For truly committed football fans, there is usually someone in a group of friends who decides to organize and put together a party specifically meant to celebrate the coming of the first round of the NFL draft, and for our own website, we were no exception.
But in case you didn't feel like going through the trouble of organizing a get-together of your own to celebrate the draft, the Miami Dolphins have you covered.
For several years now, the Miami Dolphins organization has held an annual draft party for fans who want a place to come together and watch the draft to see who would be the next young star to come into the Dolphins family, and last night they did just that again. From the looks of how many people arrived, the event was a rousing success.
But did everyone just show up to watch the draft and that's all? Far from it, what kind of a party would that be? The fan experience was kicked into overdrive as fans came from all over South Florida (and most likely even further) to join together and enjoy everything the Dolphins draft party had to offer.
Besides the now routine game day events such as the Locker Room Experience and the "measure up" boards that line the area of Gate G at the stadium, the Dolphins put together a live set for The Finsiders to do their show in front of the fans, and they also had an area where various alumni would sign autographs. These alumni included the likes of Don McNeal, Mark Higgs, Jeff Cross, Bob Brudzinski, and even Mark Duper. There were also current players Jelani Jenkins and Ja'Wuan James who signed with them.
This sort of thing has been going on for a lot longer than people realize, and in my case, I was honestly stunned by how long the Dolphins draft party dated back.
"The draft party has been going on for years, long before I was even here and this is my twentieth season with the team." said Dorie Grogan, the Senior Director of Entertainment and Brand Impact for the organization, who has now been organizing the draft party for twelve years.
"This is a great event, I love doing this event every year, it's one of the only events where we bring all the fans out for free and they get to interact with our brand." said Grogan, "I hope that they [the fans] take away that there's new and different and some excitement around this year. This is our fiftieth season, and it's gonna be a great one."
That statement and the event itself came to a head when the Miami Dolphins drafted Louisville wide receiver DeVante Parker with the fourteenth overall pick, and the fans cheered and high-fived each other like Christmas had come early. Needless to say, it was a night that a large majority of the 1,500 - 2,000 people in attendance will never forget.
This story was written by Luis Sung. Follow him on Twitter: @FLSportDebater