Steelers Fan Paige Spiranac, ‘Big Ben 4 Prison’ Sign At The Draft & Dabo Needs A Tailor

What a scene it was last night in Cleveland

I’m calling it the NFL’s version of Mardi Gras with a driving mist to powerwash the grime off the people and streets of Cleveland. That’s what it was Thursday on the shores of Lake Erie where NFL fans converged to make some draft picks, suck down some $9 beers, show off the modified jerseys they’ve been working on and for superfans to break out their costumes.

Screencaps: A Very Special NFL Draft Edition

While Nashville had incredible weather for its hosting duties back in 2019, Thursday night was less than ideal, yet NFL fans poured into a fenced-off fan zone to stand around and wait through a 5-6 song set from Kings of Leon who were booed as the NFL kept trotting them out. Parents brought their kids to see a massive hangar at least 200 yards away where you could barely see Roger Goodell and his leather chair.

And yet people had a blast. In the rain. The cold. The wind.

The beauty of the NFL Draft party is that people are in good spirits. The draft offers that happy feeling of a fresh start, the fresh new faces that are coming to your city and the fact that there isn’t a loser associated with the event. Roger is the loser. He’s the one who gets booed. And Kings of Leon.

As for the mask rules, I walked over 10,000 steps while at the Draft and just once I heard a First Energy Stadium worker tell one guy to throw on a mask. That was it. Social distancing was out the window as workers weren’t about to get into a battle over that. I didn’t hear a single Karen freaking out which was refreshing.

The real madness with the event was that you couldn’t take a beer from the stadium out into a common area that was all part of the NFL Fan Experience. It seems like the Browns might’ve been making their own money while the NFL had the rights to cash in the beer sales in the common area. That was the real battle Thursday night.

• A friend of mine who has been on numerous Internet work trips said he thought the TV production made the draft look boring with the fans in pods. That was what the NFL was calling the vaccinated zone. Seriously. You had to go through a special layer of security to get into that area and show some sort of QR code that proved you were vaccinated. However, I saw at least one guy jumping the fence and helping himself to the vaxxed zone. Outside the vaxxed zone is where the action was. The blue collars. The people hungry to suck down beers. I’m not even sure you could get a beer in the vaxxed zone.

•  The 2022 NFL Draft is in Las Vegas. Go ahead, make your hotel reservations. Just do it. I’ll be there for sure.

• My Bengals took Ja’Marr Chase who’s already talking about how he’s going to break all the wide receiver records on the books in Cincinnati. That’s not what I was wanting to hear. I was hoping the guy would jump on the bandwagon to win at least one playoff game, something the franchise hasn’t done since 1991. I’m not great with math, but that’s 30 years ago, Ja’Marr, who was born in 2000.

• Enjoy those patio beers this weekend watching the Draft, the Derby, MLB games if you’re not boycotting that sport and if you’re anywhere near striking distance of Cleveland, head over and have a beer. Have a great weekend.

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Written by Joe Kinsey

I'm an Ohio guy, born in Dayton, who roots for Ohio State and can handle you guys destroying the Buckeyes, Urban Meyer and everything associated with Columbus.

4 Comments

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  1. Dear Hannah, are those bolt ons?

    I installed waterbeds when I was a kid. It was the best job I ever had. I hit more talent in a 2 year stretch than I did the rest of my life, combined. Kept a jug of Wesson oil in the truck at all times

  2. “The Vax Zone” is the most 2021 thing ever, vs. the blue collar crew outside the vax zone. Vax zoners gonna be sad when the blue collars stop trucking gas, food, and supplies to their cities. And no, i don’t care if you’re vaxxed, or not. Stop with the non-stop segregation.

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