NFL DRAFT DAY by Suzy Allman I T ’ S NFL DRAFT DAY , 2013, and I’m losing the feeling in my calves. Along with a dozen other photographers crushed up against a black painted street stage and a police barricade outside Radio City Music Hall, we’ve been waiting, in a crouched position, for hours, for the arrival of NFL draftees. Inside the theater, they’re making preparations that have more to do with the actual sport of football, the last-minute deals and trades to secure the top talent coming from a pool of eligible college players. But outside, a red carpet has been unrolled in front of a wall of cameras. Finally, a white stretch Range Rover pulls to the curb and, to deafening cheers, out comes an arm, glittering in a hubcap-size wristwatch. For the next two hours, football’s early-round draftees will be introduced to football fiends in a beefed-up version of the pre-Oscar arrivals in Hollywood. Recent years have seen a marked trend toward style in the NFL, with stylists employed by nearly every first and second-round draft hopeful. Draft Day is about the roar, the insatiable fan who can’t wait for October, the jovial “Who’re you wearing?” rising above the other shouts from the nylon-jersey-wearing legions of the team-obsessed.
Suzy Allman is a professional sports photographer who has lived in Rye, NY for 15 years. She works regularly for The New York Times, Sports Illustrated, Vogue, and The Wall Street Journal. Most Sundays of the NFL football season are spent at MetLife Stadium, covering the games of the New York Giants and New York Jets. She also keeps the website www.myharriman. com, about New York State’s second-largest state park, and is the founder of a pet-rescue inspired toy company, CharlieDog and Friends.
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