Thurston County residents announce draft picks for Seattle Seahawks in Las Vegas

By Jacob Dimond / [email protected]

Phil Edwards and his son Brian Edwards recently took the trip of a lifetime together. The two were officially invited to attend the 2022 NFL Draft by the Seattle Seahawks organization after a simple conversation with a team representative turned into something more heartfelt.

Phil, who has held a Seattle Seahawks season ticket since their inaugural season in 1976, lost his wallet several months ago. Once he realized his tickets needed to be renewed, he called Seahawks customer service to let them know he had changed his card and needed to update his ticket. information.

After Phil shared his information, the subscription rep asked a simple “how have you been lately” question, to which Phil responded by saying he’s had a rough few months.

Phil woke up on the morning of January 22 to find his wife, Coleen Edwards, had died of a brain aneurysm. After sharing this with the rep, the Seahawks offered to include Phil’s wife on the list of Seahawk fans who lost their lives in 2022.

Following their conversation, the Seahawks season ticket representative called Phil back a week later with a gesture on behalf of the Seattle Seahawks organization.

“I was surprised to see them call me back,” Phil said. “But after the rep told me he had spoken with some of the Seattle executives and they wanted to do something special for me because of my loyalty to the franchise, my jaw dropped to the floor.”

The Seahawks organization wanted to thank Phil for being a fan for 46 years, as well as honoring his late wife, so they invited him and a guest to Las Vegas for the NFL Draft, which is is held from Thursday April 28 to Saturday April. 30.

Along with the NFL invite, the Seahawks included a three-night stay at the Bellagio, one of Las Vegas’ top hotels.

But the icing on the cake was that Phil got the opportunity to announce one of the Seahawks’ draft picks, which aired live on ESPN, ABC and the NFL Network.

Upon arriving in Las Vegas, the Edwards were given a tight itinerary that they had to follow while in Vegas. First, they arrived at the Bellagio where they were greeted by 31 other franchise representatives and their guests invited to the draft by NFL teams.

“When we got there, we all met at 64 in the lobby and they closed a restaurant for all of us. They had all these tables and chairs and jerseys with ‘NFL Draft 22’ sewn on the back,” Phil said. “They gave us the shirts and served us brunch and then Roger Goodell came along.”

Goodell is the current commissioner of the NFL and has held the position since 2006.

“We all have to come up, shake his hand and say a few words to him,” Phil said. “He’s a down-to-earth guy, really cool. He doesn’t deserve the boos he gets every year at the draft.

Ahead of the draft, the two locals, along with other special guests, were treated to a red carpet experience. The two met several NFL legends, including Marcus Allen of the Raiders and Barry Sanders of the Detroit Lions.

Then, on the first night of the NFL Draft, Phil presented Commissioner Goodell with the Charles Cross jersey. Cross, who was the Seahawks’ first draft pick and ninth overall pick, is a 21-year-old offensive tackle from Mississippi State University.

“When I got to present the jersey of Seattle’s first-round pick, they picked me up from my seat and walked me around the back,” Phil said. “As I walked through tunnels to get to the stage, I also met some NFL legends. I was dazzled.”

Then on the second day, it was Phil’s turn to play the role of commissioner by announcing the choice of the Seahawks. However, it wouldn’t come without typical Seattle Seahawks fashion, as they traded the original pick Phil was supposed to announce.

“Thank you to the Seattle Seahawks, the finest organization in football,” Phil said when the team was announced. “With the 153rd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select Tariq Woolen, defensive back, UTSA.”

Following his announcement of the 153rd pick, another Seattle Seahawks representative approached the Edwards family, this time asking Brian Edwards if he wanted to make the selection.

“I wasn’t even supposed to announce the pick,” Brian said. “I discovered it about four minutes before going on stage.”

Next, Brian announced the 158th draft pick, which was Tyreke Smith, a linebacker from Ohio State University.

“It was pretty cool to announce the pick myself. But the coolest thing is he was a rock star for four days,” Brian said of his dad. once in a lifetime. My dad and I already hang out a lot, but spending four days with him in the NFL Draft is something I’ll never forget. He wore a big Chuck E. Cheese smile the entire time.

After the draft, Phil expressed his gratitude for what the Seattle Seahawks and the NFL did for him and his son.

“I started getting my tickets before they even had a team,” Phil said. “It was just amazing what they did for us.”

Brian accepted.

“Everyone treated my dad like he was Elvis there,” Brian said. “It was like episode after episode of awesomeness.”

Phil, who has been a Seahawks fan at every turn in franchise history, had the best time of his life in Las Vegas with his son. But in retrospect, the moment was bittersweet.

“I had an absolute blast. I really did it,” Phil said. “But really, I would have given up the whole experience to get my sweet wife back.”

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