Got a chance to speak with Sigi Schmid and asked him to share some draft day and draft pick stories, and he had some. Schmid has been through drafts as a head coach with the LA Galaxy and Columbus Crew and is overseeing his first with Seattle.
Here’s a little Q&A:
Q: What stands out about these draft days, any moments or anecdotes you can share?
SS: (Chuckle). It’s always an exciting time. The things on paper, they never turn out in reality sometimes the way they look on paper. Sometimes they turn out better in reality, sometimes worse. But there’s always that little bit of excitement that goes into a draft. You’re excited because you’re getting a player and the expectations of that player, and everybody feels good about what’s going on at the moment. The thing that happens in every draft though, and it happens in the first nine, 10 picks, there’s always a few head scratchers. There’s always a pick or two where somebody picks a player and everybody sort of looks around and looks at each other and says ‘Where did that come from?’
Probably to me, the most interesting story, the anecdotes that are good, I think for me there’s probably three of them. I don’t want to be too long on you. One was the in the old days, we used to have a draft and a SuperDraft. And there’s actually a player who was drafted in the first round in the college draft one year. The team didn’t keep him, so he went and played in the USL, in the A-League as it was called at the time. And so the following year there was a SuperDraft, which means A-League players were draftable. The same team picked the same player again in the first round, subsequent year, and waived him again.
The other one was, I think it was when Tampa Bay had a team. They didn’t have draft pick until the fourth round, I think. So basically they’d been sitting around watching three rounds of draft go by and when it came to their turn in the fourth round, the first thing they did was call a time out.
You would think that there’s enough time to come up with their decision, but apparently they hadn’t.
Q: Can you actually call a time out?
SS: Yeah. Each team is allowed one time out. In those days when Tampa did it, each team was allowed two time outs…How a time out happens sometimes is you’re about to pick and then a team approaches you with a trade or something. So you can call a time out to work out that trade possibility.
The other story that’s pretty good, the third story is one year we had the combine at Fort Lauderdale but they held the draft up at the Disney Center in Orlando. So we had to get shuttled from Fort Lauderdale to Orlando, but some teams had their own cars. And I think New York had the first pick. It was getting close to the start of the draft. It wasn’t on TV, and there was no sign of New York. They finally walked into the room with about five minutes to go before the draft. Everybody was thinking, ‘Well, let me see. They’ve got 10 more minutes and the draft pick goes, and they had the No. 1 pick. So that was an interesting one, too