An event like the NFL Draft takes thousands of man hours and people working hard to make sure everything runs smoothly, not to mention an entire production with live broadcast, media relations professionals and heightened security dealing with those crazed fans. The chance to see the beginning of someone’s professional career is the likely draw, hoping for the drama with trades and last-minute decisions made in tiny war rooms. I finally got to see a spectacle like this from outside the unbiased media bubble. I got a chance to see good friends from the DMV media scene I would normally only see in passing at various games.
The Draft brought people out of the woodwork, especially Washington Redskins fans. Fans wore old jerseys from the late ’80s and those signature pig noses we see every Sunday at FedEx Field with the “superfan” Hogettes. It was irrelevant to ask fans throughout the week if they were excited about RGIII and the upcoming season, knowing that most of the answers were exactly what I was expecting: pure and utter excitement for the next chapter in the Washington Redskins franchise.
One fan said this was the highlight of the past decade, confident in Robert Griffin III. One thing about Washington fans, they are loyal, and hopefully this time, after working out a few kinks, (there are definitely still a few more to work out after this), there is hope on the horizon. It really took momentum though, Wednesday night.
After a few stellar events from earlier in the week, including an awesome EA Sports pre-draft party, several of us decided to stake out a bar in the city to watch the Washington Capitals in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Talk about a great night! Shout out to Molly Wee’s Pub & Restaurant between 8th Ave and 30th Street. Superior eats and the place was packed with D.C. sports fans. I think this got the fans even more pumped up for the future in the district…Caps moving on, the Wizards finishing out the season on a high note, the Nationals and Orioles both in great positions in their leagues and now with the Redskins, it was a great feeling knowing what was coming on Thursday night.
For Redskins fans in the Washington, D.C. area, or anywhere really, a breath of life and a big sigh of relief happened when Robert Griffin III, quarterback out of Baylor University, was selected as the second overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. We all knew this was coming, and knew it for months, but as skeptical fans after being disappointed year after year with mediocre season performances, it wasn’t concrete until his name was officially called. Still, fans had already started the obsession months before this week, buying t-shirts and apparel, license plates, pictures and anything decked out in burgundy and gold that could be found, ready to make our new QB feel right at home.
RGIII seems as excited as fans. Griffin immediately took to Twitter.
As someone who came up to New York for the draft at the last minute (Thanks to the wonderful people at EA Sports!!), it was well worth the trip. A week of events, parties, brand exposure, marketing and advertising, it was an experience and rightfully so as a longtime Skins fan. The work starts now for RGIII and his teammates with inspiration and support from us to “Go catch his dream.” After seeing him interact with the media, the fans and how he presents himself overall, I’m confident we’ll be able to see some promising results in the fall.