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A Baltimore doctor was almost too busy to talk on the phone. It was Roger Goodell, calling with Super Bowl tickets.

Dr. Hazim El-Haddad answered a random FaceTime call Saturday while working at LifeBridge Health, unsure of who the caller was behind a spotty connection.

A confused El-Haddad quickly told the caller he couldn’t talk at the moment.

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But the caller repeated his name, and it suddenly clicked.

“Roger Goodell,” the NFL commissioner said from the comfort of his basement, where he announced picks for the first three rounds of the NFL draft Thursday and Friday.

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The commissioner called El-Haddad, an interventional cardiologist and Ravens permanent seat license owner, unexpectedly to present him with a pair of tickets to Super Bowl LV in Tampa Bay. The gesture was just one highlight of a weekend in which the NFL paid tribute to first responders while the coronavirus pandemic rendered one of its premier events a virtual affair.

“We wanted to sort of tell you how much we appreciate what you’re doing on the frontlines and how you’re fighting every day in making people better,” Goodell said before revealing a tablet that showed El-Haddad was receiving two tickets to the Super Bowl.

“You made my day,” a speechless Hazim El-Haddad responded. “I had a really rough day today too, working at the hospital. So this means a lot.”

El-Haddad, 38, participated in the NFL’s Inner Circle initiative, where fans submitted videos of them cheering on their team. Select videos were taken and posted on a screen behind Goodell as he announced respective team picks during the draft.

El-Haddad’s video included him speaking on the importance of the team to not only him, but his patients in a time of uncertainty. He missed an email from the Ravens to be prepared for a call, so the moment had him at a loss for words.

“Honestly, the weird thing is I don’t even feel like I really deserve it,” El-Haddad, a Hampden resident, said Monday in a phone interview. "I really appreciate all the positive messages and everything. It’s just I love what I do. I love my job. I feel really lucky to be able to do it.

“This is a really scary time to be in the medical field, for our nurses, our physicians, everybody. But we just want to make sure everybody’s doing well and safe and healthy.”

And after bringing in a draft class that was lauded as one of the league’s best, there’s a chance El-Haddad could be rooting for his favorite team at the Super Bowl.

“I’m super excited right now,” Hazim El-Haddad said. "Even before the draft, I felt like this team can beat anybody and beat anybody decisively. ... I feel like they’ve plugged in some holes. I think between [Lamar] Jackson and [Marquise] Hollywood [Brown] and the defense with [Marcus] Peters and [Marlon] Humphrey, I would not be shocked if they ran the table.

“Maybe I’m too much of a homer, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they ran the table.”

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