cloudy.png
Wednesday December 8th, 2021 2:01PM

No basement blues: Goodell on hand for draft in Cleveland

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

CLEVELAND (AP) — Roger Goodell's leaving his man cave for this year's NFL draft. The Commissioner missed welcoming new players last year — and being booed.

"He’s excited to get out of the basement,” joked league executive Peter O'Reilly.

A year after a three-day stop in Las Vegas was scrapped and one of its signature events had to go virtual because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the league announced Monday initial plans for this year's draft in Cleveland, where thousands of fans will be safely welcomed in a step toward normalcy.

Goodell hosted last year's draft from home, but he'll be on hand for this year's event, which will incorporate all the health and safety protocols learned by the league over the past year as well as the city's best known locations along Lake Erie — FirstEnergy Stadium, home of the Browns, and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Before announcing picks, one of Goodell's duties on the first night is to open the draft, a moment followed by a chorus of loud, playful boos.

This year, they'll be music to his ears.

The NFL feels confident it can hold a large-scale event after a successful run at this year's Super Bowl in Tampa, Florida. And, given the events of the past year, the league feels this draft can have an even deeper meaning than just teams picking new players.

“The draft is every year about hope. It’s about fans having hope with new players, clubs having hope," said O'Reilly, Vice President, Club Business & League Events. "The weather turning in parts of the country to spring, and the hope that comes with that.

"But this year, probably more than ever, is about coming together and signaling a brighter future and communities being able to come together safely with the right protocols and pointing to what’s ahead.”

With health and safety guidelines changing almost daily, the league does not yet have an “exact” figure of how many fans will be allowed to attend the free, outdoor festivities associated with this year's draft, which coincides with the Browns' 75th anniversary season.

Masks will be required and provided, and the league will use many of the same health protocols implemented last season to accommodate “tens of thousands” of football fans.

"The general message is that certainly we want to welcome fans, not only from Cleveland but outside as well,” O'Reilly said.

The league is continuing to work with state and local officials on finalizing safety protocols, with a priority on social distancing of any non-vaccinated fans. Some vaccinated fans selected by the teams will be allowed near the stage area.

Some of this year's top prospects and their families are in the process of being invited to Cleveland, where they'll have their own “living room” space as players are selected. And like last year, players taken in the later rounds will participate remotely from their homes around the country.

The league received positive feedback on some elements from last year's virtual draft — players being shown on camera with their families, coaches and general managers working from home — and it intends to capture some of those intimate moments going forward.

With the lake serving as its backdrop, a large stage will serve as a hub for the draft's activities, which will include picks being introduced by some of the NFL's former and current stars. New on Day 3 will be teams announcing their own picks remotely.

In keeping with Cleveland's rock and roll tradition, there will be music performed daily by “headlining acts,” which have not yet been announced.

While it might not be the full-blown draft Cleveland was hoping to host when it was awarded the annual event, it's better than not having one.

And it allows the Commissioner to leave his house.

“His chair is a little worn out at this point,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy said with a chuckle. “It should be a lot of fun for all of us.”

