April 24, 2012
What? The most popular sport in the country needs to do a shout out to its fans to show up at New York’s Radio City Music Hall?
Well, not for the first round Thursday night at least, but for rounds 2-3 Friday, then 4-7 on Saturday, there’s still plenty of seats available (no charge).
The NFL has turned the draft into a prime time event, exactly at a time when pro football fans are in the middle of the lull of activity until full training camps get underway in July.
Then there’s the marketing. From the red carpet, pre-show event to watch everyone arrive at the great theater in midtown Manhattan (just how thrilling can it be to see limos pull up into a congested area along 6th Avenue?), to the VIP draft party, and all the logos and branding in between, the NFL and its new (but old) merchandise partner Nike, have it down pat.
As to how the teams will grade out following months of preparation leading up to three days of furious activity, well as all fans know, that’s going to take many more months to determine through the ups and down of a 16 game schedule this fall.
By-the-way, if you’re an Eagles fan in the vicinity of Center City Philadelphia and want to celebrate in style, Pro League Authentics has been able to order the official New Era team draft hat that players will wear after hearing their name called (see above) in green or white, and has a limited number in stock.
And, there could be another PLA surprise in store at the draft in NYC Thursday night – so stay tuned to the NFL Network or ESPN telecast.
Authentic Store Buzz: In PLA's Philadelphia home base, the majority of sports excitement surrounds the Flyers quarterfinal round, six game elimination of a Pittsburgh team many picked to win the Stanley Cup. Perhaps the hottest player on NHL ice is Flyers forward Claude Giroux, the spark that lit Philly's game six win.
Did you know the first number he wore as a Flyer was 56, not his current 28? It's true, as a rookie for two games in the 2007-08 season after being called up, Giroux wore 56.
Want to rock out and shock your Flyer buddies with a Reebok "56 GIROUX" black jersey? PLA has you covered (see above), and they've been big sellers this week. Good luck trying to find this rare jersey anywhere else.
Coming Up: More hockey. Tomorrow’s Authentically Speaking showcases “Jannelli’s Jersey Journal,” PLA president and longtime uniform industry expert Ray Jannelli has part two of his inside look at nostalgia NHL jerseys.