Tuesday, May 1, 2007

SlickBomb's NFL Draft Report, Part 3

None of us at KSK were able to attend this weekend's draft. But longtime Deadspin commenter SlickBomb had the testicular fortitude to get up at o'dark thirty to go wait in line at 5AM for the draft. Here, he provides us with a photo diary/KSK merchandise infomercial. Big thanks to SlickBomb for this. Judging by some of the photos, he may have Parkinson's Disease. We wish him a speedy recovery.

Read Part 1 HERE and Part 2 HERE. Click on the pictures to magically embiggen them.

Inside the main foyer of Radio City Music hall. There were three levels of seating, and my seats were in the way back of the third level. Thinking this was lame, I snuck into the VIP seats which were much closer to the action. The ushers, all very highly trained I'm sure, checked my tickets and said I was in the right place. I was then told to get on the courtesy line for gift bags. Every person sitting in the VIP section was given a gift bag, courtesy of the NFL and its various sponsors. Because some of you, I know, are degenerate NFL fanatics desperate for even the tiniest of teats of league info to suckle on, I've taken pictures of the schwag.

The bag.

The contents contain a copy of the ESPN draft magazine (still wrong), a set of Topps 2007 football trading cards, a special NFL packet of even more NFL draft info, and a portable radio with batteries so VIP's could listen to the coverage via closed circuit radio. This was about the only useful thing in there. There were also a pack of cheese doodles (I was DESPERATELY looking for Stephen A. Smith when I saw these, unfortunately, to no avail) and a small pack of M&M's. Not pictured due to hunger.

Inside the packet were the top five players at every position according to NFL network, and a contest to see if you can get all the right picks in order. Because of all the trading in the first round, this of course, is impossible to get completely right.

The inside of Radio City Music Hall was (and is, I guess) very dark, so pictures do not come out that well. On one hand, the low-light setting takes the clearest pictures, but on the other hand, the pictures were so dark you could hardly see anything. Taking a photo from a distance with a flash causes the picture to be extremely blurry, especially without the aid of a tripod, and considering they took away my video camera, chances are pretty good the tripod would be a no-go.

The ESPN table was right to my left side, and I was ten feet away from Chris Berman and the gang. I tried to start up a "Leather! Leather! " chant, but most of the people just didn't get it. If you can believe it, YWM,L is still obscure. What is notable is that Berman and crew are essentially staring right at the 1st mezzanine… if someone daring or creative could sneak in a banner and put it over the railing, Boomer would have to look at it. For nine straight hours.

The unmistakable hair and face of Mel Kiper Jr. It's even more remarkable in person. I guarantee you he pulls ho's with the pompadour.

Do you see this blurry fuzz? This is Keyshawn Johnson. He was taking a moment to himself before he had to go on TV with ESPN. I went up to him, and was like "Keyshawn, I just wanted to tell you that I was a huge fan of yours when you were with the Jets, even though you essentially called Wayne Chrebet a fag, and were the most me-centric player perhaps in the history of their sorry franchise. Did I also forget to mention that your obnoxious antics were the blueprint for the Terrell Owens' of the NFL to follow?" OK, I only said the first part. But he was happy to see a fan, gave me a high-five and was really friendly. Then some older white dude in a suit said "So what, does that mean you're not a fan now?" Keyshawn answered "Naw man, he was just telling me how he used to watch me back in the day." Thanks for getting my back, Keyshawn, and a hearty "Fuck you" to the old guy in the suit. This dude was doing the fan-athlete equivalent of cockblocking. Can we make up a term for this? Let's call it "Jockblocking."

After this, I got bored, so I tried to further press my luck and sneak into the press-only section. An usher wondered away from her post to give me a chance to sneak on in. All the press guys have laptops, and were religiously checking their fantasy baseball teams. Further in the pit are the actual team representatives. I got the above shot of the Giants table -- thanks for Eli Manning, shitheads.