___

More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Football, AP Entertainment, AP Online Recordings News, AP Business, AP Sports - NFL
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Stocks rise slightly as investors closely watch bond market
Stocks were slightly higher in early trading Monday as a modest drop in bond yields was helping lift the broader market
11:14AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Turkish lira plummets after Erdogan fires central bank chief
The Turkish currency has plummeted against the U.S. dollar after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the central bank governor over the weekend for hiking interest rates
11:13AM ( 18 minutes ago )
AstraZeneca: US data shows vaccine effective for all adults
AstraZeneca says that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among all adults in a long-anticipated U.S. study
11:07AM ( 25 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Court could reimpose Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence
The Supreme Court will consider reinstating the death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, presenting President Joe Biden with an early test of his opposition to capital punishment
10:25AM ( 1 hour ago )
Volunteers from abroad ruled out for Tokyo Olympics
Volunteers from abroad will not be allowed into Japan for the postponed Tokyo Olympics when they open in four months
9:13AM ( 2 hours ago )
Detroit's tour stop to host event to create path for Blacks
The Rocket Mortgage Classic emphasized diversity and inclusion when it became part of the PGA Tour schedule two years ago
8:12AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
Rams sign speedy veteran WR DeSean Jackson for LA homecoming
Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson has signed with the Los Angeles Rams
9:37PM ( 13 hours ago )
Rams sign veteran WR DeSean Jackson for LA homecoming
Veteran receiver DeSean Jackson has signed with the Los Angeles Rams
9:13PM ( 14 hours ago )
Giants sign WR Kenny Golladay to 4-year, $80 million deal
The New York Giants’ anemic offensive is adding quite possibly the best receiver on the free agent market
7:38PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Football
Fox weather forecaster Dean turns into fierce Cuomo critic
Fox News senior meteorologist Janice Dean has turned into one of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's fiercest critics after both of her in-laws died of the coronavirus last spring in elderly care facilities
8:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
UK judge says newspaper can delay statement on Meghan case
A British judge says a newspaper doesn’t have to run a front-page statement about the Duchess of Sussex’s legal victory until it has had the chance to challenge the order
8:35AM ( 2 hours ago )
'Borat,' 'Promising Young Woman' win at Writers Guild Awards
Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” was partly improvised and scripted by nine writers, but it still walked away Sunday night with one of the Writers Guild Awards’ top honors, best adapted screenplay
9:32PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Ringo calling! If he wants you to sing, who could say no?
If beloved Beatle Ringo Starr wants you to sing on his new record, it's tough to say no_ That's why a bevy of stars, including Paul McCartney, Sheryl Crow, Dave Grohl, Chris Stapleton, Lenny Kravitz and Jenny Lewis, are all on the chorus of Starr's most recent song, “Here's to the Nights.”
2:26PM ( 2 days ago )
A hopeful pandemic note: Tanglewood music festival to resume
The Boston Symphony Orchestra hasn't played live for fans since the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago, but it's returning to the stage in July for the outdoor Tanglewood festival
12:20PM ( 2 days ago )
Strike up the band: Tanglewood summer music fest to resume
The Boston Symphony Orchestra hasn't played live for fans since the coronavirus pandemic hit a year ago, but it's returning to the stage in July for the outdoor Tanglewood festival
12:10PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Recordings News
Saudi Arabia offers cease-fire plan to Yemen rebels
Saudi Arabia has announced a plan to offer Yemen’s Houthi rebels a cease-fire in the country’s yearslong war and allow a major airport to reopen in its capital
11:23AM ( 9 minutes ago )
Tool created to aid cleanup from Microsoft hack in broad use
A tool designed to help businesses protect themselves from further compromises after a global hack of Microsoft email server software has been downloaded more than 25,000 times since it was released last week
10:20AM ( 1 hour ago )
Putin to get coronavirus vaccine shot in Russia on Tuesday
President Vladimir Putin says he will get a coronavirus vaccine shot on Tuesday, several months after widespread vaccination has started in Russia
10:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
4 more women sue Texans QB Watson alleging sex assault
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been sued by four more women who accuse him of sexual assault and harassment
6:46PM ( 2 days ago )
4 more women sue Texans QB Watson for sex assault
Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson has been sued by four more women who accuse him of sexual assault and harassment
6:16PM ( 2 days ago )
Let's Talk: NFL free agents and traded players speak up
Now that the muzzles have been removed for NFL team executives and the players they either re-signed or added in free agency, Thursday was a time for explanations and reflections
10:46PM ( 3 days ago )
AP Sports - NFL
Stocks rise slightly as investors closely watch bond market
Stocks were slightly higher in early trading Monday as a modest drop in bond yields was helping lift the broader market
11:14AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Turkish lira plummets after Erdogan fires central bank chief
The Turkish currency has plummeted against the U.S. dollar after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fired the central bank governor over the weekend for hiking interest rates
11:13AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Ikea France on trial over claims it spied on staff, clients
Ikea’s French subsidiary and several of its executives went on trial Monday over accusations that they illegally spied on employees and customers
11:04AM ( 27 minutes ago )
AstraZeneca: US data shows vaccine effective for all adults
AstraZeneca says that its COVID-19 vaccine provided strong protection among all adults in a long-anticipated U.S. study
11:04AM ( 27 minutes ago )
Comic, Netflix staple Jo Koy talks race, rejection in memoir
As an aspiring comic in Los Angeles, Jo Koy often could only go on stage during ethnic theme nights
10:50AM ( 42 minutes ago )