It is every (many?) kids’ dream to someday make that famous walk across the stage and take a picture with the commissioner of the NFL with his new team’s jersey. Sadly, a vast majority of us never get that chance, but luckily the NFL is giving a season ticket holder from each NFL team a chance at the next best thing.
Paul Ackerman, who has held season tickets for the Bengals since 1978, was randomly selected to represent the Bengals at this year’s NFL Draft. The list of perks for this trip include things like a reception Wednesday night with the NFL’s head of officiating, Al Riveron. It continues into Thursday with breakfast and an invite to the NFL Draft luncheon, which will feature several NFL Legends in attendance.
Obviously the real fun starts Thursday night leading up to the draft. Ackerman will receive a custom Bengals jersey with “Draft Day” on the name plate. He will also walk the red carpet with NFL prospects. His final duty on Thursday will be to deliver the Bengals’ No. 1 jersey to Roger Goodell on stage as the team’s first round pick is announced. Finally, he and his son Nick Ackerman will deliver the announcement of the picks for the Bengals’ three seventh rounders.
It is honestly a nice way for the NFL to reward season ticket holders. It gives them a VIP experience without it becoming too much of a circus. It doesn’t get much closer to the real thing, and I’m sure it is a story they can remember the rest of their lives.
The NFL is also having several former and current players announce picks again this year. Former Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, current defensive lineman Michael Johnson and two-time Olympic medalist Nick Goepper, will announce some of the Bengals’ draft selections this year. Houshmandzadeh and Johnson will announce the Bengals’ second and third round picks live from AT&T Stadium on Friday. The Bengals fourth and fifth round picks will be announced live from the Bengals’ Draft Party on Saturday and streamed on NFL.com. The Bengals’ second third round selection, which is the last pick of day two, will be made by an NFL representative.
On Thursday, the Bengals will host 2,000 Season Ticket Members for an NFL Draft Party at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals Kids Club and Who Dey Ladies will also hold events that night. Bengals Legends will be available for autograph opportunities. On Saturday, the Bengals will host a V.I.P. celebration in the weight room at Paul Brown Stadium for Season Ticket Members and team business partners. The team’s guests will enjoy lunch, live coverage of the draft and a special visit from Cincinnati’s selections in Rounds 1-3.
Overall, the Bengals and the NFL are doing their best to liven up the draft for their fans, and if you are able to make it to the draft day party it’ll likely be a good time spent with fellow fans watching the Bengals try and turn it around.
Cincy Jungle readers are also having a watch party for the draft, which you can read up on here!
Bengals 2018 draft pick announcers
Round 1, Pick 21 (21) – NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
Round 2, Pick 14 (46) – Former WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Round 3, Pick 13 (77) – DE Michael Johnson
Round 3, Pick 36 (100) – NFL Representative
Round 4, Pick 12 (112) – Kim Stoll, Sr. Sales Director, Danone North America
Round 5, Pick 14 (151) – Two-Time Olympic Medalist Nick Goepper
Round 5, Pick 21 (158) – Season Ticket Member Jim Gillespie
Round 5, Pick 33 (170) – West Clermont Wolves Third Grade Youth Football Team
Round 7, Pick 31 (249) – Season Ticket Members Paul and Nick Ackerman
Round 7, Pick 34 (252) – Season Ticket Members Paul and Nick Ackerman
Round 7, Pick 35 (253) – Season Ticket Members Paul and Nick Ackerman