Lost in all the hubbub of the NFL Draft was the annual Equipment Intern Draft (EID). Each year, hundreds of applicants enter this draft in hopes of landing a coveted internship position on a real NFL teams’ equipment staff. For those unfamiliar with the EID, the process is very similar to the NFL Draft in that all 32 teams pick in reverse order of the previous year’s standings – meaning the Panthers had the #1 pick while the Packers had the #32. But unlike the NFL Draft, each team is only allowed one intern and thus it the draft consists of just one round.
Held in an undisclosed location on the East coast, the 2011 EID was attended by several HOF Equipment staffer such as a ‘Cranky’ Ted Dabole and ‘Jock Strap’ Kennedy. All 32 teams were represented including legendary Packers’ Equipment Manager Gordon ‘Red’ Batty, who has been with the organization the last 17 years.
EID week kicked off with the equipment version of the combine in which candidates undergo grueling physical tests such as sorting piles of game-used uniforms and the ever-popular helmet-waxing competition. Add to that a series equipment dilemma scenarios (Player X hates his shoes…and you!, etc.) and you can see why 30% of the candidates don’t make it past day two.
The day of the draft is unlike any other. There’s food to go along with every type of Gatorade known to man. The ceremony was kicked off with a sweet montage of the evolution of the shoulderpads and capped with the unveiling of the P7, a patent-pending solar-powered hybrid sock washer/dryer combo prototype, expected to become league-wide standard in 2014.
Carolina was first on the clock. Most teams generally take their entire 30 minutes to go over every last detail of the prospects and review trade offers. In an unprecedented turn of events, the NFL Equipment Commissioner approached the podium with those five famous words: “There has been a trade.”
“Green Bay has traded up from the number 32 pick in exchange for Carolina’s first overall. Green Bay will give Carolina this year’s 32nd pick as well as their draft picks for the next five years. And now, with the first selection in the 2011 NFL Equipment Intern Draft Sponsored by Riddell: The Official Football Helmet of the NFL, the Green Bay Packers select….James Jobworthy.”
As customary, a video profile of the selected intern is shown. Due to NFL trademark restrictions, I was only allowed the transcript:
James “Jimmy Job” Jobworthy is a graduate from Penn State’s storied “Equipmentlethics” sports equipment program. He holds degrees in both Inventory Management and Sports Equipment Philosophy. Like most equipment prospects, Jimmy Job has been water- and ball-boyin’ since puberty. He has been described as a ‘go-getter,’ ‘an invaluable asset to any equipment staff’ and possesses uncanny ability to customize shoes. His senior thesis “The Things We Could Do, But Don’t For One Reason or Another” about personalized jersey folding has since been adopted as best practice by the NFL’s Equipment Forum and has inspired two screenplays.
James "Jimmy Job" Jobworthy Analysis: It’s so hard to give equipment draft grades. Yes, on paper this looks like a steal – even mortgaging the future for this guy. It’s clear the kid’s got spunk and I believe he will do very well. But it would be hard for anyone to fulfill these lofty expectations. I truly wish him the best. I’ll give the Packers an “A” for now but ask me to regrade in 10 years.