The 2020 NFL Virtual Draft took millions of viewers inside the homes of coaches and general managers where everyone was able to see families gathered around computers, Bill Belichick’s dog Nike sitting in his “dad’s” chair and much more.
At the top of the list was the 7,000-plus-square foot house in Paradise Valley that Kliff Kingsbury paid $4.45 million for in 2019 shortly after being hired as the Cardinals head coach.
Notable Arizonans that live in Paradise Valley include Cardinals chairman Michael Bidwill, Gov. Doug Ducey, Arizona Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall, rock legend Alice Cooper and Olympian Michael Phelps.
In addition to the spacious living room where Kingsbury was encamped, there was the view into the backyard, which featured a huge outdoor kitchen, a firepit in the middle of the yard and a breath-taking view of Camelback Mountain.
Naturally, Twitter blew up afterward. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who played for Kingsbury at Texas Tech, tweeted: “I’m trying to have a crib like Kliff!”
One response to Mahomes’ tweet came from running back DeAndre Washington, who also played at Texas Tech and left the Raiders for the Chiefs this offseason as an unrestricted free agent. He wrote, “Bro you see him? lol living like Scarface out there.”
Former Cardinals safety Tyrann Mathieu, now with the Chiefs, also responded with “No wonder they couldn’t afford me anymore lmao.”
Seeing the scene spurred Lori Johnston, who lectures at the journalism school at the University of Georgia, to tweet a LEGO version not only of the house but of Kingsbury sitting on the couch.
Other tweets included:
@bykevinclark: "The NFL is going to host all its games at Kliff Kingsbury's house next year."
Kingsbury didn’t want to say too much Friday when he was asked by local media about the reaction to the house on social media.
He said, “I’ve had some friends obviously hit me up. But it’s a unique situation to be able to do it from home and have fun with it, give some quality content and just enjoy the process.”
Kingsbury did refer to the house on Ryan Rusillo’s podcast in February. Hired by the Cardinals after Steve Wilks had been let go after just one season, Kingsbury recalled early last season when the team was off to an 0-3-1 start.
He said, “I remember thinking, ‘I cannot believe I spent that much on a house. I’m screwed on this deal because this is going to be a short stay and I don’t know what we’re going to do.’”
Saturday, general manager Steve Keim couldn’t resist getting in a little dig at the end of his media briefing when he was asked what the team still needs going forward.
Keim said, “We have a number of things that we have to address. No position is deep enough, so we have to get deeper at all of our spots. As soon as I get off this call, I’ll get back with our scouts and our coaches and we’ll continue to work the calls in free agency and see if we can recruit these guys here. Coach has been using FaceTime and showing them his palatial estate and trying to recruit them that way, so that should help.”
It should be noted however, that Kingsbury understands how to help. Without the fanfare of a press release, he recently donated $50,000 to the Navajo Relief Fund because of how hard the Navajo Nation has been hit by COVID-19. The Navajo Nation is in portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico and has the largest land area of an indigenous tribe in the country. To help, go to http://www.nativepartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=nrf_howtohelp