Sunday, February 22, 2009

Cattle Call

Imagine this...

There are 100s of NFL coaches and front office executives sitting in big comfortable chairs facing a stage like they are gonna watch a concert, equipped with note pads in hand, waiting for the show. On the sides of the stage are men who have been doing nothing but getting their bodies in shape and preparing themselves for this week.

One by one the men await their chance to parade across the stage with nothing but spandex on. As each man takes his turn, you see whispers among the crowd and occasionally you hear loud commotion as an unusual herculean man walks across the stage. Its the most bizarre thing you would ever see. Men who coach such a macho sport and teach toughness basically drooling and wooing over men with their shirt off. LOL!

The funniest thing is when its your turn to walk across the stage you look into the crowd and its the most uncomfortable feeling ever. You think..."this is wierd, why, why, why are these men looking at me like I'm a woman walking in front of a construction site or like I'm a gazelle and they are lions on the pride lands".

But that's the combine. 5 days of being poked, pulled, prodded, xrayed, MRI'd, measured, drilled, and timed. This year 328+ college players are vying for about 224 spots in April's NFL draft. After playing football for most of your life, it is one of the most important weeks of your life and little of it has to do with playing football. Sometimes players dont perform as well as they can or as well as they thought they would. Therefore, dreams come true for some players with a good showing but sometimes lifetime dreams are broken with a bad one. And the only way to recover is to hope you are picked up as a free agent and get an opportunity to show you can play.

Millions of dollars are at stake, jobs and livelihoods are on the line, and millions of dollars go into the process of finding the best players. After all this, plus watching tape, coaches still manage to draft players who cant play. You can do all the measuring and timing and interviewing you want, but the combine cannot measure the size of a mans' heart, his will to win, or his commitment to being the best.

3 comments:

  1. cattle call, beauty pageant, or slave auction? hmm... I wonder if one's figurative perspective depends on whether he is on stage or in the audience.

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  2. I think the combine is like the SATs. Neither can really predict how you're going to perform in the pros or college, but you need that standardized test to first, narrow the field, and second, have a basis for comparison. The only difference is that we don't have to wear spandex to the SATs.

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  3. I was just asking a friend of mine that came back from the combine if he thought it sucked having people judge and evaluate you as if you were on an auction block. His response was that he hadn't really thought about it like that but that's exactly what it is. They are scored and assessed from strongest fastest buck to weakest slowest buck. How do you prepare for someone to critic not only your physical ability but your mental capacity and background. All and all I think they should cut the crap and just let the kids run the 40 because that's all that seems to matter anyway.

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