An NFL Draft Tale

The NFL Draft is a a time when dreams come true, when players see their hard work, and years of playing for fun (most of the time) finally pay off by getting drafted and receiving the opportunity to play in the NFL.

But this is a draft story of a different kind, a story that still celebrates all that is great about the NFL Draft, but with a unique, and depending on your views, a stupid or amazingly brilliant decision.

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The 2006 NFL Draft was a historic one for me, for completely different reasons.

Back in 2006 I was a junior in high school, and like any high schooler, I never had money due to the lack of a job. It was tough for me to find a job because of my athletic schedule, golf team in the fall, basketball in the winter, and my favorite, baseball in the spring time. About a month before baseball season was scheduled to start a local pizza place in my town known for treating it’s employee’s very well was hiring. Because my grandmother was working there at the time, I had an in and was sure I could get a job there. After filling out an application, and meeting with the owner it looked like I was shoe-in to get the job.

To make a long story short, I did not end up getting hired initially because with baseball season two weeks away, and having games, and practice nearly every night, including a few weekends, it just did not work out for either of us, and so I figured I could just solely focus on baseball.

Fast forward about 6 weeks, and it is NFL Draft weekend, back when the draft was still on Saturday and Sunday of the weekend. With my Dad out of town, my Mom decided to take me out to dinner that Friday night, and we decided we would go out to that same pizza place. About halfway through our meal the owner sees us sitting there and comes over to talk. After small talk about how the food was, and how things were going with the family, he turns and looks at me.

“So, how would you feel about coming in to work here tomorrow?”

“Well, I would really like to, but tomorrow is the NFL Draft.”


We all make choices.

I should mention at this point that the owner of this pizza place is not a big sports fan, the type of guy who would mix up the terms from different sports when discussing baseball for example.

I will never forget the look on his face. He stood there like someone had just spoken to him in some foreign language. Confused at what had just happened and what I had just said. To be honest, I’m not sure he knew what the hell the NFL Draft was. Without a word after standing there for a moment, he simply turned around and left.

After the owner had walked away from out table, my Mom was about as angry as any mother could be. Imagine your son or daughter having a job fall into their lap, at a great place to work, and them turning it down to watch the NFL Draft.

When my dad returned home after that weekend, she made me explain to him what I had done, and he simply laughed about it. He thought I was stupid for turning the job down, but at the same time he thought it was a hilarious moment, and reason to not get hired. From there on all the men in my family thought it was the most hilarious story they had ever heard, and all the women in the family thought I was an idiot.

So that is my story of how the NFL Draft made me turn down a high paying (for high school anyway) job.

Oh, and the Lions ended up drafting Ernie Sims. Another beauty of a pick by Matt Millen.