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The NFL Draft experience is awesome and exhausting

***EDITOR'S NOTE: The following piece is authored by a friend of the site, Trev223, who happens to contribute to Philadelphia Phillies SB Nation site The Good Phight. Trev has contributed to BGN multiples times before. Trev is attending the 2015 NFL Draft as a credentialed media member live in Chicago on behalf of BGN. Here's a final look at his experience.***

So, as day three begins, I'm sitting at home recouping. The draft is hard work, as it turns out, but in a way that's fairly unexpected. All you really do while covering the draft is sit, tweet, and wait. The seats are actually pretty comfortable, too. But it's legitimately as long and drawn out in person as it looks on TV, and we don't even get to hear the extremely great analysis from, uh, Mark Schlereth and Heath Evans.

Okay, so it's a lot better live. The NFL legends who appeared were super impressive - Ickey Woods danced ...

Jim Kelly got big cheers for being cancer free.

I'm sure, somewhere, PFTCommenter was thrilled to see true road grader Mike Alstott in attendance. And while Dick Butkus ...

and Kelly got the biggest pop from the Chicago crowd, Jon Runyan is no slouch of a guest for the Eagles.

Also, while I totally hate his politics and ideas, it's pretty amazing to get Homeland Security to shut down an entire street so you can announce that the Eagles are taking Eric Rowe: (literally no semblance of) game recognize game.

But outside of those celebrity moments and the totally nice moment of Randy Gregory being overwhelming happy being drafted to the, ugh, Cowboys, the draft was kind of a whole lot of nothing. Lots of trades, lots of picks, and I loved loved loved the Eric Rowe trade up. That was legitimately exciting stuff. Still, even the draft picks seemed a little underwhelmed ...

and the press contingent just kind of vanished.

Even by the end, Goodell was trying to hype up the room, waving and pointing at draft die hards who had been there every round, live, for the last ten years. Which is...huh.

In any case, I woke up yesterday morning and felt like a truck had hit me. And now when I saw the Eagles traded out of the fourth, I was especially excited I did not hang around in a room for a wild rush of disappointment. The draft is fantastic, but as I was saying to BLG this morning, it is a grind. The information flow is constant, but the actual real tidbits are fairly infrequent. Turn your head for a second, and you miss a million things that have maybe shifted, but only, I dunno, two picks. Every team picks, oh, fifteen minutes before that pick is announced, and you find yourself skeptically grumbling over veterans and child cancer sufferers who get to announce the picks and then immediately feeling like a sack of garbage (No, I did not boo them and I think it's cool that that girl got to announce the Bears pick).

The draft was a totally wonderful experience from start to finish - wonderful in the "oh wow this is fun" and "oh man what a scene" way. But it wears on you. It wears on the viewer, it wears on the media, and it wears on the Commissioner if appearances are anything to trust. The cheers kept dying down, and there's nothing more awkward than the rush of expectation for a pick being replaced with an "Oh. I don't know that guy" silence. By round five, that's all you get.

In the end, I walked past Draft Town last night ...

and was reminded of the whole spectacle that caught me unaware a few days ago. They put on an amazing show, and frankly, you have to give the NFL credit: somehow, someway, they made what is essentially the reading of a list a multi-million dollar event and, yes, industry. But there's no stopping inertia, and while Adam Schefter thinks the last day of the draft feels like the last day of school, I think it kind of feels like the end of Spring break. Expectations are high because it's actually really almost the new season.

Unfortunately for the league, by the third day, we all can tell the difference between the anticipation and the real thing. Let's be real - just like May in Senior year, the lede is buried if you focus on the present. Countdown to training camp begins now.

As a final note, thanks for letting me talk about this whole experience. It was a ton of fun, and even more than that kind of a wild thing to experience first hand. I wouldn't have been able to without Brandon's help, BGN, and SBNation, and of course without your kind reading - it's appreciated. Hope it gave you some idea of the event on the ground. Happy to answer any questions that come up in the comments, even if I have to make those answers up. Hope to talk to you all soon, and go Birds!

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