What we hoped to be an exciting celebration for an 18th birthday gave way to a boring time in the Big Apple thanks to poor planning on the part of the NFL. First-I would like to thank Rudy Giuliani for cleaning up Times Square. At least we could maneuver around there easy enough.
Yours truly went to NYC to attend the draft. Or so I thought. That's the last time I believe anything I read about the process of getting into the draft. they say you can't line up in front of Radio City Music Hall until 10am to get your wristband to get a ticket. We arrived the day before, and our plan was to go to Radio City at 8am on Saturday to get in line. WRONG! The people who were in line first got there at 3am. By time we got there at 8am-the line was 8 blocks long-yes 8 blocks! So there was no way we were going to get in. Made for unhappy campers to say the least! It seems like the same faces are on TV every year who get in. They should sell tickets to the draft so that the fans who travel from Buffalo and Cleveland get the same chance that the experienced New Yorkers get.
The NFL tried to compensate for those who didn't get in by holding the NFL fan experience one block over. Nice try but not a fun time.
Bad Idea #1-No place to sit and watch the jumbo tron they put up at the end of the street. And the security of the building at the TV kept chasing people off the ledge they were sitting on. Poor planning.
Bad Idea #2-The later start time for the draft by the NFL. People-we want it to start at noon so we can be in a restaurant with our pizza and drinks and cheer and boo the selections.
Bad Idea #3-the NFL network. They suck. To all cable subscribers-don't be sucked in by the league to buy their package. The only ones who profit it from it are the owners. If they can't put a product out there that people want to buy, keep holding Thanksgiving games hostage. We won't give in to your demands. If I had to hear Brian Billick complain one more time that he didn't know he was getting fired, the jumbo tron was going to be mine. My son was on the phone with his friend back home and getting information that ESPN had broadcast before the NFL network. Ex- coaches and ex-players aren't always the best analysts. Ron Jaworksi is an ex-player who has paid his dues and done his homework, unlike Marshall Faulk. So-NFL powers that be-rather than charge $625 for VIP seating in the Orchestra pit, and limit true fans in only allowing 1500 free patrons in for the draft, open it up to a reasonable price of say $25 per person. we pay your salaries, we buy your tickets and it's time the fans speak up. No other sport has the following that the NFL draft does. A two day ritual that compares in no other sport. You never hear of the NHL draft unless you have a team. NBA draft? Maybe for an hour. But fans swarm the Big Apple draft weekend. And there aren't many places to go to watch it in the heart of NYC. We wound up at the ESPN zone at Times Square, where I paid $12.99 for a cheese steak. And if you were there longer, there was a $10/minimum per person per hour. Nice way to treat your customers New York. It was a once in a lifetime experience all right. One I will never do again.
And as a side note-attention NHL powers that be/VERSUS network idiots. Why would you for the NHL playoff games, choose to show Detroit-Colorado on the East Coast at the same time the Flyers-Canadiens game was on. I think someone got hit in the head with a puck too many times. Wake up people! Think of your market audience!
Til tomorrow-let's see what the men in black do next game!