This Saturday at Rice Stadium, SportsRadio 610 is conducting our first ever NFL style combine. The event runs from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and the plan right now is for all of the hosts and many of you listeners to participate in most of the various events (sorry, no bench press, meatheads) that the NFL runs at its annual combine (which happens to be this weekend also, in Indianapolis).
Bud Light is sponsoring the event and you have to be 21 or older to be there, so you can put two and two together on one of the big differences between our combine and the NFL combine. (inking-dre!)
Well that and the NFL combine has actual athletes.
(By the way, you can still sign up -- and get a free t-shirt by pre-registering! -- at sportsradio610.com.)
I bring up our combine-largely-made-up-of-average-overweight-middle-aged-males (partially to give it a shameless plug) as a jumping off point for some perspective on the actual NFL combine.
Over these next four or five days, much will be made about how so-and-so really helped their stock by completing all of his passes in the throwing drills. Completed all of them against air. People will become enamored with a few athletic freaks, so much so that a sub 4.6 forty yard dash and bench pressing 225 pounds a few dozen times will cause teams to "really sit up and take notice of [a guy whose actual play on the field barely got him noticed]."
It's exhausting in its inaneness, but sadly (and admittedly) the inaneness is also what makes it entertaining. Grown men discussing other grown men in their underwear is train wreck kind of stuff. And make no mistake, I love train wrecks.
Now, some of you will watch this combine and take it just as seriously as the talking heads at the NFL Network desk and the 32 tribes of personnel people in the building, and that's fine. Do what you like. Just know that the greatest football player since the turn of the millennium, and perhaps the greatest quarterback of all time, put up this performance at the combine in 2000....
Oh. My. God. Right?
I'm not sure what's more amazing after watching this video -- that Brady went on to become a great NFL quarterback or that Brady went on to pull so much tail that he could, with a straight face, kick Bridget Moynahan to the curb for Gisele Bundchen. I showed this video to my two sons (who were ages 2 and 1 at the time of the epic Brady combine performance) and they refused to believe it, like they think somehow ESPN has doctored the video.
My favorite observations of this startling video footage:
0:05 -- Brady doesn't even look like he made an effort to dress properly for the combine. He has on shorts that look like the old O.P. corduroy shorts from the early 90's and what appear to be tennis shoes and ankle socks. Seriously, it looks like he might have been playing indoor tennis in the building next door and stumbled upon the combine, and decided to treat it like a carnival. "Hey, that 40 yard dash thing looks fun...I'm gonna go do that, then I'll meet you at the Fortune Teller....mmm-kay?" (NOTE: The "fortune teller" was actually Al Davis wearing a really big hat and lots of jewelry.)
0:10 -- Brady is laboring to cross the finish line, like he just ran a 5K, not a 40 yard dash. No joke, I wish the video kept going so they could zoom in on Brady panting like Clubber Lang after Rocky tricked him into using all of his energy trying to knock him out in Rocky III.
0:11 -- Brady ran a 5.24 in the 40 yard dash and vertical jumped 24 1/2 inches, which means two things:
1. There needs to be a Brady Line at the 610 combine this weekend, and everybody who finishes ahead of Tom Brady's 2000 combine performance in the 40, the vertical jump, the cone drill, and the bench press (actually, I think we are doing push ups, for liability reasons, whatever) gets an autographed glossy of Gisele Bundchen.
2. If this combine performance had happened in 2014, Brady would be the subject of so many derogatory hashtags on Twitter that we'd need Ted Wells to collect them all and put together a report on how society had bullied Tom Brady's draft stock down to the sixth round.
0:20 -- We are told that Mel Kiper called Brady's performance the worst he'd ever seen at the combine, 576 out of 576. This would mean something to me, except this was Kiper the day JaMarcus Russell got drafted...
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JOHN. ELWAY. That happened.
0:21 -- The infamous Brady shirtless combine photo (which I'm surprised isn't the Twitter avi for more people who hate the Patriots or people who hate the combine). If you're trying to find a scene where the Brady in this picture fits in better than he does in the NFL combine, I would go with the "prostitute in the woods" scene in Porky's.
So just keep all of this in mind as you watch the NFL combine this weekend (or participate in the 610 combine at Rice). Superstars come in many shapes and sizes.