Chi-Town is Draft Town

​​​This past weekend I was lucky enough to live in the right city at the right time, as per usual. The 2015 NFL Draft​ left New York this year for the Windy City, and the streets of Chicago were revamped into what was dubbed Draft Town.

​​While I can’t exactly call myself a football fan, I went partly so my dad could live vicariously through me and experience the draft.

Raised as a Chicago Bears​ fan, I donned my Chicago Coach Ditka​ shirt and went to go check it out.

Having no expectations for Draft Town, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I went on Saturday, which was the last day of the draft. While people wearing various teams’ jerseys beside me hooted and hollered, I observed from afar, not having a clue as to what was going on. Despite not understanding anything around me, the atmosphere was upbeat and the weather outside was flawless. I found myself enjoying the how happy the crowd was.

​Sports fans galore were in their element as they walked from apparel tent to beer tent to Hall of Fame tribute. ESPN had its own station and were live broadcasting straight from the event. Select players were signing autographs and a music concert was scheduled to end the event later that night.

Grant Park was the perfect location for Draft Town. It was amazing to see what the NFL Draft did with the space they had. The sprawling arrangement included all sorts of different tents and even participatory games for visitors to play. Draft Town was extremely family friendly, and it was entertaining to see all the kids walk around in amazement, many of them die hard football fans.

 

At times I felt like I was taking up space that the true football fans of the world could have used. Not that it was overly crowded or packed, but I felt guilty that many people who had the ability to look at the Hall of Fame display and identify all the players weren’t there and I was. But then I would remind myself that I was there for my dad and that seemed to justify my presence at the NFL Draft.

While I’m not completely sport inept, when it comes to football, I’m pretty clueless. It’s ironic because my parents are huge football fans and we used to spend every Sunday with half the neighborhood at my house watching the game. You would think I would’ve at least retained something…

I did observe something quite spectacular at Draft Town however. The casual, subtle nod given to anyone that was representing the same team as you was exchanged over and over again between strangers. In order to blend in with my fellow football fans, I decided to give “the nod” the ol’ college try. As I saw a man passing by with a Bears jersey on approaching my general area, I cocked my head back and pulled it forward ever so subtly. At this point, my sunglasses on my head fell off and I shot to the ground trying to save them because they’re my favorite pair. Well I didn’t get a chance to see if he exchanged my nod, I did save my sunglasses. If that doesn’t sum up my feelings towards football, I don’t know what does. 

 
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