Archives for category: COVID 19

The 2020 NFL Draft will be presented across ABC, ESPN and NFL Network, April 23 through April 25 – the second straight year that The Walt Disney Company has worked with the National Football League to offer a multi-network presentation for all seven rounds. The 2020 NFL Draft will serve as a three-day virtual fundraiser benefitting six charities that are battling the spread of COVID-19 and delivering relief to millions in need. The National Football League, ESPN and ABC hope the 2020 NFL Draft will bring fans a small but welcome diversion in the middle of a difficult and unprecedented time.

ESPN and NFL Network will combine to offer a singular presentation across both networks, while ABC will present its own distinctive, prime-time telecasts for rounds 1 through 3, in addition to simulcasting the ESPN and NFL Network telecast of rounds 4-7.

The 2020 NFL Draft telecasts – originally scheduled to be on-site in Las Vegas, Nevada – will now originate from ESPN’s Bristol, Connecticut., studios and adhere to proper social distancing guidelines and local workplace rules due to COVID-19. Draft hosts and a limited number of commentators will be in-studio while a majority of the analysts, reporters and other experts will contribute remotely from home studios. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will introduce the picks from his home.

As previously announced, the NFL Draft will also feature a “Draft-A-Thon” which will pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders in a variety of ways – including raising funds for the work being done to combat the impact of COVID-19. Funds will help support six national nonprofits and their respective COVID-19 relief efforts.

“We recognize the challenging times we are living in but we are looking forward to presenting the 2020 NFL Draft and providing some hope for football fans everywhere,” Seth Markman, ESPN vice president, production told USA Today and the Hartford Courtant. “For the past couple of years, ESPN’s NFL and college teams have worked together on our draft coverage, and it has been a win for our viewers. This year, we are further excited to collaborate with the NFL Network creating an All Star broadcast. We are also committed to producing the ESPN/NFL Network and ABC shows in the safest possible environment for our announcers and production teams.”

“We are excited to partner with ESPN to present a unique and collaborative broadcast of the 2020 NFL Draft,” said Mark Quenzel, Senior Vice President of Programming and Production, NFL Network. “By bringing the exceptional on-air talent and production staffs of both ESPN and NFL Network together, we hope to deliver a unified presentation of the draft that not only helps raise awareness and funds for the COVID-19 relief efforts but also provides entertainment that millions of sports fans have been craving.”

NFL Draft Schedule (April 23-25, all times Eastern):

Thursday April 23 (8 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Round 1 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Friday, April 24 (7 – 11:30 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 2 and 3 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio
Saturday, April 25 (Noon – 7 p.m.): NFL Draft, Rounds 4 through 7 on ABC, ESPN, NFL Network, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio

ESPN and NFL Network: Trey Wingo will host all three days of ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage for the fourth consecutive year, based in Bristol. Wingo will be joined remotely by ESPN analysts Mel Kiper Jr. (37th draft), Louis Riddick (sixth) and Booger McFarland (third). NFL Network host Rich Eisen (17th), Draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah (eighth) and Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin (Ninth) and Kurt Warner (10th) will also contribute remotely all three days. ESPN NFL host Suzy Kolber will conduct remote interviews with NFL draftees from an ESPN studio and ESPN Senior NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter will again be part of the three-day telecast, providing updates from their respective homes.

ABC: Hosts Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and Maria Taylor will lead ABC’s unique prime-time presentation of the NFL Draft on April 23rd and 24th. Featuring NFL Draft analyst Todd McShay (12th draft, first commentating on all seven rounds) and college football analysts Kirk Herbstreit (third), Desmond Howard (third), David Pollack (third), and correspondent/feature reporter Tom Rinaldi, ABC will focus on storytelling and the journey draft prospects and their families have taken to get to the NFL. Davis, Palmer, Taylor and Rinaldi will be in-studio in Bristol.

McShay will join Wingo and the ESPN/NFL Network crew for Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday, April 25.

ESPN reporters will cover the NFL Draft remotely for ABC, ESPN and NFL Network. Assignments include:

Josina Anderson (covering Minnesota, Washington, Cleveland and San Francisco)
Jeff Darlington (Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Kansas City)
Dan Graziano (Green Bay, Detroit, Los Angeles Chargers, Carolina and Las Vegas)
Sal Paolantonio (New York Giants, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York Jets)
Mike Reiss (New England)
Dianna Russini (ATLANTA, Tennessee, Cincinnati and New Orleans)
Ed Werder (Denver, Seattle, Dallas and Arizona)

Digital: The 2020 NFL Draft will also be streamed live via a number of NFL and ESPN digital properties across devices (Phone, PC, tablet and connected TVs). NFL Network or ESPN authentication may be required.

