2021 hasn’t been kind to everyone. Don’t get me wrong, in most respects, it’s been better or at least on par with…2020. Ugh, 2020. Anyways, we know that 2020 threw an oversized wrench into most aspects of life. Sports was not immune. Delays, cancellations and bubbles oh my. With all of that being said, we’re turning corners. We have had a Super Bowl, an NBA bubble, Major League Baseball is about to start and don’t forget March Madness. I could go on and on and on but I’m here to talk about the NFL. More importantly, the NFL Combine. We have high definition televisions, replay of almost any angle, the strongest and fastest athletes on the planet. Why oh why is the combine, played and analyzed on two (TWO!) networks, so bad? I’ll tell you why.
The NFL Combine has been held annually in Indianapolis Indiana since 1987. Regional camps and such existed well before then, but we all know the “modern” combine is all we really care about. Why is modern in quotes? Because there is nothing modern about the NFL Combine in 2021. Yes, I’m well aware there is no combine this year, which is great! You know why? This is our chance to fix all that is broken with it. Before we fix what many don’t think is broken, let’s look at the current setup.
Of course there are positional drills and such but I’m not as concerned about those. It’s these five events specifically that I want to tweak and make better for us, the audience. Is this really the best we can do? The Underwear Olympics? The Under Armour What the Hell Do Those Numbers Mean Combine? You know what we need? Something the NFL actually has, three days a week, 17 weeks a year(for now). Competition! We have an entire stadium, tons of coaches and players. Why are we not putting players against each other? I mean, do we think they can’t handle it? Is the pressure too much? Well, if it is, that should be your first sign there is a problem. Well, why don’t we take a look at our brand new and improved combine events.
The first event we are making changes to is the vertical jump. Now you’ll have players jumping side by side against another player of their position. Both players jump at the same time and have two jumps 45 seconds apart to see just how high each player can get when motivated in competition.
Much like the vertical jump above, the broad jump becomes a side-by-side competition between two players. But instead of two attempts it’ll be a one off, best jump wins. However, that isn’t the only change I’m making. The landing area shrinks to 30 inches so we can see the players have to control their athleticism.
Another event, another pairing for competition purposes. That isn’t the only modification coming to the classic event though. For offensive and defensive lineman we are upping the weight to 250 pounds to see who has that little extra something.
70 Yard Shuttle Dash
Our first new event, the 70 yard shuttle dash. Two athletes running lines; sprinting 15 yards and sprinting to touch the start line before doing the same thing but at a 20 yard distance and then finishing back through the start line. I want to see who can dig deep during that last 20 brutal yards and finish strong.
The Dead Hang
One final event, also a new one. The dead hang. You think it is boring, I think it is genius. Two players hanging, facing each other. The only event that has athletes face to face for the entire time. So much of the NFL is drive and determination and what better way to test resolve?
Not only will the players be competing against their personal matchup while trying to impress scouts; they’ll also be competing one last time for college pride. Whichever conference gets the most points (1st on reps/time is worth 5 points, 2nd worth 4, etc for the top 5) and that conference gets money to donate to the cause of their choice. And of course, a championship belt for the highest average overall ranking across the events for whichever player does the best across the board!
Strength, endurance, speed and precision. We expect that on Sundays. We should demand it for our time and attention. You want us to watch? Give us a better product. This is a better product. Seventeen games? Roster sizes? TV contracts? They’re all growing, they’re all changing. And if you remember the words of the great Rocky Balboa ” If I can change, and you can change…everybody can change!”
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