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NFL Draft Day Turns Fifty in the Windy City

This is an Opinion piece . . . I would have saved it for the ‘Monday Morning Michelle’ column but the weekend trends are all about Tiger, Rory and ‘stanozolol’ so far . . . 


Last year, the NY Daily News ran a story about how the NFL Draft would be celebrating its 50th birthday in Chicago.  Why?  What was the reason, you ask?  Radio City was booked.  Come on, seriously?  Why does that sound so strange?  The NFL Draft has been in New York City since 1965, and this year of all years, why would it not choose to celebrate turning fifty at home?

It makes no sense.  Of course, I’m not one of those ‘NFL Insiders’ so I base my information on common sense without any additional information to allow for the madness.  It’s no disrespect to Chicago, but this year of all years, when the NFL Draft turns 50, the league decides to have a Fan Fest for the first time; only the NFL Draft is in another city for the first time in fifty years.

Am I the only one who finds that strange? Draft week will be held a week earlier than last year, and the NFL Commissioner has bee quoted as saying that he is excited to have fans in the Midwest experience the NFL Draft.  Trust me, fans from all over the country experienced the NFL Draft when they flocked to NYC throughout the past years.  Of course, the MidWest cities did not host the event, and it’s not as though I don’t get why other cities might want to, but on a 50th anniversary??  It just makes no sense to me.  It just feels like a there is a  huge void in New York City.

Deep down I cannot help but think it has to do with money.  New York has been home to the draft since 1965, and Radio City has been the venue since 2006.  The new venue in Chicago will be at the Auditorium Theater on Congress Plaza and Grant Park.  The event will run from April 30th through May 2nd.  Fan Festivities will be ongoing, and large television screens will broadcast the event.  Yet, it’s just strange that on the 50th anniversary, Radio City is not the venue.  Maybe I just got used to going, and having it be so close.  I guess I was spoiled, and I’m partial to Radio City.

Okay, so maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe nobody really cares where the NFL Draft is, and perhaps other cities deserve a chance to host the event.  It’s not like I know anything about football, let alone where to host the NFL Draft.   It’s just very strange to me, because for the past few years I got very used to seeing the media and the prospective players standing outside on the Red Carper at Radio City Music Hall.  I guess it’s hard to let go of something you get used to.  I miss the NFL Draft being in New York.  Of course, if I lived in Chicago, chances are I might find a myriad of reasons why it makes sense to have it be there.  I just think that those reasons would have been better suited for next year, and not on such a memorable anniversary.



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Michelle has been a sports writer and analyst for many years. Now, as host of Neutral Court, sponsored by In The Zone, Michelle brings a new sports topic to the debate floor with each episode.
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