Dr. Z was a funny guy. First he was talking to a very cute, blonde, press girl (I'm sure the Flaming Redhead would not be pleased) and then he was yakking it up with another senior member of the press. I eventually had to butt my nose in and ask for a picture. I was respectful and deferential, calling him sir several times.

He said, gruffly, "I don't like sir. Call me a different title."
"Dr." I asked?
"I was thinking magistrate, baron, etc."

I'm blocking out my eyes because it makes me look less gay, although I wasn't successful. I asked where Peter King was (getting a PK picture with the Sex Cannon t-shirt might put me in the Hall of Fame for internet nerd-dom) but he said that he didn't see him around. Right after I left, Zimmerman and Bert Sugar started up a conversation. Like always, Sugar was chewing on an unlit cigar. Before I had time to cruise around, looking for King, I was busted for being in the press area without credentials. This was OK because the draft was about to start.

These are the potential number one overall picks being introduced on stage by Roger Goodell. Brady Quinn got booed like he had already been picked by the Jets. The fans hated this guy. Quinn seemed to take it all in stride, but I wonder how hard you'd have to push someone like that until he snaps a la Ryan Leaf. I'll give it half a season. Enjoy him, Browns!

My ill-gotten seats were sitting right next to Jamarcus Russell's family. I didn't know who they were. I asked a kid sitting with them who they were here to see, and he said "We're with Jamarcus." As in, Jamarcus-period. Apparently, Russell's already at the point where he has one name, a la Bono, Cher, and Madonna. Probably not good company. When he was picked #1, the family was screaming, and holding up their fingers like grade school cheerleaders. The large gentleman closest to me was bawling like he would never have to work again. Oh wait...

This was Strahan being interviewed. I tried to listen to questions as closely as I can, but I didn't pick up any questions about "shrew, whore, bitch of a wife," "gay rumors," "dentistry," or "coach so old fashioned he makes Vince Lombardi look like Mike Martz."

HOLYFUCKINGSHIT Rex Grossman! I immediately tried to get into the press area, and was rebuffed quickly, but surprisingly not violently. I said to the press people that my friends and I made Rex a t-shirt and I wanted to give it to him in person. The usher said, "I want to have a nice dinner with him but it's not going to happen." A nice dinner? What are you, Leo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can? Thanks for the memories, cocksucker. I asked a second usher how I could get backstage, and he said I can try and ask back at 44 stage entrance on 51st street. Access denied there too. Supposedly if you went outside, the draft wouldn't let you in, but they let me back in because they've been doing this sort of shit all day.

That's all the pictures I have. Now bits and pieces without pictures:

The very front of the line at the ticket window looked like Grateful Dead concert had just left town. There was garbage everywhere. Empty bottles of booze, empty boxes of pizza and nachos, and don't forget the always charming urine in a Gatorade bottle! According to what I heard, some people camped out the night in front of the ticket window as early as 9:00 the previous night. NFL Draft 2007—Who Wants It More??

I met an Asian kid in the VIP who said he was Norm Chow's nephew. When I asked him how his uncle felt about Vince Young being on the cover of Madden 2008, the kid just laughed. Worth mentioning…

When I was in VIP, I stood right next to new commish Roger Goodell just as he passed. Because he's so new, it took me a second to recognize him. He was a shorter guy, but young looking, and gave me the vibes of Napoleon who just crowed himself emperor for life. David Stern-like, actually. I asked him "How many games will the NFL suspend a player for Jaywalking?" but he either coolly ignored me, or pegged me for future assassination. I'm sort of expecting to get kidnapped, and then being the snuff-guy for Drew-style animal kill porn. I was this close to getting a picture with him.

Also near Goodell at nearly the same with was ESPN NFL simpleton Mort Anderson. I asked him for a picture too, but he said that "We can't do pictures until after we're done." Now, this is horseshit. After doing nine-something hours of draft coverage, you're not going to do pictures, this fucker just wanted to get rid of me. So Mort—fuck you. I hope your son gets eaten alive by a crazed Arkansas football fan for missing a snap in a preseason game.

