The NFL Combine: Where large men run fast, where hands are breathlessly measured to an eighth of an inch, and where everyone involved is haunted by a tiny voice insisting that the whole thing is a big waste of time, that future athletic success can’t be quantified with a stopwatch or measuring tape or even a face-to-face interview, because if it could, some front offices, in having different perspectives on what variables to value other others, would consistently and repeatably outperform other teams in the draft, and they don’t.
Instead, think of the whole thing as an industry conference, a chance for everyone to hang out and shoot the shit and get drunk. Like at every conference, things occasionally get weird. But at the Combine, the weirdness happens during the day.
Teams famously try to surprise prospects with questions and exercises meant to elicit something, even if they will never explain what exactly it is they’re hoping to uncover, and even if they did, it wouldn’t make any sense. In the past, draft hopefuls have been asked questions like If you were murdering someone, would you use a gun or a knife? and Do you find your mother attractive? and Are you afraid of clowns? and What kind of fish are you? and Where does the sun rise? and In one minute, list as many ways as you can think of to use a brick. All of these, I regret to assure you, are real.
So is this:
Extremely normal. Is winning a staring contest against some pud of an assistant GM better than losing one? Only the Seahawks know for sure.
Sunday appears to have been a memorable day for dopey questions to cornerbacks:
Because this is presumably something that would’ve shown up in the medical exam, this unnamed team was not in the dark on the objective answer to this question. They’d likely tell you they wanted to see how the player reacted to an unexpected question, and, if pressed further, how that reveals something about the player’s psyche. Well, even if you buy that, it’s a shit question. How was Boyd’s answer ever going to be anything other than Yes, I do, and that’s a dumb question?
What a stupid sport.