Before the NFL draft, we hold a Miss America-style pageant of football skills called the NFL combine. A showcase for college athletes trying to make the leap to the pros. The combine is voluntary but it creates helpful data that top brass use in deciding whether they want to draft someone or not. The combine evaluations measure speed, strength and agility. Events include the 40 yard dash, bench press, broad jump, vertical jump, shuttle run and the 3-cone drill. But modern football is a different game, so let’s add some events to round out the combine for today’s football.
Reading and Writing
All combine athletes should have to take a basic reading and writing test. Nothing crazy but all of them graduated high school and presumedly went to at least a few college classes. I’m sure everyone would like to know which prospective players can read at an adult level. This is not just to make fun of “stupid” football players, as many GMs would love to have a metric on brain-power before they waste a first round pick on a dummy.
Most NFL athletes are forced to take this test sometime in their career, so maybe younger players should start practicing for it now. The field sobriety test at the combine would act like a random police traffic stop. The combine athlete would start in the prop car and a coach, acting as the cop, will ask the player to step put of the vehicle a preform a series coordination tests. The main goal here is to NOT get arrested. Hell, everyone should practice this stuff. Oh and memorize the alphabet, backwards.
This is where each star gets to shine. Every combine competitor will get 1-5 minutes of solo stage time where they can showcase any non-football talent they have. Whatever that may be: standup comedy, singing, juggling, ventriloquism, yo-yo tricks, whatever they are proud of. Some may say this is unnecessary but I’ll argue that it can only benefit both parties by knowing more about each other. Communication is never a bad thing. Now curtains up, full lights, party time!
All the above ideas are about getting to know the men beyond their physical attributes. This is the element that the current combine is sorely missing. Players aren’t just how many reps they can lift or how fast they can run. My new combine gives a deeper look into the person as a whole package.
Do you have a great idea for a modern combine event? Please leave it in the comments. Do you have a special sports skill or a crazy trick shot video? Tell me and I’ll make ScoreBoredSports put it on the front page. Pinky swear.
Is it football yet?