Thursday – – Severe thunderstorms moved into the area this morning. We are under a Tornado Watch until 5:00 CST. Wisely, they moved the North Team’s morning practice indoors to the Convention Center. Most likely, the South Team will do the same thing this afternoon. We decided not to try and attend the practices today since most likely they would be the walk-though type of thing. Instead, we came back to the hotel to get caught up on things.
It’s unfortunate that the weather disrupted things today. Today was to be the last day of full practices. On Friday, only light walk-throughs are scheduled for each team in the morning. Then the players are scheduled for a hospital visit in the afternoon and a “Meet the Players” event for the public from 3:30 to 6:00.
So essentially, all of the intense drills and scrimmaging is done. I’m sure that the coaches and scouts would have loved another day of intense practices to get in more real evaluation time and to get additional tape of the various drills that the players have been going through. Certainly the players would have liked to have one more shot at making an impression. Now, that will have to occur on game day. Those opportunities are going to be limited Saturday, especially for the skill positions. It wouldn’t be surprising if some of those players who have not had a particularly good showing thus far are feeling a little bit more pressure right now. But, as they say, it is what it is!
As for Steve and I, this gives us a little chance to catch our breath – mainly for Steve since he is carrying the bulk of the load (basically, I’m the designated Fanspeak photographer, driver and personal assistant to Steve!). Being able to cover this event has given him a great opportunity to make his own first-hand assessment of the players and see which players are living up to their hype, which players are exceeding expectations and which players aren’t living up to the expectations. Steve is like a walking database when it comes to the draft and this whole player projections stuff. He certainly is in his element here and it has been fun watching him work this week. While I may be a little biased, I would put up his assessments and draft projections against any of the “big guns”.
Although it’s been an intense week so far, it has been exciting being here. It is turning out to be the memorable sports experience that I hoped it would be and I’m pleased that Steve was willing to let me tag along. I know he is appreciative of the assistance I’ve given and of having someone to bounce thoughts off of. But the truth is, it has been a good father-son bonding time, and that is the thing for which I am most thankful!
Gotta go now – time to do some laundry!! – – – Willypops