Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Big Daddy Drew’s 1999 NFL Draft Story

Advertising agencies are split into four main departments: Account people, who deal with clients; creative people, who write the ads (I do this); planners, whose role remains unclear to me; and media people, who buy the media where the ads will air. Media people are the ones who get all the free shit from networks and publishers, since they’re the ones who determine where millions of dollars in client money will be spent. They get free tickets to concerts, sporting events, movie premieres, huge parties, etc. One guy I knew even got a weekend at Formula 1 driving school courtesy of Sports Illustrated. Fucker. It’s a pretty sweet gig.

I started out in advertising in New York not as a creative, but as an Assistant Account Executive. That was my formal title. The real title should have been Bitch, because my job was to schedule meetings, set up PowerPoint presentations, do boringass research, and get yelled at by everyone. I EARNED that hour I spent looking at porn on the web every day, and no one can tell me any different. Occasionally, the media people would throw me a bone and give me tickets to some shit they didn’t want to go to (or they had tickets to something even BETTER).

In 1999, the NFL launched its own magazine called NFL Insider. Never heard of it? That’s because I think it lasted a grand total of one year. Reading this magazine was like reading a 100-page version of those “Special Advertising Sections” that litter your SI every week (“State Farm Presents: A History Of Golfing Excellence!”). It was a piece of shit.

But that didn’t matter. What mattered was that they had a launch party for the book the night before the NFL Draft, and all the major draftees would be there, along with current and former players. And Paul in media (who was Finnish) had given me two tickets. I’ll be perfectly honest: the idea of meeting NFL draftees and players was cool, but since I was making only $25,000 a year at the time, I was far more psyched about the prospect of free food and an open bar. The only way you get free food living in Manhattan is if you’re a woman, or if you get an invite to a party like this one. And since I was vaginally disadvantaged, the latter was my only option. No way I was missing this.

The 1999 Draft, if you recall, was the biggest QB draft since 1983. At least, that was the hype. Five QB’s went in the Top 12 picks, and I’m betting you can name all of them: Tim Couch, Donovan McNabb, Akili Smith, Daunte Culpepper, and Cade McNown (who was Rex Grossman before Rex Grossman was Rex Grossman). This was also the Ricky Williams draft. So we’re talking about major (alleged) star power here. My plan was simple: get drunk enough to work up the courage to go up and say hi to as many of them as I could.

The party took place at the Theater at Madison Square Garden, which is also where the draft is held. I brought a friend who was a fellow Viking fan. We immediately headed for the bar. I asked for a Dewar’s on the rocks, then asked for another as I was drinking the first. We hit the buffet. There was a smoked salmon. I took one of those tiny squares of pumpernickel bread and piled about six slices on top (plus one caper). I dipped shrimp two at a time. I swallowed the free cashews whole. If they had had pate, I would have smeared all over myself. Piggish behavior? Fuck you. I was hungry. Servers went around with mushroom puff pastry bites. I stationed myself by the kitchen door, took two at a time, and ordered the server to stay so I could deposit my crumpled napkin on the tray. After a few minutes, the servers were actively trying to avoid me. I don’t blame them.

I had a solid six scotches on the rocks within an hour. I kept a beer in my free hand just in case the interval between new scotches was too long. We took a look around. There was Leonard Marshall (wearing a game jersey, which was odd). There was Kerry Collins (drinking!). And there was Boomer Esiason, the evening’s host. Also, up on the dais (no hoochies) were all five QB’s plus Ricky Williams. They were essentially put up on display for everyone to look at. They were talking to each other, and it was clear that drunken retards like me were not to go up and talk to them. At least, not yet. I nudged my buddy.

-Wanna go say hi to Boomer Esiason?
-You do it.
-Well, I’m not doing it.
-Let’s drink more.

We drank more. Esiason got up on the stage and went into some rehearsed presentation about the introduction of the magazine. We drank even more. By the time Esiason was introducing the draftees, I was so drunk I did that thing where you just stare off into space for minutes at a time before snapping back to reality to say something idiotic (“Wait, did they have brie?”). When Esiason finished, he invited guests to come up and mingle with the draftees. Upon hearing this, Ricky Williams, Couch and McNown immediately bolted, stranding Smith, McNabb, and Culpepper on the stage to deal with the groundlings. I was ready to be “on”.

-I’mma say hi to those motherfuckers.

