FanPost

draft day stories

for about the last twenty years, or as long as ESPN has been televising it, i've been in front of a tv whenever the steelers have made their first draft pick.  most drafts i'm there when they make every pick, but the first rounder i never miss.  next to my son's birthday, it's the most important date on my calender.  there's something so interesting and intriguing about the process... i get to play GM and to think about how cool it would be to be drafted by the steelers and to consider how the team's shaping up for the coming fall.  i don't know if that makes me a dreamer or a die-hard or a geek.  probably a little of each.

each draft presents its own drama, but there are three that stand out for me.  i'll briefly share those stories, and i encourage you to share your own.  maybe we can get a little feel for what the Nation will be up to come saturday...

1999:  i'm with a bunch of my buddies at a local bar here in jersey.  it's all eagles fans, one more obnoxious than the next, but there's always a core group of black-and-gold and here it's no different.  we know the steelers are thinking receiver, and we all want them to take torry holt.  he goes off the board early, though, and at 13 we reach for troy edwards.  all the eagles fans (who had booed their own selection of donovan mcnabb, by the way, because they'd wanted ricky williams) start busting our balls.  "troy edwards?" they're laughing, "who the hell is troy edwards?"  but i've a few jack and cokes and i'm feeling good, so i screaming about how troy edwards caught like 20 balls against nebraska and i'll bet anyone in the bar $100 he makes the pro bowl before donovan mcnabb does.  no one takes the bet, thank god, but to this day when i show my face in there the bartender still calls me troy.

2004:  i can't take any more tommy maddox.  i know he's been comeback player of the year and all, but there are 3 promising QB's on the board and we draft 11th and we have to, i mean HAVE TO, get one of them.  i don't even care which one.  just no more tommy maddox.  when he moves around the pocket he looks like a new-born colt trying to figure out how to work its legs.  he's freakin' killing me.  so the draft begins, and manning and rivers go off the board right away.  i've seen some of roethlisberger, though, and my impression of him is he's gutsy.  he's gutsy, he's a leader and he his teammates seem to love him.  and that's who we need at QB, right?  a guy who will command the huddle.  not neal o'donnell.  not mike tomczak.  not kordell.  and sure as hell not tommy maddox.  we need this roethlisberger guy.  but  jacksonville is sitting there at #9, and mark brunnell is old and there's no one behind him.  they'll take him for sure.  they have to.  and then the card comes in...  and they take some receiver named reggie williams.  i can't believe it.  i'm stunned.  houston is up next, but they're invested in david carr, and when they pass i phone my friend ed and scream into his answering machine "TAKE F***ING ROETHLISBERGER!"  an hour later he calls me back and tells me his 80 year-old grandmother, who was sitting next to the machine when i called, almost had a heart attack.  but i don't care.  because we've got ben...

2006:  my parents are coming home from vacation in arizona and they ask if i can  pick them up from the airport.  the steelers have just won ring #5 and they pick 32nd, so i'm pretty sure i can make it home before they do.  i tell my parents ok and i make the hour-long drive to philly to get them.  we're twenty minutes from  home, though, and listening on the radio when it's announced that the steelers have just traded with the giants and are now on the clock.  i immediately exit the atlantic city expressway and drive to the nearest bar.  "i'll be right back," i tell my parents, and i duck inside just in time to catch the announcement that we've taken santonio holmes.  of course there's a group of guys in steelers jerseys there, and we high-five each other before i get back into the car and take my parents home.  maybe that makes me a bad person.  but damn, i love this team...

so who's got draft say stories to share?

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