Vikings fans must’ve been going through it when former NFL running back and actor Ed Marinaro took over two minutes to announce Minnesota selected Clemson cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. with the 42nd overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
During the second round of the draft last Friday, Marinaro went into a full-on monologue about his playing days and took so long at the podium that Ashton Ramburg, a producer at the draft, approached him on the stage and directed him to read the Vikings’ pick — a move that he said felt like Will Smith’s recent Oscars incident.
“It wasn’t like it was a conscious effort to be kind of self indulging, if you will,” Marinaro, a second-round pick by the Vikings in 1972, told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “I just thought it was fun. I just provided a little bit of entertainment, if you will. . . . I was sort of surprised. I thought she was going to give me a Will Smith slap or something. But I got the hint.”
Last month, Smith slapped and yelled at comedian Chris Rock on the 2022 Oscars stage, and was later banned from the awards show by the Academy for 10 years.
“I guess I overdid the fun part,” Marinaro said. “I just got caught up in the spirit of the whole thing, the energy. I just wanted to kind of have a little fun, but I’ll probably never get to do that again. They probably will never invite me back.
“It was probably the first time anybody ever got the hook giving a presentation. It definitely wasn’t, but it was the first time it happened during the NFL Draft. I certainly didn’t set out to create a brouhaha that it turned into. It’s just kind of weird. Obviously, I’m aware of what a lot of people thought, but a lot more people thought it was fun and entertaining.”
Marinaro explained that he wasn’t given a specific amount of time he could be on stage.
“I said [to a draft representative], ‘What do we do? Should I say something fun,’ and she said, ‘That’d be good.’ So that’s kind of what I did,” Marinaro said. “I got caught up in the moment when I got out there when the fans were screaming, and it was a little overwhelming. I felt like the Pope up there with all those fans. I really didn’t think about the time. They didn’t say to me, ‘You’ve got 60 seconds.’
“I just went out there and tried to have a good time and bring some humor to the thing. For the most part, I think the fans enjoyed it. When [Ramsburg] came out and told me to read the card, I think they were booing at it.”
Marinaro went on to say that fans were “attacking” him after he was instructed to read the 42nd pick.
“It’s just sort of funny they’re attacking me. With all due respect, who are these people attacking me with what I’ve done in my life, my resume?” Marinaro said. You wonder who these people are, how they feel qualified. Somebody called me a D-list actor. I’m 72 years old and I’ve got people attacking me. It was like I committed a mortal sin or whatever to a lot of people who got real serious about this draft.”