The National Football League’s ‘Combine’

Written by  //  February 25, 2011  //  Croquet and Other Lesser Sports, The Field  //  2 Comments

J. Erstmill Chabbleshanks Esq. is a former sports editor at Bibbs and Tanner’s Herculaneum Periodical of Adroit Feats and can be found ranting about more than just sports at Zach Gets Down.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – In the wake of a thoroughly amusing Westminster Dog Show (well done, there, Hickory!), comes now a base compilation of arbitrary statistics and hollow measurements in order to acquire a rudimentary outline of a player’s favorable traits as it pertains to the game of American Football: The National Football League’s Combination or “Combine.”

Let us take a moment to reflect on the absurdity of this venture, given that there are literally years of film reels of these very players performing these sundry feats, and guffaw mightily.

Guffaw, guffaw!

Regardless of the futility of these base and vulgar activities, this “Combine” has become the talk of the town for the commoners who wouldn’t know a grand game of Squinters if it were being dexterously performed before their very eyes (which, as you know by the rules of Squinters, often is performed in the streets in plain view). Prospective athletes, coaches, general managers, scouts, liaisons or “agents,” commodity brokers, and all manner of skip scabs and scallywags have descended upon this, frankly, ghastly town in order to attain these measurements for their own trite ends.

Woe is the plight of these physically “gifted” commoners, but not as much woe as anyone else living in Indianapolis. Necessary dose of redundancy: GHASTLY.

It may be most analogous to the thorough research done by someone of our ilk looking to acquire personal background information for a prospective employee: Highly invasive, ethically questionable, and encouraged for any smart titan of industry. Alternatively, in my personal case, the trials I put prospective butlers and maids through in order to ascertain their abilities doing my day-to-day tasks.


Similar in judgement and scrutiny, different in chore and value.

Much scuttlebutt is being done regarding several individual competitors, including one Cameron Newton of the Auburn Tigers. A great deal of the shouts and murmurs regarding young Mr. Newton is of evaluations of his character. He was deemed the greatest of collegiate footballing athletes by the committee Heisman, and also won the national championship, which is for some strange instance, not synonymous. Despite these several “accolades” (Anyone can pass for 3,000 meters, if you’re employing agreeable men to catch said passes and penalizing any instances of dropping on the other team).

Odd that questions of character are worth mentioning: I see not one single Thwartmouth graduate in their ranks, and if he’s not a Thwartmouth man, he shant be employed by me.

I suppose the question withers down to thus: No matter how many brandies this young Mr. Newton can fetch, is he able to do so without swilling from the snifter himself? But I digress. What of the other somewhat able-bodied candidates? Quarterbacks from Missouri Blaine Gabbert (stout name! pedestrian arm strength) is expected to be acquired respectively high in the subsequent selection process, known as the draft, but will not be showcasing his throwing motion at the Combination. Heisman trophy recipient Marcus Ingram (not of the Boston Ingram’s) is vying to become the first “Runningback” to be drafted, a yeoman’s position requiring a man of great physical strength and enough brain capacity to run in one direction rather than another. “Right! Forward! Left! Forward again!” Goal: attained. And Adriel Jeremiah “A.J.” Green is projected to be the unguent of the Receiving crop, and therefore, one may assume, the tallest.

Speaking of brain capacity, quite amusingly, there is a sort of intelligence quotient given to participants, known as the “Wonderlic Test.” Yet again, assuming these mouth-breathing ogres have little more than two brain cells to rub together to spark a flame of thought, such notions are worth a hearty guffaw, slight chortle, and even a harrumph!

Guffaw! Chortle! Harrumph!

Now that the plebeians have their own 24-hour sporting information and programming channels (no match of course for the stalwart coverage of Bibbs and Tanner’s Herculaneum Periodical of Adroit Feats of any and all of the best contests), the National Footballing League’s Combination has become a spectacle viewed by legions of less-than-athletic supporters of these players, often due to the respective athletes’ affiliations for lower academies of thought and numerous safety schools. The various feats, such as jumping in the air, and running from one distinct location to another 120 feet away in a certain, yet capricious, amount of time, are now regarded as proper measures of value. Again, while similar to fetching, there is nothing being fetched in those 40 yards.

So remember, when addressing your English-speaking employees, understand that this could very well be a topic of relatable discourse for a necessary tête-à-tête. “I’m sorry, Johnson, but the FORTY TIME in which you turned in this report just isn’t up to snuff, so we’re going to have to let you go.” “It’s not a matter of will, Anderson, but reports have been like a clumsy SHUTTLE RUN. I’ll have security come and get you.” “Something something FORTY TIME blah blah, you’re fired.”

Also remember the old adage: Practice makes aplomb!


About the Author

J. Erstmill Chabbleshanks Esq. is a former sports editor at Bibbs and Tanner’s Herculaneum Periodical of Adroit Feats (also known as; a monocle, sailing, twee, and hair enthusiast; and is never without a standard-issue fencing sabre on his person.

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2 Comments on "The National Football League’s ‘Combine’"

  1. Steve Lattimer February 28, 2011 at 12:10 pm · Reply

    Jason Garret approves this post.

  2. Elliott March 1, 2011 at 2:16 pm · Reply

    I want to take the Wonderlic. Also, I want them to just have all these guys go into a 40 man royal rumble. It only seems fair.

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