With the ongoing studies of head trauma and player safety, we're always talking about how NFL players are "bigger, stronger and faster" in this day and age. A lot of this has to do with advancements in nutrition and training.
While the league will likely spend millions paying doctors to conduct all kinds of research and delve into various layers of science to arrive at some sort of conclusion, I think it's as simple as this -- back in 1987, this Phil Simms workout video was considered cutting-edge training for NFL players:
I'm fairly certain that workout barely prepares you to fight a sixth-grade girl on the jungle gym, let alone withstand the rigors of a 16-game NFL season. In short, the video is awesome. So awesome that I want to point out 15 specific things that make this video an all-time classic.
0:19 Phil Simms actually walks into the room and turns the lights on, after which you see Todd Christensen and a few others already in the room enter the shot. Of course, in theory, this means that Christensen and those other people were working out in the dark. And, honestly, once they saw Simms in those nuthugger shorts, they'd have been perfectly within their rights to demand he turn the lights back off.
0:25 Random guy in street clothes (who apparently spends his free time hanging out in locker rooms just because) walks over and shakes Simms's hand. We never see Random Guy again. He is the Chuck Cunningham of this workout video.
0:28 Nothing says "champion" like jogging in place while you introduce your "friends" you've brought along. That's multi-tasking, folks. While Dan Marino was sleeping in 1986, Phil Simms was jogging in place, mutha fuckas!!
0:50 Rulon Jones rocks the sleeveless T-shirts and wristbands. He's a unisexual bandanna away from being ready for Olivia Newton-John's "Physical" video.
1:19 Todd Christensen (and his perm) is taking this thing so seriously, he actually looks like he's treating this like his real workout for that day. Would it surprise anyone if Christensen requested he already be in the room when Simms arrived so that the video gave the illusion that dude was the first one there?
1:30 Tony Dorsett is bringin' the bitches!!
1:55 Gary Anderson, fresh off stealing Steve Alford's 1987 haircut, shows up and the other players act like they're okay with it because it's in their contract, when, in fact, because he's a kicker, they would all like to tape him to the row of lockers and let Christensen whip him in the face with his perm. Worth mentioning: Anderson serves zero purpose in this video. He has no lines, no exercises, no signature moves (at least McConkey waves a towel). Whatever the opposite of "bringing something to the table" is, that's Anderson. He's taking stuff off the table in a video where the table is damn near empty to begin with.
2:04 Phil McConkey tells Christensen, "I'll see your perm and raise you a set of neg-burns and a bushy porno mustache!" I'm not going to say I thought that the combination of McConkey and Dorsett's paid skanks made me think this video might turn into a porn, but it wasn't completely out of the question, either.
2:10 Eric Dickerson is introduced and unknowingly sets an unofficial record for most future viral views on YouTube in 2011 by adding this workout video to his résumé alongside the 1986 Rams classic "Ram It."
2:27 While Phil Simms winds down from his nearly two-minute jog in place and intro session, the players all divide and conquer on Dorsett's bitches.
2:30 A pasty, completely undefined Christensen takes over center stage and promptly informs us that if we don't do aerobic exercise, our muscles aren't going to show. (Because it's all about the muscles showing!) He then goes on to share what in 1987 qualified as a groundbreaking exercise discovery -- that aerobic exercise three or four times a week can be good for you! In 1987, jogging in place was our P90X.
3:05 (and for virtually the entire third minute) Reggie Williams of the Bengals is enjoying himself a little too much, which leads into...
4:05 "Eric, Reggie and Tony are gonna cool you down!" (Translation: "The brothers will now come up front and lead us in the part that requires rhythm!")
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5:00 Reggie Williams gives a smile and fist pump with a level of pride and enthusiasm normally reserved for the completion of a triathlon, not the completion of a brief jog in place with some skanks in spandex.
5:20 Simms lists the sports for which this workout routine can help improve performance -- "tennis, squash, skiing, windsurfing or chasing some pretty girls around like Eric [does]." He leaves out "threatening to beat up television analysts that tell the truth about your son's quarterbacking skills."
Time to go windsurf and chase some girls with the tenacity and aggression of a young Eric Dickerson!
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 The Game from noon to 3 p.m. weekdays and follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.