NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall
April 25-26, 2009
Long before I was a hotel dude I worked in the NFL for the New York Football Giants. How did I get that job? My father of course! My father was the Public Relations Director for the New York Giants for 30 years, and in those 3 decades he attended and worked each and every one of the NFL Drafts that took place here in New York City. So I guess I could say I am somewhat knowledgeable of the Draft and what goes on behind the scenes.
The NFL draft has been a major component of the league since the very first draft took place at the Philadelphia Ritz Carlton Hotel in 1936. On that day, the very first collegiate player ever picked in the draft was a player named Jay Berwanger who was chosen by the Philadelphia Eagles. Most of us will have no memory of who Jay Berwanger was, but what followed after him for the last 72 years has been as much a part of the NFL tradition as Lambeau Field, The Monsters of the Midway, The Steel Curtain, Lawrence Taylor, Brett Favre, Walter Payton and of course the Superbowl.
For 3 days starting this Saturday April 25th, teams from around the NFL will have their war rooms in their stadium offices, or training facilities and will draft some of the best athletes from the college levels and make some trades through out the day. The goal?, to strengthen their teams, with the intent of improving their records and of course getting to and winning the superbowl. Fans are in attendance at the draft as well and cheer on some of the picks that their favorite team makes and in some instances offer up their displeasure at some of the other picks as well. It’s as much a part of the draft as the picks themselves.
For the last 3 years the draft has taken place in the famed Radio City Music Hall where such legends like; Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennet, the Rockettes and many more have graced its stage. Prior to Radio City, the NFL used such New York venues as The Jacob Javits Convention Center, The Marriott Marquis and Madison Square Garden… But in 1976, 1977 & 1978, the NFL had their important draft in the Grand Ballroom of the Roosevelt Hotel New York. In those 3 drafts the #1 picks were; Leroy Selmon (76) Ricky Bell (77) and the legendary Earl Campbell in 1978! Who would have thought that Ed Croke the Giants PR Director would be working the draft and staying in the very same hotel that 21 years later his youngest son would end up working as the Director of Sales & Marketing. My father remembers all of the 30 drafts he attended, but now considers the ones from 1976-78 as the most special, and so do I.
Director of Sales & Marketing
The Roosevelt Hotel