Posts Tagged ‘cleveland’

2021 NFL Draft Photos

Monday, May 3rd, 2021

I almost called this post a 2021 NFL Draft recap, but we aren’t going to be getting into the actual picks very much, more just my experience in Cleveland and then we can take a look at some of my photos from the weekend (well, technically it was Thursday). I will say this about the picks, I am very excited about all of them. I would have loved Harris at 18 because that would have been really fun, but RBs are the most replaceable position in football and if you had asked me what the Dolphins needed without knowing any of the players in the draft I would have told you pass rush and receiver and we got two great players at those positions plus a beast at OT and apparently the best safety in the draft (which happens to be my favorite position) so I am pretty happy with it. But that’s enough of my second rate analysis, let’s talk about the trip.

2021 NFL DraftWhen the NFL Draft was in NYC we started organizing group trips starting with the 2008 Draft when we picked Jake Long with the first pick in the Draft. We didn’t even have a club yet. The next year we printed a bunch of flyers and handed them out to everyone to promote the club which we had just started. We kept doing this and using it as outreach for the club until the Draft moved out of NYC. In 2019 I got invited to go to Dallas to be part of the Inner Circle and it was a great experience and I couldn’t wait to do it again in Vegas last year. Michelle was coming too and we had a bunch of plans for meet ups and fun things like that, and then Covid happened. I did get to be part of the screen behind Goodell instead, but not quite the same thing.

This year I think I lucked out. The NFL only allowed 12 people per team into the Inner Circle this year and you had to be vaccinated by April 15th. Finally my high blood pressure helped me out in life and I got my second shot in early April. I also happened to be holding my phone in my hand when I got the email from the Dolphins. I am not exactly sure who else was on the mailing list, but I bet it was all of the fan clubs, but when I saw it was first come, first serve I emailed back within seconds before even looking at flights or hotels. I ended up staying at a horrible motel out by the airport because of it, but it was well worth it in the end.

I don’t watch college football and I try not to dig to deep into Draft stuff because I don’t want to get excited about a player and watch him go right before we pick to the Jets or something. I remember after the Chiefs drafted Eric Berry I was so god damn disappointed I stopped following the Draft from then on, but I still love the Draft experience. I love having a reason to get excited about the Dolphins again, I love interacting with fans from the Dolphins and talking some smack to rival fans and just being part of this group experience of the most die hard fans in the world coming together for this admittedly kinda boring event. I mean can you imagine explaining it to someone who doesn’t like sports? It’s crazy how much we love it.

Igor At The NFL DraftI personally do not care one way or another about getting on TV but I do care about getting the Dolfans NYC logo on TV. Our group trips to the Draft were such a good way to grow the club and my hope is that if people at home in NY see a Dolfans NYC hat or t-shirt on ESPN they might look up the club and realize that there are Dolphins fans in their backyard and they had no idea. It’s all about spreading the word. So I thought it was very cool that I got some TV time during the first pick, what I didn’t expect was getting even more TV time on the actual Draft stage!

I have no idea why they introduced this fan sitting in Goodell’s seat thing, but they picked one person out of the Inner Circle for each pick to sit on stage. After the first pick I started to look around and realized of the 11 remaining Dolphins fans who hadn’t been on stage, there were only a few of us in Dolphins gear that wasn’t just your standard jersey. I figured if I was a producer I wouldn’t pick someone who was just in a jersey if I could help it. I sort of figured I had a chance to get our logo on TV in a bigger way so when it got close to the 18th pick I stood up and started looking around for NFL employees, and I made eye contact with a guy who immediately called me over and that was that, I got to go into the chair.

When they brought me up I thought I was going to be really nervous so I just tried to be as chill as possible. Goodell shook my hand and told me to enjoy the seat and a producer came over and told me the Dolphins had already made their pick and my time in the chair would be short. She told me that after the pick I would be handed a jersey and once I got it I would stand up and either hand it to the pick if he was there or just hold it up to the crowd. After that I just got to sit there and relax. The chair was comfy as hell and I saw people taking my photo so I crossed my legs to get the Jordans in the pictures. When Goodell came back out he showed me the pick and asked me if I like it. I didn’t even see who was picked 17th so I wasn’t sure if Harris was even still on the board. When I saw Philips I was pumped because we desperately needed a better pass rush and he’s a beast. I almost flashed The U symbol to the crowd before Goodell read of the pick but I absolutely chickened out. I didn’t want to get in trouble for signaling the pick before it was announced. After that I got handed a jersey and a screen came down with Philips on it and I was told to hold it to the screen which was weird because there wasn’t a camera there and Philips was hugging his family and not looking at the screen so Goodell just told me to show it to the Dolphins fans. After that someone took the jersey and told me to exit stage right and that was it. Later round picks got to keep their players Draft card so kinda jealous I didn’t get mine, but over all a very cool experience.

I also met some great Dolphins fans but I just wanted to shout out my dude Alex who picked me up from my hotel and brought me home from the draft on Thursday. It saved me like $70 on Ubers cause that’s how much I spent on Friday and it was great talking football with him at the NFL Experience before the Draft. Thanks man! Huge shout out to TPP as well for the challenge coin. Means a lot!

I am not sure what else I should add, but the whole event was very cool from the NFL Experience stuff (I got to see all the Super Bowl rings and managed to hurt my shoulder trying to throw a Hail Mary) to the gift bags (I got some new raffle prizes for the club next season) to getting to sit in the chair. I got a bunch of photos for you guys too, all from Thursday since I didn’t bring my camera back for Friday and I left Saturday. Check them out below!

2021 NFL Draft

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