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Patrick Peterson wants to go to New York; NFL smiles

Eric Berry from the University of Tennessee hugs NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in New York

The NFLPA* reportedly has recommended that incoming rookies not attend the NFL Draft.

It’s a concept that doesn’t appear too popular with NFL fans.   Or one top-ranked rookie.

“I heard about that.  No one has contacted me to go to New York or not go to New York. I would like to go if possible. That’s what you play football for,” LSU cornerback Peterson told Aaron Wilson of NFP via NFLLabor.com.

“That’s a big moment to go up there and shake the commissioner’s hand and get that jersey and hat. It means a lot. I definitely want to go and no one has told me not to go. So, we’ll see what happens.”

The fact the NFL is trumpeting this story is almost as noteworthy as Peterson’s comments.  NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy linked to the story and had a series of other tweets with the tongue-in-cheek hashtag: #LetThemHug.  (Complete with the official #LetThemHug video.)

The NFL realizes this is a wedge issue.  It could wedge current players from incoming rookies; Peterson’s views are pretty clear.  And it will definitely wedge players from fans.

Taking a stand on the draft is within the rights of the players, but that doesn’t mean it is in their best interest.   Making a stand here is not seeing the forest for the trees.

Keeping players away from New York won’t really hurt the owners; it may help them.  It will only piss off fans and potentially diminish the experience of guys like Peterson.

For many fans, the draft is the next closest thing to the Super Bowl on the entire NFL calendar.   Disrupting the draft, however minor, is just another sign the players and the owners say they care about the fans, but they could really care less.

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35 Responses to “Patrick Peterson wants to go to New York; NFL smiles”
  1. chapnastier says: Mar 15, 2011 12:51 PM

    Well done Mr. Peterson, you just earned more respect than Von Miller.

  2. biggerballz says: Mar 15, 2011 12:52 PM

    looks like this guys get his head on straight, sounds like a class act to me.

  3. austskate says: Mar 15, 2011 12:55 PM

    Couldn’t agree more. This would give owners more ammunition and turn the fans against the players. Let these kids have their day in the sun. A boycott of the draft by guys who aren’t even in the union yet (considering their technically isn’t a union) is COMPLETELY ABSURD.

    Hopefully more of the rookies stand up and tell the players/De Smith to get real.

  4. goombar2 says: Mar 15, 2011 12:55 PM

    Yeah, I think this is a dumb idea from the union. This kid has busted his butt all his life and moments like this, where he (and his achievements in life) gets celebrated…

    Let’s be serious union, you don’t have to win every battle to win a war. Pick and choose your battles carefully, and don’t let the battles pick you.

    I can see a picket line to remind fans, but taking a moment like this away from a deserving kid is just wrong.

  5. duanethomas says: Mar 15, 2011 12:57 PM

    I’m all for going to New York, just go The NFLPA draft. Is it not about the players? Invite the fans and have the top prospect there, only thing that would be missing is Roger Goodell. Have the green room, highlights etc…when the players name is called make it a family photo-op on the stage. Then have a celebration at the end of the 1st round with the fans. Problem solved.

  6. mike83ri says: Mar 15, 2011 12:58 PM

    I love this guy.

  7. 305hurricane says: Mar 15, 2011 12:59 PM

    I have a feeling Denver will surprise a lot of people and draft you with that number 2 pick young man.

  8. bleedblue18 says: Mar 15, 2011 1:00 PM

    Don’t care, the Colts always pick (25-32), so late in the first round the player is never at the ceremony. Seems like they only ask the first 15-20 top guys to attend.
    But I guess its fun for teams like Carolina and Detriot to see there player walk across the stage.

  9. trigdaddy says: Mar 15, 2011 1:03 PM

    I definately understand. Even being invited is a huge deal because it means he is a top prospect. It is probably the most important day in his life so far so why would he want to miss it?

