Sure, ideally the walkthrough caught all the potential issues. But, in reality, I am in charge of guiding 32 ancient billionaires through a high-pressure, timed scenario in two separate online meeting tools.
I am the NFL commissioner, I have a beer stein full of whiskey, it is time for the NFL draft, I hate my life and everyone in it.
"Bengals, you are on the clock!" I crisply report, switching the camera to Bengals owner & GM Mike Brown.
"He says we're on the clock. How do I unmute this?" the 84-year-old Mike Brown asks. He then mutes himself, looks directly at the camera, says something I cannot hear. He unmutes himself, "they're not saying anything. Did they hear me? These Zoom computers are horrible."
Mike Brown mutes himself, presumably to repeat his pick. I would unmute him, but I am not the host of the call (the Houston Texans megalomaniacal Coach Bill O'Brien insisted on hosting). I unmute myself, "MIKE ARE YOU PICKING JOE BURROW? JUST NOD IF YOU'RE PICKING JOE BURROW."
"Is it my turn yet?" inquires 77-year-old Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
"No, Jerry, it's not your turn. It's Dan Snyder's turn."
Jerry continues, "Is Joe Burrow still available? I'll take him."
"JERRY HE'S NOT AVAILABLE AND IT'S NOT YOUR FREAKIN' TURN!" I scream. I forgot to mention all of this is televised so I can't swear at these incompetent geriatrics, "WASHINGTON, IT'S YOUR TURN!"
Redskins brass Dan Snyder and Ron Rivera, who are a combined 113 years old, come on camera. They are in the same room, something this whole complicated set up was specifically designed to avoid happening, "Hey, we're worried our computer got hacked with a coronavirus, it says, `Google Chrome is not responding.'"
They're picking Chase Young. Everyone knows they're picking Chase Young since the minute the last season ended. I just need them to say Chase Young, oh God why won't they just say Chase Young.
"JUST SAY CHASE YOUNG!" I say, spittle calmly flying onto my laptop screen.
"I got that error to go away, but now it says, "reporting details of error to Google," does that mean we got hacked?"
"I'm just writing Chase Young down on the official form," I sigh, "and if you don't say anything by the end of my sentence that means you are okay with it."
"If they're going with Chase Young, then I pick Joe Burrow..."
"SHUT UP JERRY IT'S NOT YOUR TURN. YOU PICK 17th WHICH PROBABLY WE WON'T EVEN GET TO UNTIL TOMORROW AT THIS RATE!" I take a deep breath of whiskey, "Detroit, you're on the clock."
"Yeah, we'll take Jeff Okudah."
I'm stunned. For a few moments it doesn't even register with me that they have picked an actual player in the actual NFL Draft. Maybe we're done with the shenanigans. Maybe those were just early hiccups and everything will sail smoothly from here on.
"Giants, you're up."
69-year-old New York GM Dave Gettleman pops up on screen, "I'm having trouble connecting to the meeting, not sure I got the right address."
"No, Dave, you're in the meeting. Pick now."
"The address I got was h-t-t-p-s-colon-diagonal line-diagonal line-n-f-l-period-zoom-period-u-s-diagonal line-j-diagonal line-nine-five-eight-four-"
"DAVE YOU'RE IN THE CALL! PICK NOW FOR THE LOVE OF JESUS!"
"... I'm in the call?"
"... okay, I'm trading my pick with New Orleans."
"No trading picks. I won't allow it, or anything else that could make my job more impossibly complicated than it is right now!"
"Okay, then I pick Tua."
"Great now it's-"
"And then I trade Tua to New Orleans for their first and second round picks."
"Fine!" I open up my Google spreadsheet that no one else has opened or looked at. I put New Orleans in the fourth spot where New York was. I then go to the second round... and realize New Orleans doesn't have a second round pick."
"Dave you can't make that trade. New Orleans doesn't have a second round pick."
"Oh, well. Just give us Joe Burrow, then."
Slumping my shoulders, I write "Joe Burrow" next to the New York Giants. I also add Joe Burrow to Dallas' because why the hell not. At least that saves me the time of having to guide Jerry Jones through the whole process. Everyone can just share Joe Burrow, I don't care anymore.
5 picks down.
Just 250 more to go.
Evan Hoovler and a whole team of goon comedy writers will be live tweeting dozens of jokes throughout the entire three-hour first round of the NFL draft tonight! #draftjam
– The NFL Commissioner (@evanhoovler)