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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

2006 NFL Draft - Sights And Sounds Before The Start Of The Draft

I took my camcorder on a kind of tour around the main theater of Radio City Music Hall just before the start of the NFL Draft. It was kind of like the crew of the Starship Enterprise preparing the big vessel before it leaves drydock. A cool scene.

During my rounds I reconnected with Todd Barnes, who, with Jerry Andersen formed the plans for the use of the Oakland / Alameda County Coliseum for the 2005 Super Bowl in1999-2000. He's a very nice person, who's landed well as the architect for the NFL. The segment where I almost ran into him wasn't fake -- it really happened.

I also feature Bill Chachkes, who as you know if you regularly read this has attended more NFL drafts than perhaps all but a handful of people in the room. I also catch ESPN's Mike Golic, who at the 2005 NFL Draft was tossing his cookies to the audience. No kidding. (He later told me that security really got on him for that, so he didn't do it this time.)

I also met Jerry Davis, Al Davis brother, whom I refered to earlier. You can see how much he's really like the man who runs the Oakland Raiders.

You also see both ESPN's crew and the NFL Network's hosts getting ready to go into action.

Along the tour one can gain a keen idea of the complexity of this massive production.

Here's the video:

2006 NFL Draft - "From A White Game To A Black Game" - S.I.'s Paul Zimmerman On The NFL Draft, Pro Football, and Katie Couric - Video

I had the pleasure of conducting an interview with the legendary Sports Illiustrated writer, Paul Zimmerman at the 2006 NFL Draft. While our conversation was short -- we were all getting ready for the drama that was to unfold after the Houston Texans officially annouced their selection of defensive lineman Mario Williams -- it was blunt, honest, illuminating, and fun.

Some of the highlight of our conversation: "If I were the Texans, I'd have taken the best player I thought was available, and busted my hump to sign him. Maybe they did that...Football has changed from a white game to a black game. It's a speed game... If I were the Texans, I'd have taken the best player I thought was available. Maybe they did that. Time will tell... You tell me. What has Katie Couric done for $15 million?"

Well, you get the idea. This was totally off the cuff. Paul didn't know this guy was going to come with with a camcorder and ask for an interview. We didn't go over exactly what was going to be asked. I just filmed our conversation. It was that simple.

For those of you who don't know who "Dr. Z" is, here's his bio from S.I.com:

"Paul Zimmerman, a senior writer at Sports Illustrated since 1979, videotapes and charts as many as eight NFL games a week from his home. It's safe to say that Dr. Z has watched more NFL games than any other person on the planet. In addition to his regular columns for SI, he contributes Insider, Power Rankings and Mailbag columns to SI.com.

Dr. Z is the author of seven books on the NFL, including The Thinking Man's Guide to Pro Football. His inside analysis and opinions are rooted in more than 50 years of playing and watching football.

As a 15-year-old, Zimmerman sparred with Ernest Hemingway in a Manhattan gym. He sustained four broken noses as an offensive lineman in high school (Horace Mann High in the Bronx, N.Y.), at two colleges (Stanford and Columbia) and for his Army team (the Western Area Command Rhinos, in Germany). He also played semi-professionally in New Jersey for the Paterson Pioneers and the Morristown Colonials.

Before joining SI, Zimmerman worked for the New York Journal-American and the New York World-Telegram & Sun, and spent 13 years at the New York Post, where he covered pro football and three Olympic Games. He was one of the few journalists to get close to the Israeli compound during the 1972 hostage-taking in Munich; he bucked two lines of security guards and took a rifle butt to the head.

Zimmerman and his wife, to whom he often refers in his columns on CNNSI.com, live in Mountain Lakes, N.J.

Dr. Z refered to his wife in our conversation, too.

Here's the video of my conversation with Paul Zimmerman:

2006 NFL Draft - A Neat Sign-Off: Bill Chachkes Takes Us Out, NFL Network's Pat Kirwan and NLS John Murphy Give Views

While it's not the last video from the NFL Draft you'll see on this blog, it was the last one taken there. It's a sign off, and starts with Bill Chachkes of www.nextlevelscoutinginc.com and Fieldposition.com and now nflbusinessblog.com signing off, Mel Kiper giving an opinion just as he's called away by someone at ESPN, NFL Network's Pat Kirwan providing his views, and John Murphy of www.nextlevelscoutinginc.com chiming in as well.

In this, you'll not only get a view of Radio City Music Hall, but also an idea of just how many people are required to put on what really is a TV production. Also notice how fast everyone was working. That's because Radio City's security people kept coming by and asking us to pack up. It was a little much, especially considering that we had not received the on-paper results from the 7th and final round. Some draft attendees write down each pick. I did that last year; not this year and because the NFL's going to give them to us, and I figured I needed the time to produce video and blog content.

Here's the video:

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