  10. txttn says: Mar 15, 2011 1:04 PM

    I am now officially skeptical of Schefter’s sources with the NFLPA. Is this the same unnamed source that claimed the NFLPA would not negotiate between now and the trail date only to be contradicted almost immediately by Jay Feely? Now Peterson is saying he hasn’t been contacted about the draft and there are no other confirming sources of the draft story.
    Just highlights the issues of unnamed sources and ESPN all over again – Schefter’s reputation is not at stake – if the the “source” is wrong, this will all simply be swept under the rug and ESPN will move on to the next story. Just ask any of the reporters who covered the LeBron James fiasco for ESPN last summer – there sure were a lot of sources he were guaranteeing he was going to NY, CHI, and even back to Cleveland….

  11. dukemarc says: Mar 15, 2011 1:05 PM

    If the players picket the draft, every fan in the vicinity should let them know how they feel about the players union* recent actions……and I pray a camera is there to capture the stupid looks on their faces.

  12. cowboyaggie says: Mar 15, 2011 1:05 PM

    What a foolish childish attempt by the Players. Do they really expect any sympathy after this? Trying to deprive young men of the moment they have dreamed about for many years?

  13. tuckercarlsonisthevoiceofreason says: Mar 15, 2011 1:06 PM

    As a Viking fan, the draft is more important to me than the Super Bowl. At least we get to participate in the draft.

  14. chapnastier says: Mar 15, 2011 1:08 PM

    @ duanethomas

    Are you serious? I mean how can the former union, which again doesn’t exist anymore really hold a draft for a league which its former members do not technically play for anymore? Furthermore, why would any network broadcast the “union’s” alternative draft knowing that one day football will be played again and having the ability to show football games is an extremely lucrative privilege?

    Us fans will watch the draft and still cheer for the players if they are handed their jersey by Goodell. After all, they aren’t members of the former union that walked away from the negotiating table (which could still be going on as we speak). Think sir, think.

  15. oldpftusernewname says: Mar 15, 2011 1:09 PM

    Here’s one fan who could not care less whether those college boys appear. I’d rather watch a preseason game than the draft.

  16. jackbassett says: Mar 15, 2011 1:10 PM

    Quote from above: “Disrupting the draft, however minor, is just another sign the players and the owners say they care about the fans, but they COULD REALLY CARE LESS.”

    Rosenhack: Suggesting they “could care less” implies they have some level of care (since there’s room for caring less). Are you saying the players and owners have a minimal level of care or a high level? Google “couldn’t care less” for a diagram of the continuum of care. :)

  17. mistrezzrachael says: Mar 15, 2011 1:10 PM

    These guys work their entires lives for this one day and moment…Anyone suggesting to take this away from them is a fool.

    Know this’d never happen…but would LOVE to see owners, right after draft…give all veterans 1 chance to come w/their teams…otherwise owners/coaches start building their franchises w/all new players.

    Think players would be all over DE Maurice???

  18. r8rsfan says: Mar 15, 2011 1:13 PM

    The “NFLPA” is no more, correct? How can a group that is not legally recognized anymore even be given a mouth to speak? These fools can’t even decide if they exist or not. And hats off to Mr. Peterson for taking advantage of the opportunity that he’s earned, the same one the knuckleheads who are “suggesting” he do otherwise, enjoyed themselves.

  19. burntorangehorn says: Mar 15, 2011 1:14 PM

    This would be much more interesting if the union were to organize pickets at the draft and other such events. Watching Matt Birk lumber hither and thither with a bullhorn and picket sign would be gold.

    (yeah, I posted this in the other thread by mistake)

  20. BC says: Mar 15, 2011 1:14 PM

    What good does not having draftees go to the draft exactly do?
    If they’re having the draft, let the kids go.

  21. 1historian says: Mar 15, 2011 1:17 PM

    “It will only piss off fans.”

    You got that right.

    This is fast turning into a stupid contest and both sides are coming down the homestretch

    Don’t forget folks – they are arguing over OUR money

  22. closisgood says: Mar 15, 2011 1:17 PM

    Probably the rookie I’ll be watching the most next year but after this he is a #idiot

  23. oranjellojones says: Mar 15, 2011 1:21 PM

    Couldn’t care less GR….COULDN’T. If he could care less then he cares. Sorry, I know that’s grammar weeny stuff but it drives me nuts when people blow it. Cripes you write for a living!

