Thursday, April 26, 2012

"With the 28th Pick in the 2012 NFL Draft..."

Jason DeCrow / AP

The first round of the 2012 NFL Draft is in the books, and the Packers have selected USC's Nick Perry to bolster the defense.

The Draft has become an entertaining piece of theatre, with a prime-time presentation at Radio City Music Hall in midtown Manhattan. I attended with my brother a couple years ago, and found it to be a combination of chaos (mostly from the facepainted fans whooping and/or booing) and formalized ritual.

The ritual begins with the Commissioner under the lights, announcing each pick in turn. The player ambles onstage and poses for a standard draft photo in his draft cap and holding a jersey with his name on it.

Apr 26, 2012; New York, NY, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell introduces defensive end Nick Perry (Southern Cal) as the 28th overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 2012 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall.
In previous years, many teams used to take standard draft jerseys to Radio City. They would Velcro new nameplates on for every pick, or pose draftees with the front of jerseys, resulting in photos like this one of Rams' first-round acquisition Chris Long in 2008:

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Looking at the interior tagging (with its YEAR-SIZE designation), we see that the jersey he's holding was five years old at the time.

This year, Nike set up a heat press backstage to customize each draftee's jersey moments before he walked out on stage to hug the Commissioner.

Darren Rovell

The turnaround time was reportedly 90 seconds, so they were covered even in the case of last-minute trades. Good thing, considering how quickly the first round sped by and the amount of movement we saw between teams.

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