Saturday flashback: ESPN’s rough coverage of ’81 NFL draft; Questioning why Giants took LT

I’m going to offer a blast from the past on the weekends. It could be an old video, a print interview or profile of a famous newsmaker, or a classic story.

Given that the NFL draft is next week, I thought it would be appropriate to show a clip from ESPN’s coverage in 1981.

The draft was held at the New York Sheraton in a cramped ballroom. They probably had a Bar Mitzvah in it the week before.

My goodness, was this rough from all angles. It looks like a basement-like amateur production compared to the extravaganza you see today.

Check out the crude NFL banner hanging behind Pete Rozelle. Somebody then had to turn on his microphone.

New Orleans selected George Rogers No. 1, and a few minutes later, he stood awkwardly at the podium, unsure of what to say to the crowd.

The coverage was hosted by George Grande with analysis from Sports Illustrated’s Paul Zimmerman and Sal Marchiano.

Fast forward to the 7-minute mark, and there’s Chris Berman, with a full head of hair, conducting an interview in a restaurant.

Then at the 8-minute mark, Sam Rosen, in an interview with New York Giants punter Dave Jennings, asked if the team made a mistake choosing a defensive player with the No. 2 pick. That player just happened to be Lawrence Taylor.

And why would ESPN be talking to a punter? Can you imagine when the Colts draft Andrew Luck Thursday, an ESPN producer yells out, “Get me an interview with their punter.”

Yes, the draft has come a long way since then.




5 thoughts on “Saturday flashback: ESPN’s rough coverage of ’81 NFL draft; Questioning why Giants took LT

  1. Couple of observations:
    1) Notice how quickly the picks are relayed to the commissioner.
    2) You have to wonder how much New Orleans regrets not taking LT.

  2. you should start a new feature- awesome youtube sports media flashbacks. My next choice would be the harry caray broadcasts from the bleachers at wrigley on youtube. For cubs fans stuck with at least 3 years of 90 loss seasons in front of us, that kind of thing would remind us of the good old days when at losing was fun.

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