It’s that time of year again.
That’s right, the NFL Combine is here, baby! Did someone say something about getting fired up?
Yes, and that’s weird.
I’m sorry, but it is.
The annual evaluation/interview process kicked off (do they have kickoffs at the Combine?) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, on Monday, as hundreds of the nation’s top football prospects began their journey toward the Promised Land: A career in the National Football League.
I get why the prospects are excited. They have a chance at fame, fortune, championships, and a lasting legacy that could still be firmly intact decades later.
I just don’t understand why YOU are excited about the Combine.
I consider myself to be a diehard football fan. I love the stuff. I eat it up. I can’t wait for the season to start each and every fall.
But this stuff? Watching football prospects go through a series of drills that may or may not be functional as they pertain to their desired profession? Hell, the NFL even has apps that help you track the results. Seriously...these results get posted for public consumption.
OK, I get it, I’m being a jerk. I’m trying to tell you what to do. To each their own, I suppose.
Your liking the Combine has no impact on my life...other than you think I’m an idiot for not knowing about these prospects. But you’ll have to excuse me for not wanting to watch something just so I won’t get called names on social media.
Why do I have to know the 40-time of some prospect, especially when the numbers he posts during the three-cone drill are supposedly more indicative of the kind of player he’ll be at the NFL level?
Even if that player’s three-cone performance is off the charts, there’s still a decent chance he’ll wind up on some “Infamous Draft Busts” list years from now. And why was that player selected so high in the 2023 NFL Draft? Because he prepared for the NFL Combine and turned in a record-setting performance.
Yeah, but what was his career like in college?
Oh, yeah, that’s right, he didn’t have much of a career in college and didn’t really put himself on the map until that week at the 2023 NFL Combine.
That player will become yet another cautionary tale when it comes to drafting workout warriors.
A lesson won’t be learned, however. I know this because some prospect will be looked down upon this week because he didn’t participate in the 40-yard dash, passing drills or bench press.
Draft stocks will rise because of the Combine, while others will fall.
But will any of it mean anything when all is said and done? Sure, to the pocketbooks of these prospects, but what will it mean for future Sunday afternoons in the fall?
Probably not much, but we’ll repeat this process each and every February and March for infinity.
To reiterate, I can see why the coaches, scouts, general managers and prospects are serious about this stuff: It’s like any other interview process in the “real world”: Employer and employee want to size one another up—even if some decent candidates are going to be weeded out because they were nervous, while less-deserving ones will get serious consideration because they are just good BS artists.
Just like the real world, I suppose.
I still can’t get into it, though.
It’s okay if you do, however.
Lately, I’ve felt like I have to tell you it’s okay to like something that I don’t.
That's even if I don’t understand you and am a bit afraid of your excitement over job interviews that don’t involve your children.
Go Steelers, right?