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Old 05-18-2011, 09:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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D. Smith on being in the room for the ping pong balls

Ohh doug,

So, what’s it like in there?

Mind-numbingly boring for the most part but kind of cool.

We’re shepherded into the room about 7 p.m., reps of the 14 teams, a handful of league officials, three very large security guards and five members of the media to act as witnesses, or hostages.

You walk in the boardroom and they want you’re blackberries or phones or whatever you have, as expected, although we could keep tape recorders if we wanted and could use laptops, as it turns out, because they had blocked any wireless access to the room.

But the speed with which it came together was stunning.

A dude from Ernst and Young walked everyone through the process, the balls were dropped one-by-one into the hopper (which looks like a toned-down version of any old lottery machine and was built specifically for the event) and then it started.

Three draws, each taking a minute and it was all over and done with by 7:23 p.m. if the chicken scratch in the notebook can be trusted.

Then? Then we stood around nibbling on cold cuts and cookies and drinking coffee and soda, chatting with the likes of Ernie Grunfeld and Billy McKinny, Marc Eversley and a handful of others.

Nice talks, very long wait while watching the whole process on TV like many of you were.

But you need to trust me on this: It so above-board and impossible to rig and witnessed by so many people with so much vested interest in the process that there’s no way it could be anything but legit.

Last edited by jeffb; 05-18-2011 at 09:14 AM.
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