Fans from all over the globe came to the Windy City to celebrate the most eventual sports day on the calendar in which no actual athletic talent was on display. Tampa Bay Buccaneers fans from London, Chicago Bears fans from Mexico, and Green Bay Packers fans from Canada are just a few examples of die-hard supporters that made the voyage to take part in the first day of the NFL Draft.
While the action unfolded inside the Auditorium Theatre, it was an assembly of tents across the street that provided that most action.
Labeled as “Draft Town” the small village captivates an already picturesque downtown layout. One cannot go five steps without running into a member of the media, current or former NFL player, or even some celebrities. Even if one tried to avoid hearing any football insight, they would fail.
ESPN’s Merril Hoge was in one corner proclaiming the likelihood of Marcus Mariota being traded sometime down the road. Jay Glazer was holding his own roast of Marc Trestman, proclaiming that he would not want the former head coach “next to him in a fist fight.” Chicago Bears Kyle Long and Alshon Jeffery both gave their insights on the newest coaching regime. Football information from highly informative sources was flying everywhere.
Just yards away from this mosh of personalities were tents set up for every single team. Inside fans could mingle with other fanatics, swapping stories and predictions. The Dallas Cowboys even had a line to enter their test due to the cheerleaders they placed inside.
Music and interactive games provided even more options for entertainment. Shrines to football greats gave history buffs a taste of what the Pro Football Hall of Fame has to offer.
All in all Chicago hit it out of the park. There was truly something for everybody.
Want an autograph from Hall of Famers like Richard Dent? Check. Want to watch how a football is made? Check. Want to receive so many free packages of Skittles that even Marshawn Lynch would not accept all of it? Check.
The family friendly atmosphere created a perfect ambience for the first day of the draft. Thursday was a chance for the city to show the world what they had to offer. People from all over came to Chicago with high expectations and the city definitely delivered.