The Schrutebag was also there. If you take a look at the picture of the stage and the press area, he was stationed on the far right hand side just off the page. I wanted to get a picture with him, thinking that it'd be funny to make my fingers into the shape of a gun while pointing them at his smiling face. "Hey Herd," I said, "can I get a picture?" He turned around to me and mouthed the words "I'm on live." Oooops!

Brady Quinn might have gotten booed his introduction, but the place went wild for him when he was actually picked. The feeling of anxiety was palpable in Radio City, and as much of a fruitcake we all thought Quinn was, it was tough with those ESPN cameras always on him asking how he felt about losing millions of dollars. Quinn looked genuinely happy, and ready to hold out for as big of a contract as he can. Speaking of which, all those flashbulbs you see on TV when the draft picks arrive on stage? They're strobe lights. Seriously.


Huge thanks to Mr. Bomb for his fearless work this weekend. It beat the hell out of one of us actually getting off our asses and attending. Score one for laziness!


Smello said...

We got the same bag of swag up in the 3rd tier. Mine also had a matchbox sized Hummer, which I gave to the guy next to me (fellow Raiders fan). He said before he left - without irony, I think - "Thanks for the Hummer."

Dat RoRo Kid said...

I think I met SlickBomb at that sportsblogger reading thing. Good report, man. Enjoyable.

BoSox Siobhan said...

Slickbomb, it's not that picture that makes you gayish, it's this list of names you reeled off:
"...Bono, Cher, and Madonna."

Redhead said...

"The large gentleman closest to me was bawling like he would never have to work again. Oh wait..."

That was good. Between that and "jockblocking," I laughed out loud twice. Nice reporting.

Ryan The Intern said...

Yeah thanks for that, definitely good reading. You should have ripped off your shirt and fired a fucking laser to Saturn to get your shirt to the Sex Cannon, though.

swing4 said...

I like how Slickbomb updated the classic blogger suit jacket and t-shirt combo with a pair of trendy aviator shades... the perfect accessory for nine hours spent in a darkened auditorium.

Seriously, though, fun post. Thanks for the guest reporting.

SlickBomb said...

I appreciate the love, guys.

Mitch Kayak said...

The no eyes picture freaks me out man.

Good report though. call Dr. K "El Jefe"

Signal to Noise said...

Thanks for the good series.

"Jockblocking" is now added to the vocabulary.

Marcus Howell said...

Dear Slickbomb,

I appreciate your reporting, though might I suggest a string tripod in the future? It's cheap (because it's made mostly of string), it fits in your pocket when not in use, and would make your pictures much less Parkinson-y. Here's a link: http://www.makezine.com/blog/archive/2007/04/string_tripod.html

{ k }

LadyAndrea said...

Jockblocking is genius and Slickbomb? Even cuter in part III than part I. Yay!

Uncle JR said...

Do my eyes deceive me, or is that Brady Quinn on the cover of ESPN the Magazine's Draft Day Special?


Slash said...

- "Jockblocking" is some awesome verbiage
- Slickbomb is cute, esp. in the Sex Cannon shirt, but the sunglasses up on the head thing is not cool, sorry
- The reportage is highly entertaining, and I don't care about the draft
- I'm gonna look up that string tripod thing, too

Jez said...

but on the other hand, the pictures were so dark you could hardly see anything. Taking a photo from a distance with a flash causes the picture to be extremely blurry

Actually, the dark photo is one of the better ones you took.

Try getting a better camera next time or something. I have to go take a dramamine after looking at all those pictures.

Section 138 said...

You know that message board saying, "This thread is worthless without pics?"
I'm actually going to reconsider that one...

tollberg said...

You fail at Photobucket.

Unknown said...

need to use a different hosting service other that photobucket tho...