I sat in my living room during the early evening hours last Thursday. As is often the case, I debated the merits of cooking a full meal or simply subsiding on snacks.
Like anyone, I get tired after a long day at work and want to rest. But as you all know, the second half of last week was anything but normal.
However, I'm not going to talk about natural disasters in this space.
No, I'm going to chat about the NFL Draft and my time watching its first round. Truth be told, while I miss
Truth be told, while I miss sports, I was strongly considering skipping watching the draft. While it was the one live sporting event happening, I was simply tired after a long workweek that still had at least one more day to go.
However, I recalled a conversation I had with a nonsports fan friend earlier in the day. To paraphrase her , "I don't follow sports and I'll be watching the draft."
Her point was well made thus I sliced up some pita bread and hummus and turned the TV to ABC.
And despite my tiredness, I watched all of round one with the exception a Skype call with my daughter.
I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised at the way the NFL presented the affair.
Yes, the intro went a little long and I missed the event's normal atmosphere.
However, I got past all of that quickly once the Bengals got on the clock for the first pick.
At that point, it became about the players and where they would call home to start their professional careers.
I am proud of all the guys who got drafted last weekend and also of those who were s igned as undrafted free agents. They all worked hard for many years to get to this point. Even if they play against my team when football returns, I wish them success in their lives.
What stuck out to me more than the individual picks themselves was the stories that were shared about the players and their families.
Kudos to the journalists and broadcast teams at ABC and ESPN. They worked with the NFL and athletes to produce some amazing, heartfelt stuff.
One special moment came after a young Cleveland Browns fan who has childhood cancer gave a shout out to his team and those who support St. Jude's.
The camera returned to show Goodell holding back tears. You could see the pain on his face and hear the strain in his voice as he told the camera operator to hold on while he regained his composure.
Another moment t hat touched my heart was a story ESPN's Tom Rinaldi shared about Austin Jackson and his sister, Autumn.
Jackson, an offensive lineman from USC, was drafted number 18 overall by the Miami Dolphins.
According to miamidolphins.com, "Jackson and his younger sister, Autumn, are inseparable. Diamond-Blackfan anemia (DBA), a bone marrow deficiency that robs the body of producing red blood cells, had been causing complications for Autumn for a number of years. The impact of the treatments had been deteriorating, leaving Autumn with limited options, the best of which was a bone marrow transplant.
"As fate would have it, Jackson and his sister were a perfect blood match a cross 12 different criteria.
"It was a godsend," Austin said. "She's a fighter. She's really tough.
Last July Austin donated bone marrow to Autumn and she on hand to not on ly watch the draft but join him for a non-air interview with Rinaldi.
While the venue was different, we, the fans, still got to see players and their families react with joy as their names were called.
For one night at least, we were just people celebrating not only a sport we love but also those who bring it to us.