper, Berman, and Mortensen on the set. He wasn’t in the green room when he got drafted, so he can't really relate to any of these players. As a matter of fact, he wasn’t sure what year he got drafted in. (Holt’s guess: 1997 or 98. Correct answer: 1998).

12:09 – Opened my first beer, because I’m nervous. Nate announces that he’s on the clock, and has fifteen minutes to finish his first Millter Lite.

12:11 – Got bored during the first commercial, so I Ron Mexicized the name of everyone in the room. My favorite of the bunch – my buddy Bill is “Big Boy Norway.”

12:12 – Hey, it’s Paul Tagliabue! The 49ers are officially on the clock!

12:21 – Bill: “6:34, 6:33, 6:32, 6:31, 6:30, 6:29…”

12:22 – Nate and Bill are debating the merits of pink shirts. We eventually decide that if we were in the green room, we’d bring half a dozen or so clip-on ties, to match the color scheme of the team which drafts us. Best part about this would be that green room camera would catch us actually changing the tie on TV.

12:23 – Nate makes his first pick early and goes for his second beer.

12:25 – The pick is in! Tagliabue walks to the podium, and … it’s Alex Smith! This is the fifth straight year and the seventh time in eight years that a QB has gone first. Wow, he’s wearing pink, too. Smith’s Ron Mexico name is El Nino South Pole. The Dolphins are on the clock.

12:27 – Nate: “He probably graduated early because he’s Mormon and doesn’t drink, so he can study all the time.” No, Nate, he doesn’t drink because he’s only 20 years old. Smith gets on TV and gives a speech laden with cliché.

12:34 – Nate gets another beer. He still has 6 minutes left to make his second pick, but he’s trying to stay ahead of the game. The Dolphins even had a head start on him, but he knocked it out first. The tally: NFL-1 pick, Nate-2 beers.

12:35 – Holy shit. Ronnie Brown is wearing pink too.

12:36 – Like I said, I’m nervous. The Browns aren’t even on the clock, but I’ve already got the Bad Call Brick here and I’m sucking down beers. Hell, I’m writing a damn draft diary to keep myself occupied so I don’t fidget too much. There are 30 seconds left in the Dolphins pick, and I’m desperately hoping they take Edwards so the Browns can’t.

12:37 – Ruh roh… It’s Ronnie Brown to Miami. That means that Edwards is still there, and he scares me to death. Not because he’s from Michigan and I’m a Buckeyes fan. It’s because he drops a lot of balls and when he does catch them, he catches them against his chest. That doesn’t fly in the NFL. I want Derrick Johnson, the LB from Texas. He’s the type of impact player that the Browns desperately need. But people say that he’s not the right “value” at number three. I disagree, obviously, and think that Edwards has little value no matter where he’s picked. Maybe they’ll trade the pick. Maybe they’ll take Edwards and then trade him. Maybe they’ll do the right thing and draft the player that they most desperately need. Fuck.

12:46 – Seven minutes left…

12:47 – Six minutes left…

12:48 – Bill points out that the ESPN clock is half a second behind the official clock at the Javits Center. This is why I keep him around. He’s a genius.

12:49 – Nate finishes his third-round Miller Lite a full four minutes ahead of schedule.

12:50 – Three minutes left…

12:52 – Two minutes left…

12:53 – Oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please oh please…

12:54 – The pick is in…please trade... Fuck. Braylon fucking Edwards. Fuck. This is a guy who drops a lot of balls, especially early in games. His dad tried to explain it by saying, “well, he just gets so nervous that he drops some balls.” Great. I’d rather hear his dad say “well, you know, he’s just not a very good athelete.” Holy fucking shit.

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