Live From The 2004 NFL Draft

With thousands of football fans swirling around Madison Square Garden and twice as many rumors floating in the air, the 69th National Football League Draft is about to kick off. Plenty of stories are already being told as people file into the Theatre at Madison Square Garden to hear the picks for the next two days.

A somber mood fills the arena as all the NFL executives are wearing ribbons donned with the colors of the Arizona Cardinals and the name of Pat Tillman standing out in bold letters. The face of America's newest hero was omni-present on newspapers in New York city and his name was on the back of several fans entering the draft as they wore Tillman's former Cardinal jersey on their way to the event.

People started arriving 12-midnight on Saturday to receive one of the coveted wrist bands which would assure entry into the draft, New York's toughest ticket today. A crowd began forming outside the Garden at six this morning yet thousands of draftniks are milling around outside without any ticket or possibility to enter the first round this morning.

While fans from every team are present at the draft, those who call the New York Giants their favorites outnumber every other franchise by a two-to-one margin.

Tense fans of Big Blue are wondering which direction there team will go in round one; will they stay with the fourth pick or try and move up into the top slot and select Eli Manning? A consensus amongst Giant fans here is were New York to select any player other than Robert Gallery or Sean Taylor the arena will erupt into a volcanic reign of boos.

Fans of the Oakland Raiders are also in attendance, attired in much of the goodish garb they wear during home games. Raider fans are split amongst who they prefer, Roy Williams or Robert Gallery.

Six of the top prospects were introduced to the crowd including tackle Robert Gallery of Iowa, Virginia Tech cornerback DeAngelo Hall, quarterback Eli Manning of Mississippi, Ben Roethlisberger of Miami-Ohio, another passer, Texas receiver Roy Williams, tight end Kellen Winslow of Miami.

When the name of Eli Manning was announced to the crowd he was soundly booed for several minutes by the crowd.

Ironically after a week of talk stating there would be much movement and trades in the top ten it has been very calm and as of now things stand status quo.

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