Typically, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announces every pick of the first round. In the later rounds, teams often invite special guests or former players to make the pick announcement on television. Those moments are often entertaining, or emotional, as it serves as another part of what the pageantry around the NFL Draft is.
Falcons Special Guests Announce Round 1 Pick
However, at times in the first round, Goodell will be joined by a special guest relevant to the team making the pick. The guest will typically be involved in a community-based interest for the NFL, or involved in a program the league is involved in addressing many different causes.
This year, when pick No. 8 comes on the clock, the Atlanta Falcons announcer will be someone special, barring a trade of some kind. Regardless of the team that is on the clock, when pick 8 arrives during the NFL Draft order, these two special guests will make the announcement.
This year, the Falcons’ announcers will be Christopher (“Big”) and Shane (“Little”). They are a part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City organization. Christopher is a volunteer mentor. His mentee is 16-year-old Shane. According to the NFL press release, both Christopher and Shane were matched over four years ago through Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City.
Shane sadly lost his father to brain cancer. In need of not just emotional support, but a positive male role model who could be a positive influence and mentor for Shane, Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City stepped up and paired Shane with Christopher. The two formed an unbreakable bond. The press release describes their bond this way:
“Through shared experiences at sporting events, holiday celebrations, key life moments, and beyond, Shane and Christopher created a mentoring relationship to last a lifetime. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is a longstanding partner of the NFL’s Inspire Change initiative, supporting BBBS agencies across the country as they create mentoring relationships that empower youth to reach their full potential and help communities connect across racial and economic divides.”
Big Brothers Big Sisters America is over a century old. It was founded in 1904 after a court clerk in New York City was exasperated at the number of young men coming in and out of court and getting caught up in various instances of trouble. Ernest Coulter began to find volunteers to help these young men stay out of trouble. Around the same time, a group called Ladies of Charity was doing the same thing for young girls.
They merged in 1977 and continue to share the work of mentorship today. The NFL partnered with them in 2019 as part of its inspire change initiative.
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