For the 254 football players who were just drafted onto NFL teams, this past weekend was the moment for which they’ve preparing their whole life. But they weren’t the only ones who enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime experience this past weekend.
Life-long Vikings fan Jerry Hansen, a Minnesota native and decades-long draft junkie, was a winner in the NFL/Verizon Mobile Draft Dream Sweepstakes, which means he got a behind-the-scenes look at the NFL draft live from Radio City Music Hall in NY City.
Click here to view a video of Hansen making the pick.
“I’ve been a draft junkie since Mel Kiper, Jr. first started issuing his annual draft report and would answer the phone himself,” Hansen told me from NY City this past weekend. “I love the NFL draft. I used to take vacation days from work so I could watch the entire draft.”
Hansen announced the Saints 3rd-round pick, DB Johnny Patrick out of Louisville, because the Vikings didn’t have a pick in that round. But he was also able to announce the Vikings 4th-round pick, DT Christian Ballard out of Iowa. But more than just announcing the draft picks, which multiple other winners of the sweepstakes were also able to do, Hansen says the thrill was all-encompassing. From running into NFL legends in his hotel to watching the top college prospects get their names called in the 1st round, the experience is one Hansen will never forget.
“To be here after all these years, and now to be there sitting at the Vikings draft table and talking to Scott Studwell, it was so surreal. I wore my Scott Studwell jersey and I’m talking to him on the phone as we made our pick. It was just unbelievable. I’m in a rush right now just talking about it.”
Jerry traveled to NY City with his wife and following their time at Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft they enjoyed the Grey Line tour of the city. Jerry said he’d been to NY City in the past on business, but he’s always wanted to visit Ground Zero. As fate would have it, events transpired literally hours after Jerry and his wife returned home from their trip and Usama bin Laden had been killed by American Special Forces.
Said Jerry in an email to me this morning, “I wanted to make sure I saw Ground Zero and when we got home last night we heard they got bin Laden. Our timing on the trip was good…”
I couldn’t have written it better myself.
Tags: 2011 NFL Draft
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