NFL Draft

The NFL Draft has come a long way and is one of the league’s most popular televised events. It’s also become a delightfully awkward spectacle at that.

Between various famous players and a random handful of celebrities and fans, the announcement of the selection has become more important than the selection itself. Yes, ESPN, ABC or NFL Network will utilize their on-site analysts to break down every individual selection, but this seems like a tactical move by the NFL to captivate an untapped audience and keep those in attendance engaged.

It’s made the latter stages of the draft a bit more interesting for both good and bad reasons.

The NFL truly got things started this year at the end of the first round on Thursday when Donna Kelce, the mother of Jason and Travis, and Dude Perfect, announced the Philadelphia Eagles selection. For one reason or another, the foursome participated in an awkward skit, in which the American sports and comedy group of content creators presented Donna with a custom coin that had Travis and the Chiefs on one side and Jason and the Eagles on the other. Now, Donna doesn’t have to choose which one of her son’s games to watch on Sundays, she can just let the coin decide.

While the Eagles and Chiefs picked back-to-back to finish out the first round, what that had to do with either selection is anyone’s guess.

Day 2 of the NFL Draft had a lot more to do with the former players, as former Tennessee Titans and New England Patriots defensive back Jason McCourty did his best to rile up the crowd, taking as much time as he pleased. McCourty, now a host on NFL Network’s Emmy Award-winning show, Good Morning Football, took several shots at Kansas City, stating that Tennessee is “the home of the best barbecue in the nation,” to a chorus of boos.

“Not true? I take it back. I’m sorry, I don’t mean to offend anybody,” McCourty said tongue in cheek. “But for the Titans, the division is ours. I don’t care what Houston (Texans) did yesterday. They’re gonna get their lettermen jackets again. The Indianapolis Colts are 2-6 against the Titans since Pat McAfee came up here and did his wrestling announcement. And the Jacksonville Jaguars, they haven’t had back-to-back winning seasons since I was a senior in high school.”

The “pick is in” jingle even played twice, as those in charge of the draft likely tried to get McCourty to wrap up his long-winded speech like he was accepting an award at the Oscars.

Another standout on Day 2 was Pro Football Hall of Famer Drew Pearson, who announced multiple selections for the Dallas Cowboys on Friday. Pearson is largely responsible for how the NFL Draft has become a spectacle of this magnitude. When the NFL Draft was in Philadelphia in 2017, the former Cowboy was part of a viral moment, in which he trolled Eagles fans and was viciously booed.

So, Pearson has earned himself a reputation for riling up crowds and perhaps he’s the first person besides the commissioner to be booed at the NFL Draft.

And if the clip above is any proof, there are few, if any people, who bring the energy to the draft quite like Drew Pearson.

Perhaps one of the best moments of the NFL Draft happened on Day 3.

The Cincinnati Bengals fan of the year, Phil Armein, announced the team’s fourth-round selection (No. 131 overall) and thanked the league before pulling the ‘ol bait-and-switch. Before announcing the pick, he flipped a coin and sent a message to the rest of the conference.

“AFC, pack your bags,” Armein said. “You’re coming to the city by the river.”

The NFL Network broadcast, especially Rich Eisen, was in an uproar, as Armein took a direct shot at the league with his coin flip trick. He brought his own prop to troll the NFL in regards to a potential neutral-site AFC Championship Game, that would have had the Bengals flip a coin for home-field advantage in the playoffs if they had lost to the Ravens in Week 18.

Judging by the many adventures that took place this weekend in Kansas City, the NFL is more focused on its entertainment value than ever. There’s now almost as many stories involving the people that make the picks than the picks themselves. Sometimes that leads to feel-good moments, and sometimes that leads to screaming Canadian influencers. Not that it wasn’t before, but it’s clear that the league wants each presenter to outdo one another and bring more attention to the announcement than the selection itself.

About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.