Cleveland Browns: Red Carpet Disappoints
By Joel W. Cade
The Cleveland Browns draft was a sight to behold. Usually the Red Carpet event is a fashion dream, but now it has become a nightmare.
Fans sometimes say that “NFL” is an anacronym for the “No Fun League”. One of the last places where a fan could engage with the real personality of a player was the Red Carpet before the draft.
Players routinely show up in strange outfits. Remember former Cleveland Browns selection Danny Shelton showing up in a dress (ok, technically it was a Lavalava)? Or Ezekiel Elliot’s outfit that showed most of his midriff?
Players routinely are very honest about their plans on the Red Carpet. In 2015, now Chicago Bears wide receiver showed up on the Red Carpet saying he would be happy to go anywhere. Then his mother chimed in to say, “anywhere but Cleveland”.
Players will often do outrageous things. Last year Takkarist McKinley brought what looked to be a framed picture of his grandmother to the Red Carpet. Then he took the picture out with him when he was drafted. (I admit I cried when he did that)
The Red Carpet was the last remaining unscripted part of the ultimate football reality television show. But alas it seems the “no fun league” has found a way to kill the best part of the pre-draft experience.
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The Red Carpet even at the 2018 NFL Draft was a disappointment. There were very few flashy suits. That is, unless you call Juju Smith-Schuster’s Pizza Hut (the official pizza of the NFL) suit a flashy suit.
There were very few outfits worn by players mothers or sister that looked like outdated prom dresses. The suits were very conservative. But the worst was when all the players seemed to be talking from a rehearsed script and the family was not asked for much input.
But despite the attempts to destroy the last standing unscripted and uncontrolled event of the draft, a few highlights did emerge.
North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb takes the award for the best suit. He wore what looked to be a plain boring suit. But the jacket liner held a surprise. It was lined with an outer space pattern to match his shoes that read “404” on them with the “0” replaced with an astronaut’s head. He changed his twitter handle to match. In case you want to follow him, it is now @astronaut. His conversation on the Red Carpet focused on his desire to steal quarterback’s towels. It was amusing but weird.
One of my personal favorites of the evening was Florida defensive lineman Taven Bryant who ended up drafted by the Jacksonville Jaquars. During his interview he was asked a standard question. What do you plan to buy with your money?
Most answers revolve around buying their parents a home, a new car, some clothes or jewelry. Generally is something that only people with a lot of money could buy. But of anything in the entire world he could buy Bryant wants to buy “a personal computer”. Happy computing!
The most outrageous outfit of the night had to be Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. He wore a suit that made him look like a leprechaun. When asked about it, he stated he was “feeling lucky today, lucky charms!”. All he needed was the hat and he would have looked like the University of Notre Dame mascot.
There are plenty of more outfits and outrageous answers to discuss.
But it is the real and authentic moments where the players can dress how they want and answer from their heart that made the Red Carpet so interesting to watch. It seemed every player had a unique outfit or story to tell.
Now they are all blending together into a big ball of blah with matching outfits and pre-rehearsed answers.
The “no fun league” has worked its magic and destroyed last standing truly fun event in the draft.
R.I.P Red Carpet Event 2018