Ahead of the NFL’s first virtual Draft, Commissioner Roger Goodell took fans on a tour of his basement where the picks for 2020 will be announced.
As the coronavirus pandemic places the world in lockdown, the NFL’s annual event that sees the best players in college football selected by the 32 NFL franchises, takes place in very different surroundings.
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All week there have been reports of kitchens, basements and living rooms being set up as general managers’ Draft rooms with conference calls, Whatsapp and email conversations all ongoing as teams trade and make their selections.
Happy Draft Day, NFL fans. Good luck to every team. A quick tour of my basement where I’ll be announcing picks for the 2020 #NFLDraft.
See you tonight! pic.twitter.com/ZtepCqPYz5
Just hours before he places the Cincinnati Bengals on the clock for the first overall pick, where they are expected to select LSU quarterback Joe Burrow, Goodell took the world inside his basement where a skeleton TV crew will join him to make things official.
Walking down his stairs, Commissioner Goodell showed where everyone will be stationed before moving on to his favourite leather armchair for ‘football watching’, alongside his three screens while showing the view he will have in front of the cameras.
“This is my home for the next three days, Draft day 2020, much different than we imagined it but it’s going to be fun,” he said.
“Appreciate the fans being a part of it and thank you.”
All three of those in attendance, the table where the picks come in, the producer and the cameraperson, will maintain social distancing protocol, while the GMs will phone in their selections in the same way and Goodell will deliver the news to those watching on.
Fans can make donations at https://t.co/BZE9990QV5, with funds going to six national non-profit organisations.
"What it's going to do is really give people a chance to participate and give back in their own way."
Goodell, who tradition dictates is roundly booed on the night, has put his support behind a social media campaign to #BooTheCommish – part of a whole series of initiatives to support the ‘Draft-a-Thon’ nature of the evening.
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