Life didn’t seem fair when I walked into the 2015 NFL Draft festivities last weekend.
From color-coordinated M&M’s to an appearance from Mike Alstott (my personal idol), Friday night was a nostalgic joyride back to the third-grader sports fan in me.
Ickey Woods? Scott Hanson? Quad Box?
There was no shortage of entertainment during an event that I always assumed would be overrated. Selection Square was the epicenter of unintentional comedy, and I ate up every minute of it.
Thanks to the Chicago Sports Commission and C3 Presents (the same company that runs Lollapalooza), Rahm Emanuel knocked the NFL Draft out of the park last weekend.
When myself and a few pledge brothers stumbled into the Draft Town confines, we were like kids skipping into Disneyland. The infrastructure of the event alone was worth a gawk or three.
The only complaint I could think of is that they didn’t sell hot dogs inside of Selection Square. To me, that’s a major problem. I wanted a hot dog.
Instead, I was forced to chow down on a puff pastry filled with bacon macaroni & cheese.
First off, not complaining. Shit was awesome.
Second off, you just have to provide hot dogs when you’re hosting the NFL Draft. I don’t care what type of famous chefs you have prepping the event – this is Chicago, and you just need to have hot dogs available somewhere.
Or polish sausages, either is fine.
Moving aside from that depressing moment of my night, it was quite evident early on that Chicago blew this event out of proportion. In fact, I think Mayor Emanuel surpassed even his own expectations for the spectacle.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the draft attracted more than 200,000 people over the course of the weekend.
Blowing up the event in bigger ways than ever before, Draft Town allowed fans to enjoy the festivities at no cost. There were vendors everywhere, and spectators had the option of eating delicious food while interacting with NFL Draft-themed games and simulations. There were also beer vendors, so the city did not prohibit inebriation.
And according to me, going to buy tall-boys and chirping with random fans from every city by the beer tent was the best part of the night. That’s the honest truth.
Why? Because the city of Chicago was born to host the NFL Draft. Just take Chicago’s famous face for Barstool Sports, Big Cat, for example.
The guy went around brutally bashing on fans from other teams, and they all took it with a grain of salt.
Why? Because he’s from Chicago (and probably because some of it was scripted).
Nonetheless, this video alone shows why Chicago’s “work hard, play hard” mentality makes every other city an oddball selection to host the NFL Draft.
One week following the draft, Roger Goodell even admitted that Chicago was a perfect fit.
“It clearly has already met a new level of success for us and it’s because of the city of Chicago,” Goodell said. “We had a lot of cities that were interested but we love what we were able to accomplish here.”
It’s amazing that Roger Goodell actually took a stance on anything period, but don’t be fooled. Despite the city of Chicago’s wild, wild success playing host, many believe there’s no chance it will return to the Windy City next year.
That’s correct. Despite the fact that every single word of this column has been nothing but optimistic, the odds are against Chicago to host the event again next year.
In a column from Michael David Smith on NBC Sports, Smith breaks down why the draft will likely move once again next year despite the city’s groundbreaking success.
Why Chicago won’t host the 2016 NFL Draft:
[quote_box_center]…But for all of Goodell’s praise for Chicago, there’s a good chance the draft will go elsewhere next year. If a team moves to Los Angeles, it would make a lot of sense for the league to put the draft in L.A. as the first major event for the league’s return to the city. There’s also been talk of a venue with a lot of football history, like Green Bay or Canton, Ohio, being a draft host. So even though Chicago has proven itself to be a good host, it may not remain the host.[/quote_box_center]
Whatever. Fuck LA.