New York followed by naming Skip-worth (Skippy) Scott, 21, of the Louisville Hunt and Cricket Club, Louisville, Ky. A junior account executive, Scott first came to the attention of Giant Scout Cranston Tower when the sage talent hunter heard that Scott had stayed over a day in New York on his vacation trip to Rome and Greece to attend a summer midtown Giant luncheon, where films of last year's close losses were shown at length and a second-string cornerback narrated.
"Let's face it," Tower told reporters, "in New York, what is just watching the games? The real fan is the guy who also attends all the lunches and brunches and cocktail parties all week long watching the replays of Sunday's game. That's why we went for Scott."
The young man beamed alongside Tower, "How do you think this will impress the folks back at the Hunt and Cricket Club?" Scoop Slaughter asked.
"Oh, I wouldn't want to be pinned down too much on a thing like that," Scott replied. "I'd rather not say anything definitive on a subject like that until I've seen the films."
Los Angeles followed with the Miriam Willoughby selection, and Dallas also went the distaff route, tabbing statuesque, sometime flaxen-haired Mary Beth Carey, 19, of Tyler, Texas. Miss Carey's background was not quite the same of most of the first-round choices, since they had come up through television watching. Instead, Miss Carey has long been a familiar figure around stadiums, confining her TV attendance to a few games at the local A & W Root Beer lounge.
Miss Carey's stadium appearances had, however, only been at halftimes. She had never seen so much as a whole series of actual downs. As a youngster in Amarillo, she was a sequined baton twirler from the age of 6 for Alamo Elementary and Lone Star Junior High. Then, on a scholarship, she moved to Austin Houston Park High in Dallas, where she twirled her baton some more and was often queened queen as the climax to halftime. At Nomore Junior College, Mary Beth became the leader of the world-famous Nomore Texas Cowboyettes, the skimpy-dressed bevy of precision beauty marchers and baton twirlers who have traditionally appeared at 89.4% of all halftimes throughout America every fall.
"We felt it important," the Dallas scout, old Connie Thomas, said, "that we sign up just a few fans who can actually tolerate a halftime show. Since Miss Mary Beth Carey has been boring people at halftimes since infancy, raising the art of halftime boredom to a real art as a member of the Nomore Texas Cowboyettes, we felt it was only appropriate that she should be our selection."
Baltimore completed the first round of the NFL fan draft by going for little Chickie Ward, 16, who watched out of the Harundale Mall Community Hall, Glen Burnie, Md. The Colts really had no choice in the matter, for emotions in town were at a fever pitch after it was reported that Ward had singlehandedly taken on eight larger (and scruffier) youths outside the Lerner Stores after he understood one of the crowd had passed a disparaging remark about Johnny Unitas near the A & P check-out. Before this incident, young Ward had been listed as no better than a fourth or fifth choice by the Colts, though his keen ability to spot alleged infractions by Colt opponents that officials overlooked had made him a comer.
By late in the season the commissioner could say he was tremendously pleased with the results of the draft. Toby Buff, of course, was the biggest first-round flop, but there were only two other disappointments. The Packers moved R. W. Gray out of his starting end-zone spot behind the goalposts and dropped him down to the rugged, standing-room-only unit after the word leaked out that he was trying to organize a Fans' Committee that wanted to meet with the ticket manager and make certain pension and health demands. Mary Beth Carey was placed on the injured reserve list midway through watching her second half-time. The desultory experience had proved too much for her.
"Next year's draft should be even better," the commissioner said one day to the network man. "We're already able to use computers in some areas of the fan draft, and this should take more of the guesswork out of the job. The preseason camps that all the teams had worked out well for everybody, and some were terrific conditioners. You could see the difference. The fans that had been to the tough camps and worked hard during the preseason campaign were really ready to go when the bell rang for the lid-lifter. Next year I'm sure you'll see that all the teams will have tougher camps. I tell you, I would hate to be a rookie spectator coming into one of those camps."