Going up and talking to a famous person is basically the same as going up and talking a beautiful woman. Except you aren’t trying to get laid. Or are you? There’s an inherent awkwardness involved. You, the normal person, would like to meet someone famous so you can tell your friends, and perhaps have some of their magical African-American athletic ability rub off on you. Whereas the celebrity, understandably, would just like to leave and go somewhere to relax. If only one person in a conversation has an inherent interest in it, a natural exchange can’t possibly emerge. And I was about to deliver hard proof.

-Hey, Donovan!
-Hi! (shakes my hand, smiles, seems incredibly nice)
-Man, I just wanted to tell you, I hope the Vikings draft you tomorrow.
-Thanks, man. (What else could he say?)

One down. Two to go!

-Hey, Daunte!
-Hello! (shakes my hand, smiles, seems incredibly nice)
-(exhaling drunken salmon breath) Man, I just wanted to tell you, I hope the Vikings draft you tomorrow.
-Thanks, man. (My prophecy proved true!)

And finally:

-Hey, uh… Achille
-Hey (shakes my hand, looks off into distance, possibly at the exits)

The truth was, I didn’t want the Vikings to draft any of these men. I wanted the Vikings to draft Lamar King that year. In retrospect, that was probably a bad judgment. I’m quite sure all three of these men found me to be completely and utterly braindead. My tie was off and rolled up in my chest pocket, so it looked like I had one tit. My shirt was untucked. And back then I had a policy of not wearing underwear any time I wore a suit, so there was a good chance the head of my cock was readily visible through my trousers (limp, not erect). Yet all three men were polite, courteous, and nice enough to give me the time of day. So I’ll always look back at them fondly.

As for Williams, Couch, and McNown, well they can go fuck themselves. Especially McNown, who just LOOKED like an asshole. Probably the red hair.

The Vikings ended up drafting Culpepper (who was very good until a spectacular flameout) and Demetrius Underwood (who proved quite adept at attempted self-decapitation). Later that night, I went to Dorrian’s on the Upper East, sang along to current hits from The New Radicals and Len, and threw up in a back alley. And that’s why the 1999 NFL Draft will always be my favorite draft of all time.


Anonymous said...

Cade McNown and Tim Couch fought over a Playboy Playmate. Pauly Shore and Kato Kaelin are regulars at the mansion. What the fuck is wrong with these women?

Grimey said...

I think I'm the only person who went to high school in the 90's who can't fucking stand the New Radicals.

Mike said...

Bravo. Cool story, Drew.

There's just something about getting thoroughly plowed when you're wearing a suit. Wedding, work-related cocktail party, some junket on the client's dime, doesn't matter. It just reeks of decadence, and that's what makes it so good.

Well-captured here.

Weed Against Speed said...

Fucking Daunte Culpepper.

As a fellow Vikings fan, what the hell?

TheStarterWife said...

Great story, but I am utter confused by the lack of underwear with a suit. You can wear either boxers or briefs underneith a good pair of pants.

Did you skip the undershirt too?

Chopper Dave said...

And back then I had a policy of not wearing underwear any time I wore a suit

So what made you change that policy?

TheStarterWife said...


MoonshineMike said...

Going commando under a nice wool suit feels so much better.

polyester,no so much better.

Big Daddy Drew said...

I liked the feel of a suit against my junk. I'm a husband and father now, so I don't do it anymore. That would be creepy

save the steagles said...

But does the folded up tie tit still make appearances?

Redhead said...

You didn't even embarrass yourself. What kind of drunk story is that?

Rolf von Friedgen said...

Sparks: I've got a book.
Debbie: What's the book?
Sparks: A Modest Proposal.
Debbie: By whom?
Sparks: Jonathan Swift.
Debbie: And what is the book about?

((long pause))

Sparks: Eating babies.

The Minority Reporter said...

Typo alert!

"As for Williams, Couch, and McNabb, well they can go fuck themselves. Especially McNown, who just LOOKED like an asshole."

I assume you meant McNown in the first sentence - not McNabb? Sorry, as an Eagles fan I just HAD to point this out.

Ian said...

So are we just all ignoring the fact that the site is about to be overrun by women?

tollberg said...

"...and Cade McNown (who was Rex Grossman before Rex Grossman was Rex Grossman)."

Hilarious but true, except that Cade McNown doesn't fuck everything in sight.

liquid_d said...

Great story, that totally trumps the recieving of a drunken high five from Lavar Arrington at the Penn State McDonalds (though I totally puked in the bathroom moments before)

BeaverFever said...

