The NFL Draft went full rock festival in 2017. After moving the spectacle to Chicago in 2015 and 2016 — two years that had indoor and outdoor components — the Player Selection Meeting was held under the stars in the City of Brotherly Love in ’17.
Philadelphia fans are among the most passionate and — well — colorful in all of sports, and so the stage was set for some real excitement.
Trey Wingo was there as ESPN’s draft host and shared these memories from that wild weekend six years ago.
Trey Wingo Remembers the Philadelphia NFL Draft
Roger Goodell and I were sitting together in Philadelphia, inside the Philadelphia Museum of Art, doing our pre-draft interview. At the time, the league didn’t know what to expect with this dramatic change to its big show.
But hours before the draft, they had over 100,000 people milling around outside Philadelphia. One guy was just walking around with a sign that said, “Boo!”
That’s it, “Boo!”
And Roger looked at me and said, “Trey, I do believe we’ve outgrown an indoor draft experience.”
And we haven’t had an indoor draft experience again, and I don’t think we ever will. Because it was such a success in Philadelphia.
One of my favorite moments of the 2017 draft in Philadelphia was Day 2, right around midnight. It was the Eagles‘ third-round pick. And before they got the pick, the whole crowd just started singing “Fly, Eagles Fly.”
“Fly, Eagles Fly, on the road to victory.”
And I just told everybody on set to shut up. Don’t say a word. And we just let them sing the entire song.
And when they finished with “E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!” the whole place goes nuts.
It was unbelievable. It was just amazing.
And I think that a few picks after that was Drew Pearson, and he went up there and trolled the Eagles fans so badly.
“How ’bout them Cowboys?”
And they were booing the hell out of him.
The other thing about the 2017 draft, which was incredible, was I think we all would have failed a drug test from the contact high. Because there was a sweet smell wafting through the streets of Philadelphia that night. It was something else that we were all like, “Sniff … all right, let’s just get through the show.”
More NFL Draft Stories from Trey Wingo
- Inspiration, Intoxication, and Precipitation
- The Windy City Weather/Tyreek Hill Year
- An Electrocution Scare in Nashville
- The COVID-19 Draft
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