It started off with a delay of game. Calvin got off at 4.30 instead of 1.30 – so we travelled during traffic rush hour to AT&T Stadium. But we go there. Parking was free – as was almost everything there today (except the food – I will return to that.) We walked from the outer parking lot – and I do mean outer. Got in to the Oikos Draft Day Events – and it was great. There were dozens of activity areas – and you used your phone by scanning Q-squares to collect badges – haven’t had that much fun since Pokemon Go came out. We got 29 out of 32 badges (But I think we had 30 and the Spaghettio’s Play60 would not register) – We only missed the final few for they closed early – aarghh.
Thousands showed up – yet it did not seem overwhelming. It was full of families, fans, and fun filled activities. We saw exhibits from the NFL Hall of Fame – Super Bowl Rings, busts, and more. There was the NFL Locker Room with a locker for each team – Redskins was 91 Kerrigan & Eagles as 11 Wentz. Pictures with uniforms. Combine events to do. Coaching for kids. Plus both for NFL Sponsors like Direct TV (with lounge chairs to watch the draft), Ford (with trucks to drool over), Oikos with free yogurt, Snickers with free snickers (went twice), Pizza Hut, Campbells Soup, Visa, Sleep Number, Verizon (which was cool seeing since we were in front of AT&T and all), and Courtyard by Marriott (I got my picture behind the Desk – goes well with my Hyatt employer I am sure). There was music and the Cowboy Band. We got to see Fox/NFL broadcast with Troy Aikman and Stephen Smith. We saw Tomlinson and other broadcasters. ESPN had a booth. We kept busy.
Then there was he food – which though expensive – was very good. Crispy Chicken Tacos and Apple Pie. But they had vendors from all over.
The people were well behaved – for the most part. Too many cowboy shirts. Lots of Cheese Heads. Police were everywhere. I never felt safer. Wide variety of colors (Cowboy blue, Eagles green, Raiders black, and so on), families, singles, old, young, and so on. But there were all getting along. Some hung out in small groups (just like church) – grouped mostly by jersey colors. There was even a group all dressed like Pete Carrol of Seattle with grey hair wigs – coolest group there. But they gathered to cheer on their team’s choices and boo the NFL Commissioner.
We wanted to see the Eagles – who were 32d and last (But they traded the pick at the last minute, so our departure at pick 27 was not a bad choice). I would have loved to see Ryan Shazier walk on stage for Pittsburgh (he had spinal injury and this was testimony to his recovery). There were other cool moments – a teenager drafted (1st since 2007), brothers selected on first round, and seeing Roger Staubach, Witten, and Troy on stage together.
NOW HERE IS MY LESSON of the day …
We went to the draft, but we never got into the draft. The tickets were limited. We did not win the sweepstakes last week nor did we ever get paged to go in on standby. I enjoyed all the events – but we never really got into the “draft”. Now to be honest, even inside you are so far away, you watch the huge screen inside the stadium. So in or out, we would have watched it on a screen. But we showed up, we had the Event Q-Square, and we did everything we could. Only those with the ticket, those with the ‘right’ to enter got in. We got close, but that doesn’t count.
There will come a day that you will stand before the Lord – and I pray you have the ticket – the right to get in. It will not be because for whom you cheer for, or what human team or brand you wear, or even how early you get there or how long you stand outside – only through Christ will you be given the right to enter in.
In this events of the Last Days – being outside is not good enough. Don’t be caught outside. If you don’t know for sure, or if you want more information, contact me and I will make sure we share the importance of this decision you need to make.
May God Bless – And I hope to see you on the inside!