Craig resident Jamie Felten owes her son, Jerik, big-time.
If not for their son, Jamie and her husband, Tim, would not have the opportunity of a lifetime.
The Feltens will be in New York City this weekend, getting a firsthand look at the 2012 NFL Draft. The Craig couple won the “Paint the Town Orange” contest sponsored by Colorado-based business, Kwal Paint.
The prize package includes a three-night trip to the Big Apple for two, a pre-event breakfast with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, reserved VIP seating for the draft and the chance to announce one of the Denver Broncos’ fourth-round draft picks.
It all started with a photograph of a 3-year-old Jerik clad in cowboy attire and an orange barrel around his torso, imitating the late Tim McKernan — better known as the Broncos’ decades-long superfan Barrel Man — as a Halloween costume in 2010.
Jamie submitted the picture for Kwal Paint’s contest through Facebook in March.
Competing with more than 100 other entries, the snapshot received 274 votes from fans, winning by a margin of seven over nine other finalists. The Feltens received the news they had won April 6.
“It was after midnight when we found out,” Jamie said. “We were so excited. Unfortunately, the trip is only for people over 21, so Jerik won’t be able to go with us.”
Though Jerik won’t be able to attend the event with his parents, he likely has plenty of souvenirs in his future.
Jamie won’t be keeping all the glory for herself.
Though the official contest winner, she said she will hand off the honor of making the draft pick announcement to Tim.
“I’m not a good speaker, and I just didn’t want to be in front of all those people, and of course, he wasn’t going to say no to it,” she said.
Team representatives have not yet clued the Feltens in on which player will be claimed by the Broncos.
The fourth round of the draft will be broadcast starting at 10 a.m. Saturday on ESPN. The team is slated for the 13th and 25th picks of the fourth round, 108th and 120th overall.
“How they’ve explained it to us is that we’ll be escorted to our VIP seats and Tim will have a meeting at the team table,” she said. “I’m not sure which of the picks he’ll be announcing, but he’ll talk with them about it three picks before.”
Jamie said she and her spouse aren’t sure what to expect from the experience other than one of the best weekends a football fan could ever want.
“We’re pretty overwhelmed by the whole thing, the last few weeks have just gone by so fast it’s surreal,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the breakfast with the commissioner because he wants fans’ opinions and feedback about the direction the league is going.”
Jamie said she and Tim hope to represent fans from around Colorado in discussing the Broncos’ status, especially regarding the team’s recent highly-publicized quarterback acquisition.
“I think we all just want to see them have the best season ever, and now that Peyton Manning’s here I think we all have some high expectations about where they can go this year,” she said.
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