As you might have heard, Daily Norseman was fortunate enough to be able to send not one but two writers to Vikings headquarters at Winter Park to cover the draft last weekend. We cranked out post after post about anything and everything the Vikings did at the draft, but we thought we'd give you a little behind-the-scenes take of our experience. What was it like for us two bloggers to mingle with the who's who of Twin Cities media? Ted and I explain in our (rather lengthy) email exchange we did over the past few days since the draft. Enjoy!
Eric: Before we get into the nuts in bolts of what we actually did at Winter Park covering the 2012 NFL Draft, I think we should give everyone a quick overview of our settings. Ted was smart and got there pretty early on Thursday afternoon to beat rush hour--meanwhile, I left my day job in Mounds View at 4:15 to head to Eden Prairie. Residents of the Twin Cities will appreciate the fact that I could literally see the Viking ship outside of Winter Park at about 5:05, but I didn't actually get to the media center until 5:30 thanks to the construction work on the 494/169 interchange. (Oh, how the curse words flew in my car for that last half hour of my commute.)
When I finally did arrive, I saw no less than a dozen guys furiously hammering away at their laptops in the rather confined space that is the Sid Hartman Media Center. I quickly recognized the Pelisseros, Sieferts, and Wiederers of the Minnesota media landscape, but they barely acknowledged my presence since they had absolutely no clue who I was. I greeted Ted (our long overdue first in-person meeting, believe it or not) and set up shop on the two remaining square feet of counter space in the joint. It was inconveniently located adjacent to the mini fridge that was being open and shut very frequently.
But hey, I had finally arrived, both physically and metaphorically! I still had to ask Chip Scoggins what the wireless password was (he politely pointed to the laminated sign that was DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF MY FACE), but I was off and running as a quasi-member of the Twin Cities media for the weekend. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a bit intimidating, but I was glad I had a Daily Norseman ally in the fold.
Eric: Shortly after we got going in the media room, the trade with the Browns went down so there was instantly plenty of material to write about. Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III flew off the board right away, the Browns snatched up Trent Richardson, and in no time the Vikings were on the clock. They chose Matt Kalil and basically got three free picks for taking him one pick later--even the room full of cynical reporters was impressed.
But I want to get back to the FREE PIZZA, nom nom. Did we mention it was free, and we had the Golden Wonka Ticket to pizza awesomeness? Oh, we did? Well, let me just re-emphasize--we got free pizza. I had about eleventy pieces of thin crust sausage, and didn't even feel bad about it.
So about the time all of that was going down, the Vikings PR guy came over and said "it's time for the press conference", and so began the Winter Park windsprint across the street to get a seat. HOLY CRAP ERIC WE'RE SITTING IN ON THE PRESS CONFERENCE! Our plan was for Eric to audio record everything, I would video record everything, and about 10 minutes after everything was over, it would be up on DN before everybody else. IT WAS A PHENOMENAL PLAN THAT WE EXECUTED TO PERFECTION...sort of.
How did that work out, Eric? I can't remember.
But if I had to give a highlight of the weekend, it would've been the Rhett Ellison conference call. One of the reporters asked him something to the effect of what he was doing when he got the call from Rick Spielman, and he said he was out on the river with his family. He really didn't expect to be drafted, and when he got the call he just broke down and cried he was so happy.
Now, a cynic could ask what the hell the Vikings were doing drafting a guy in the fourth round who didn't even expect to get a call, but a guy like me thought it was pretty cool--some kid has been given a chance to fulfill a lifelong dream, and I'd like to think I could relate to him, just a little bit.
Anyway, I hoped you guys enjoyed it as much as Eric and I did. You DID enjoy it, didn't you Eric?
Eric: Abso-friggin'-lutely. Same time next year, with a brand new shiny stadium in the works? Sounds great.