NFL Digital Platforms

ESPN Digital Platforms


ESPN Deportes: ESPN Deportes will also provide exclusive Spanish-language coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft. Commentators include Monday Night Football voices Eduardo Varela and Pablo Viruega. In addition, will have a team dedicated to covering the draft, providing pre-draft analysis, pieces written by Sebastian Martinez Christensen and videos of every selection.

Radio/Audio: Radio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be provided by SiriusXM, Westwood One and ESPN Radio. Digital audio coverage of the 2020 NFL Draft will be available via the TuneIn app.

Following is the 2020 NFL Draft first round order.


# Team (W-L-T, Pct.; Opp W-L-T, Strength of Schedule)
1. Cincinnati (2-14-0, .125; 141-114-1, .553)
2. Washington (3-13-0, .188; 128-127-1, .502)
3. Detroit (3-12-1, .219; 129-126-1, .506)
4. New York Giants (4-12-0, .250; 120-134-2, .473)
5. Miami (5-11-0, .313; 124-132-0, .484)
6. Los Angeles Chargers (5-11-0, .313; 131-124-1, .514)
7. Carolina (5-11-0, .313; 140-115-1, .549)
8. Arizona (5-10-1, .344; 135-120-1, .529)
9. Jacksonville (6-10-0, .375; 124-132-0, .484)
10. Cleveland (6-10-0, .375; 136-119-1, .533)
11. New York Jets (7-9-0, .438; 121-135-0, .473)
12. Las Vegas (7-9-0, .438; 123-132-1, .482)
13. Indianapolis (7-9-0, .438; 126-130-0, .492)
14. Tampa Bay (7-9-0, .438; 127-127-2, .500)
15. Denver (7-9-0, .438; 130-125-1, .510)
16. ATLANTA (7-9-0, .438; 139-116-1, .545)
17. Dallas (8-8-0, .500; 122-133-1, .479)
18. Pittsburgh (traded to Miami)(8-8-0, .500; 128-127-1, .502)
19. Chicago (traded to Las Vegas)(8-8-0, .500; 129-125-2, .508)
20. Los Angeles Rams (traded to Jacksonville)(9-7-0, .563; 136-118-2, .535)
21. Philadelphia (9-7-0, .563; 116-139-1, .455)
22. Buffalo (10-6-0, .625; 118-138-0, .461)
23. New England (12-4-0, .750; 120-136-0, .469)
24. New Orleans (13-3-0, .813; 124-131-1, .486)
25. Minnesota (10-6-0, .625; 121-133-2, .477)
26. Houston (traded to Miami)(10-6-0, .625; 133-123-0, .520)
27. Seattle (11-5-0, .688; 135-119-2, .531)
28. Baltimore (14-2-0, .875; 126-129-1, .494)
29. Tennessee (9-7-0, .563; 125-131-0, .488)
30. Green Bay (13-3-0, .813; 115-139-2, .453)
31. San Francisco (13-3-0, .813; 128-126-2, .504)
32. Kansas City (12-4-0, .750; 130-125-1, .510)

Dear Seniors:

You’ve had a trying year this year. What started out as the best year of your young lives has been turned asunder (torn apart) before your eyes. Sports cancelled, college visits cancelled, proms cancelled. COVID 19 has been the bully on the playground you had to deal with in kindergarden. This virus was not your fault by any means. We didn’t ask for the disease either, not to mention the doctors, nurses, EMTs, let alone the people that got the virus and have somehow made a recovery and the people that got the disease that no longer with us. They didn’t ask for this.

It’s my hope that some of you that are going into the health care profession would be the one (or ones) that find a cure for COVID 19 and send it back from the darkness from whence it came. Then when you’re accepting that Noble Prize for medicine for taking this thing down and beating it up like Popeye beats up Bluto after the spinach, we can say, “I knew that child when they were in kindergarden or middle school.”

Your sports season’s pretty much gone too. All that hard work you did in hopes of winning a state title and perhaps getting the attention of college scouts… gone. All that time in practice, getting on buses and going on road trips for games… gone. Add to that the fact that the GHSA has cancelled all Spring sports for the rest of the year and it’s going to be a season that will be talked about for years to come. You’re mad, you’re upset, you’re angry as Hell. We get it.

Next August, you’ll be moving into your dorms and meeting new people at your new schools. You’ll probably be wearing your class rings and your diploma and wonder why. Again, this was not your doing. You are not at fault. Take comfort in that.

As far as proms go… here’s my suggestion. If you still have your prom dress and tux, have a prom during the Summer or have a group photo of everyone dressed up. In time, when you’ve graduated from college and grad school and your kids one day ask, “what was your Senior year like?” Be honest with them and tell them about your experience.

This was to be your year. It’s not the end of the world; instead, it’s what we adults are calling the “new normal.” Ask your grandparents about the Second World War or your parents about 9/11. Things change and sometimes we can control what has happened and sometimes we can’t.

