Friday, April 28, 2006

2006 NFL Draft Day One

Wow. What a first day!

I'm in New York City and have been here since early Thursday morning. Well not that early. It just feels early because I'm used to being three hours behind the East Coast.

A travel advisory: if you use to make airline reservations, make sure to read the fine print. I thought I booked a flight on Alaska Airlines, only to discover that I was to be on American Airlines because they have some weird relationship. Well, I missed my red-eye flight. Fortunately, I waited stand-by on American and got in at 11 PM EST.

I rushed to get to my hotel, change into a suit and get down to Chelsea Piers for the NFL's Draft Luncheon. It started at 11:30: I got there are 12:45 PM. Crestfallen, I thought I missed everything. Actually, I didn't at all. I got -- on video -- a great conversation with Texans Owner Bob McNair, where he did hint that "the guy we pick will certainly help us sell season tickets" as an answer to an indirect question I posed which was "The guy you're going to get will certainly help sell tickets, right?" There's an old saying that offense sells tickets, so ...The Texans will pick Bush.

I also got -- again on video -- Seahawks QB Matt Hasselbeck. I asked him about their great Super Bowl game plan and he did say that there was some good things to take from that game, and he felt that the game was "too one sided" in favor of the Steelers. In other words, he didn't think it was a neutral game at all. It's interesting to see him offer that perspective on camera. And while he and his Mom were enjoying being named the new spokespersons for Cambell's Chunky Soup.

Later, I went to another NFL Draft Party. This one at Gustavino's, a cool place that was built into the 59th Street Bridge Landing. This one had a press conference to introduce the stars from the new movie "Invincible" about how a Philadelphia Eagles local Vince Papale, made the team. It stars Mark Walberg and was made in part by the NFL with Walt Disney Company.

I then got a segment of Eagles QB Donovan Mc Nabb as you've never seen him before. I also talked with Matt Leinart and about how he's maintained his composure through all the attention. He said he credits his parents and really just "being myself" to use his words. Jake Delhomme, the Carolina Panthers QB explained Steve Smith's comments regarding their new wide receiver, free agent Keyhawn Johnson, saying that he understood what Steve was saying, that "He was telling the truth. We have to see how Key plays."

Yes, all that's on video, too. You'll see it all on Saturday.