In an effort to get you, oh loyal visitor of BS, off of the topic of baseball, I have decided to fight through flu-like symptoms to report/comment on something close to all of our hearts- Purdue football players being looked at in their underwear. Yes, it's that time of year...you know, when old guys gather in Indianapolis to look at young, in-their-prime, male athletes wearing next to nothing. No, I'm not talking about a yearly tradition at my parents' house, I'm talking about the NFL Combine.
While the league tries to make it as scientific as possible using precise measuring techniques, standardized questions multiple tests, I still feel that this exercise is a bit of a crapshoot.
Why? Well here are a few reasons:
-Jerry Rice ran an unimpressive 4.7 second 40 yd. dash
-Maurice Clarett ran a 4.72
You know the rest, Jerry Rice, arguably the best receiver in the history of the league, Mo Clarett never made a regular season NFL roster. Sure, you can bring up the fact that Mo was a crazy person who loved "to get his goose on" and Rice was a ridiculously hard-working player who tirelessly worked on his routes and had the intangibles.
Second case in comparison- Peyton Manning v. Ryan Leaf. Coming out of the combine they were neck-and-neck. I can remember that in Indy, many, myself included didn't know which way the Colts would go and most thought both would both be fine, if not great NFL QBs. Well, the combine couldn't measure the rage in Leaf's heart nor could it foretell the beautiful relationship that would blossom between Manning and Harrison.
Closer to the Purdue family, many, myself included, wondered aloud if Drew Brees might be a "system quarterback" back in '01...and he slipped to the second round and made the rest of the league wonder "what in the hell were we thinking"...Brees isn't an imposing guy, physically, he isn't the fastest guy...but the guy is a leader and a winner. They don't have a test for those traits yet.
Alright, back to Purdue in '08.
The write ups about Avril & Keller talk about their impressive physique and muscle tone...and both mention their soft, large hands (you know what they say about guys with, nevermind)...conversely, Dorien Bryant is all but laughed at for the shape of his chest, his small frame and his work ethic. Keglar, who must have been busy the day everyone was supposed to assess his assets, is reviewed as a guy whose gym numbers don't translate well on the field.
Honestly, I agree with all of the statements, except the hands part...but would love to find out, if you know what I mean.
Keller absolutely blistered the rest of the TEs with his field day results...and his stock is now soaring. Conversely, it looks like Bryant might now go undrafted and have to earn his way onto a roster a la Vinnie Sutherland.
So while not all guys coming out of college can look like this (the guy on the left, mind you):
and some look like this:
Alright, the last seven days sans Purdue basketball have got me Jonesin' pretty hard to see the Boilers. First off, I still have the bad taste in my mouth from the IU loss, but also, I simply can't wait to see what unfolds with this young group of "new veterans".
Reports out of God's country tell us that our Boilers have been focusing on defense...and intensely, at that. That's good, because the way this team tends to shoot from the field at times, they need as many possessions as possible and defense makes that happen.
Here's the deal, nobody thought our Boilers (click the link and watch the 5:00 video, if you have a chance...a lot of respect for the Boilers) would string together 11 wins in a row during the Big Ten season, but they did. I'm all for these guys starting up another similar winning streak.
If my math's right, at the end of such a streak, they'd be Big Ten regular season champs, Big Ten Tournament champs and the run would come to an end in San Antonio...Not bad for a bunch of guys that will all be back next year.
Back in early January, I got a chance to talk to Cuonzo Martin while attending a high school basketball game at my alma mater. I told him, I loved the team and couldn't wait 'til next year...he responded, "What about this year?" I thought it was just rah-rah rhetoric, especially with the taste of the Wofford loss still lingering in my pallet. I was wrong and they knew something I couldn't have predicted.
As Matt Painter says, "Why not us, why not now?"