In the last few weeks, here are some other suggestions….

Write a letter to a family member or friends (yes, we old people still write letters). It doesn’t have to be long, just enough to tell them how you’re doing and what your plans are for the future.

Cook a meal for your family. This is good practice for those of you that will be living on campus and your dorm has a kitchen.

Learn how to do laundry. Those clothes are not going to wash themselves and you can’t always bring your dirty laundry home on the weekends, especially if you are at a school that has football.

Look after your pets. While they can’t talk, they are family.

Look after your family, especially your younger siblings. They’re probably scared and confused. If they ask questions (and they will), explain it on a level that they get but don’t scare them.

Look after you. It’s okay to scream and yell. It’s also okay to be angry, it’s a part of being human. Remember that. We’re not asking you to be Superman and if you need to go into your own Fortress of Solitude, so be it. Just be ready reach out for help from your parents, teachers, coaches and clergy if you need it.

You’ve driven us crazy over the years. We’ve probably driven you bonkers too. Don’t take it personally. In time, this will pass, we’ll be back at church, shopping and doing what we wanted to do before COVID 19 cut in. It’ll be strange and won’t feel the same. Things will be different. If nothing else, we hope you learned a little something about how disease works and look back on what could have been.

Be kind.

Mind your manners.

Use your inside voice.



To my student-athletes at Howard:

First off, let me say that you’ve been troopers through this event with the COVID 19 virus that has not only struck our state but the nation and the world. You’ve been patient, you been a bit on the antsy side wanting to get back on the field, tennis court, track or golf course.

Friday in an office in Thomaston, the home of the Georgia High School Association, the governing body of all the sports in the state, will have a meeting. That meeting will be to decide if we are to pick up where we stopped, start over or call things off for the year. The third option is not one that is liked. and that’s the option to cancel the season that you started in January with tryouts, then practices, long bus rides on the road, playing in the wind, weather and rain.

This hasn’t been easy. Your personal life has been on hold, not to mention your academic life. You’ve missed friends, family, teammates, your coaches and your boosters. To say I’ve missed you is an understatement. It’s been a strange two weeks trying to figure out what the rest of your year would be. Like I said, you’ve been troopers, you’ve supported each other as well as your family and friends despite not being able to be near them with the social distancing thing. You’ve grumbled under your breath wondering why this had to happen and why now, especially if you have a winning record.

There are questions that need to be asked and you have every right to ask them. You have every right to be angry with this virus that has been a disruption to your lives. I’ve been inconvienced as well, not being able to see you face to face, not being able to do the announcing and calling your scores in to the media, not to mention your coaches fans and the officials that call our contests.

Personally, I’m hoping that we do play. While I would love to start at the point where we stopped, starting from scratch is not a bad thing. Even the possibilty of the powers that be say we are ending things early and going to the post-season is a good thing. The other option of cancelliing the rest of the season is one that is out of our hands. This virus was not your fault, it was not your doing, so please do not take that burden on yourselves. The people that have this virus and died from it didn’t want it, either. In fact, it’s my hope that one or more than one of you in the future finds a cure for this thing.

Thomas Paine once said “these are the times that try men’s souls.” In this case, ladies, your souls are being tried, too. You missed games, practices, team meetings, taking the SAT, dates, proms, college visits, going to church, et al. Some of you will graduate in May and that may be taken from you as well. It sucks. It’s not fair. But sometimes you have to do what’s best for the greater good.

I urge patience first. Then, get your school work done. After all, there a reason why we call you student-athletes. Then take care of your family and those younger siblings that may need you and check on those family and friends that are far away, using social media sensibly. Listen to the medical experts. They know more about this than we do. Prayer doesn’t hurt either.

Tommorow our fates will be decided, not just at Howard but state-wide. Remember, it’s not just players and public address people that will be affected. It’s gonig to be boosters, fans, officials and coaches. Some of you have never experience post-season play and it’s my hope you get to experience it. It’s a great time to be a student-athlete. It means that your season gets to continue to wherever it leads you, whether it’s a state title or elimination.

Friday is our D-Day. Our coaches need to be like Eisenhower attacking Hitler. Whatever happens, as much as I’ve wondered why you did what you did on the field and as many times as you’ve driven your parents, coaches and me crazy, we’ve gone to Crazytown together. We’ve gone through the good times. We’re now in a time of uncertainty as to pick up where we stopped, start over or pull the plug. Whatever happens, we’ve been through this together as a team. It hasn’t been easy; in fact, it’s been somewhat frustrating not knowing what’s going to happen next. The unknown is scary, whether it’s Columbus sailing toward the new world, even with people telling him that the world is flat and he could sail off the edge, a monster under your bed when you were little, the first day of school or COVID 19. What we do next is up to the powers that be in Thomaston and us.