  24. steelergold says: Mar 15, 2011 1:22 PM

    I’m surprised Fig Newton hasn’t had a press conference on this.

    Kudos to Peterson

  25. agor4004 says: Mar 15, 2011 1:23 PM

    “Making a stand here is not seeing the forest for the trees”. Uh, its “the forest FROM the trees”. Did you take grammar in grade school? And by all means, let’s have a big party on april 28 and hug the commissioner act like we’re all great friends and everything is wonderful. Methinks these rookies-to-be need to take a step back and gain some perspective. Its not always about you, sometimes there are larger issues. See, Tommie Smith.

  26. basexc9 says: Mar 15, 2011 1:28 PM

    It’s laughable to think that a rookie wanting to walk up on stage after they get their name called would alienate him from his future teammates. Give me a break.

  27. shallowfan says: Mar 15, 2011 1:34 PM

    I would love for someone to ask Peyton Manning how he felt about being at the draft, being picked and standing their with the commissioner…I’d also like to know if he would’ve boycotted the draft if the former nflpa would’ve asked him to.

    He might’ve, who knows, but I bet he wouldn’t have. Now he is endorsing the #1 overall pick to boycott the draft and give up that moment in their lives over a situation that will be resolved sooner rather than later.

    I just don’t get the logic the players are using here, just dumb…

  28. mike11119 says: Mar 15, 2011 1:48 PM

    The NFLPA really cares about the fans because thay are fighting to remove the out dated tax payer snubbing blackout rule…O WAIT…naaa thay want a bigger cut of the money. sorry fans you lose again as usual.

  29. radrntn says: Mar 15, 2011 1:52 PM

    Good for him. Looks like he knows how to be a “part” of something. Big time props to him. The kid deserves to see his dream come true, instead of living ion the NFLPA proposed nightmare led by bozo.

    I hope he goes #1, and their is a pre determined price for the #1 pick so no other team has to pay the kind of money J-Bust got

    Kudos to u brother.

  30. andyreidisfat says: Mar 15, 2011 2:22 PM

    Wow i live in a crazy world. Well i guess if 38 % of the country believes that we found WMD in Iraq why should i be surprised.

    Folks this “the players walked away from the table” so its the players fault is crap. The owners are the ones not coming to the table. Remember the word is “lock-out” not “strike”.

    The Owners are behaving like children with good PR. The simple fact is that the owners are imposing more games for less pay for the players. How would you feel if your boss asked for that??

    As far as the boycott I do believe the players are going bout it the wrong way. Instead of asking players not to show up, they should ask the fans not to watch on “NFL Network”. In fact as Fans NONE of us should watch the NFL network coverage, or even be going to their website.

    Also I am asking once again to the “genius” who runs this site. Can you please check out why the cities who have leases and/or have payed for stadiums why they can’t sue these teams for not playing games hence not bring the promised revenue to local business?

  31. harleyrider1973 says: Mar 15, 2011 2:55 PM

    this is one of the biggest days of these young mens life and for the NFLPA* to say they shouldn’t go just prove to me that they could care less about the players and only care about there selfish cause.

  32. seahawkhuskyfan says: Mar 15, 2011 3:14 PM

    Lets have 55 rounds of the draft. If you are a lockout player please apply for the draft if you would like to continue to play in the NFL. Very easy.

  33. wizahdry says: Mar 15, 2011 3:23 PM

    It’s selfish to even ask a player to not attend the draft. All of the current players got to have their draft moment. They decided how to spend it. These incoming young men didn’t even take part in the negotiations or lack there of that lead to this moment. When all is said or done there WILL be an agreement this year. The players will only get one draft and after the smoke clears they can’t get that moment back.

  34. bluefan204 says: Mar 15, 2011 3:57 PM

    Good kid. Smart move, and great attitude. Don’t let those morons from the NFLPA* talk you into missing out on what could be one of the biggest days of your life.

  35. berniemadoffsides says: Mar 15, 2011 4:25 PM

    This would accomplish absolutely nothing for the NFLPA*…. aside from infuriating the fans and actually further siding some with the NFL/owners.

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