Couch, Smith, and McNown. wow, you could do a whole "where are they now?" post on those guys.

not to mention Len and the New Radicals. Can't remember the last time i heard those two groups mentioned. nevr in the same sentence.

Stuart said...

vomiting at Dorrian's. ah yes, sounds like my NYC days. also the "not getting laid" part.

BeaverFever said...

btw, how did the KSK crew make out against the ladies in your ncaa basketball pool wager ?

Jez said...

I was so drunk I did that thing where you just stare off into space for minutes at a time before snapping back to reality to say something idiotic (“Wait, did they have brie?”).

Wow. I thought I was the only one this happened too. Only, I don't have to be "so drunk" for it to happen.

Unknown said...

This post stole my sunshine.

Chris said...

As a Media Planner, let me say that the parties aren't always the best thing ever.

For example, I had to get a Hepatitis A shot after the SI Swimsuit Party.

And you run into Bill Simmons on occassion.

But I guess free food/booze trumps that.

Anonymous said...

Now I know why all the picks the next day sucked, It looks like all the good picks were reserved by you the night before the draft (Dorrian's, Scotch, Drinking until Vomiting, Smoked Salmon).

The Upper East Side has the best Bar Crawls in Manhattan, bar none.

SMP said...

One of the greatest fora for getting drunk and stalking celebs has to be the ATT Pebble Beach Pro Am.

Three friends and I had just finished following our friend's round (and drinking straight scotch from water bottles, of course), and Emmitt Smith was in the group in front of him. While waiting for our friend to leave the scorer's tent, Emmitt came out. Emmitt had just retired from his year with the Cardinals, and sadly, I am the Cardinals fan. I said to him, half-jokingly/half-honestly/full-drunkenly, "Emmit, you're the best running back in Cardinals' history." Emmitt, trying to avoid the odor of scotch eminating from me said, "Damn dog, what you been sippin' on!?" The picture memorializing that event will forever be my desktop wallpaper, wife and kids be damned.

Signal to Noise said...

I sincerely hope to see more of the "scotchy scotch scotch" tag.

Kid Cleveland said...

Yea, I almost had a night like that on a much smaller scale. I saw former Cincy Bearcat Melvin Levett with his posse at a bar in Cleveland. Instead of being able to say "hi" though I instead got shoved so hard by one of his crew members I slid across the dancefloor and knocked over my friend's girlfriend like a bowling pin. Bastards.

At least that's how I remember it.

Mayor McRib said...

Bad becks:
You were supposed to yell G-Unit first.

You got the music in you.

MDG said...

You mean the reps never hooked you up as an AAE? The SI rep in Boston hooked me up all the time when I was an AAE. So did popular mechanics but that might be because I hooked up with them even though they had me by a good 15 years.

Laser Rocket Arm said...

Cade McNown wasn't fucking everything in sight? He made the Sex Cannon look like a toy BB gun when he was in Chicago. Huge slut. Plus that whole "fucking 1999 Playmate of the Year Heather Kozar and getting her to dump Tim Couch for him by letting her drive his Porsche" thing. Playmates of the Year seem to love Cleveland Browns quarterbacks--Jeff Garcia got Carmella DeCesare to be his beard--oops, girlfriend--during his tenure with the Browns.

Although Kozar did end up back with Couch since he got more guaranteed money up front and had a slightly longer NFL career than McNown.

gone said...


This obviously was a time before Mrs. Drew was around to make sure you actually wore underwear (unless she's into that), toned down the scotches, and made sure your tie matched your belt and shoes.

Needless to say, if I score tickets to a future NFL Draft, I'm inviting you.

Slash said...

Yeah, those media people (mostly chicks) get good shit, which they occasionally share with the rest of us. The ones who don't share are mercilessly scorned (behind their backs) as selfish bitches.

I live right down the street from the Cowboys practice field. Also, I may have seen Emmitt once (at a laundromat, of all places, so maybe it wasn't him), but whoever he was, he looked kinda cranky, but still opened the door for me, so he's cool. True story.

Steve said...

1) I dont know anyone who went to high school in the 90's who liked New Radicals.

2) Who hasn't puked in the Penn State McDonalds? I have also had the distinction of vomiting at the University of Alabama McDonald's. Yeah, I get around.

3) I'm sure the drinking scotch whilst eating smoked salmon had NOTHING to do with the vomiting. Nothing at all.

Rusty said...

Dorian's blows. It's a fucking Duke bar. Kudos on not getting raped.