The 2019 NFL draft is being held in Nashville and thousands of hardcore football fans have descended upon the city, in many cases taking full advantage of its burgeoning reputation as a destination for all sorts of revelry.
The only issue? Those thousands of football fans are getting in the way of all the women who routinely descend on Nashville to take full advantage of its burgeoning reputation as a destination for all sorts of revelry.
That’s right: The NFL draft is ruining untold numbers of bachelorette parties this weekend.
But don’t take it from a male scribe writing this from a desk in downtown Washington. Take it from a woman in Nashville wearing a “Bride” shirt, courtesy of Fox 17:
“I don’t want to have to hang out with a bunch of football guys. Like, I’m good. I already have to watch football on Sundays; I don’t need to see any more of that.”
“When did they start planning the draft? Because I feel like I just found out about this,” a bridesmaid to the woman in the “Bride” shirt said. The woman of the hour chimed in with, “I found out three days ago, and it made me want to cry.”
Nashville’s main drag, Broadway, was more clogged than usual Thursday, the first night of the draft. According to The Tennessean, police estimated more than 100,000 people were jammed into a few blocks downtown near Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans and site of the draft.
As the first round wrapped at midnight, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell thanked the more than 200,000 people whom the league expected to take part in draft-related festivities. That was great news for the NFL, which again was able to show off its unparalleled popularity among U.S. sports leagues, but somewhat worse news for those who came to town anticipating a less testosterone-fueled scene.
“The NFL caused all the bars to shut down in Nashville so all the plans that I made months ago for my best friends bachelorette party are now canceled due to the draft this weekend,” one woman wrote in a since-deleted tweet, adding the hashtag “#NotHappy.”
“We come here to listen to country music, not hang out with football boys,” another woman reportedly said.
In recent years, Nashville has experienced an explosion in women traveling there for bachelorette parties, drawn to the city’s rich music scene, abundance of nightlife options and a newfound, at least in some parts of the country, cachet of hipness. The result has been a sight increasingly familiar to residents: cadres of young women in similar attire taking in the sights and sounds while being pedaled around town on “beer bikes.”
“It’s mostly located in downtown Nashville, but it’s spreading out to other ‘hip’ neighborhoods now, which is a weird feeling because you can’t escape it,” a longtime Nashville resident said to BuzzFeed in 2018. “Like, you can’t go to brunch in most areas without running into a gaggle of women in matching outfits.”
“They’ve gone from being all over downtown to all over anywhere worth getting drinks in this city on a Friday or Saturday night,” another resident told the website. “It’s like the ‘bach’ industry ruins any ‘hot new local spot’ within a year.”
In that light, those locals might not have much sympathy to spare for visiting groups of women this weekend suddenly finding that their efforts to paint the town red are being impeded by an even larger invasion of merrymakers. At least one bachelorette-party attendee, however, told Fox 17 she was prepared to break into opposing territory with smash-mouth tactics that would make Vince Lombardi proud.
“We’ll use our elbows if we have to,” she said.
Another woman, clad in a shirt declaring “It’s my NASH BASH,” said with a rueful smile that her “dad’s very disappointed in me that I didn’t know [about the draft].”
To the aforementioned bridesmaid, though, “the person that’s going to pay” for her frustrations in Nashville will be her husband, as she vowed to “refuse to watch football the entire season,” a boycott that wouldinclude the Super Bowl.
“Because you get married once — how often does the draft happen?” she asked of her companion. “Every freakin’ year,” the bride-to-be replied.
Indeed, the NFL draft does take place every year. Its host city in 2020? Las Vegas. Bachelorette parties — and bachelor parties, too, for that matter — you have been warned.
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