ESPN’s 2020 NFL Draft telecast: The (very few) gaffes, bizarre scenes, and a mea culpa

Well, that was unexpected. Thursday’s NFL Draft telecast was a very pleasant surprise, providing exactly what Roger Goodell, ESPN, NFL Network, and ABC hoped for when committing to forging ahead with league business amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For four hours, the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft provided a welcome distraction, a reason for hope and optimism among fans of the league’s 32 teams. The event provided some of the intrigue and excitement that we covet from our sporting events. And the potential ramifications of at least one of the first-round selections provided some drama that could carry for months — and years — to come. What happened to the potential disaster many of us were expecting (and maybe eagerly anticipating)? Where were the tech blunders with picture, audio, and fans being allowed to boo and cheer remotely that were sure to occur? Cameras were dispatched to the remote setups for coaches and executives among all 32 teams, in addition to 60 draft prospects, and no notable or embarrassing slip-ups were to be seen? OK, there were a few bumps throughout the night, which we’ll point out because that’s what we do here.

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