Jim Ingraham

Jim Ingraham: Pro oglers unite, it's NFL combine time, which means it's time to start timing those 40-yard dashes


This is NFL Combine Week, so put down whatever you’re doing, and pay attention. We’re only going to go over this once. Here is everything you need to know about the NFL Combine:

Question: Who invented the NFL Combine?

Answer: The National Association of Professional Oglers.

Q: What is the purpose of the NFL Combine?

A: There is none, but it’s a good way to kill time between the Super Bowl and the NFL Draft.

Q: Can anyone who enjoys being ogled participate in the NFL Combine?

A: Yes. Just show up at the loading dock, tell them you’re a cornerback from Utah State, and you’ll be given a jersey and a box lunch.

Q: Will Robert Kraft be there?

A: Uh, no.

Q: What’s the three-cone drill?

A: It was invented by Fred Astaire, when he was shooting “Royal Wedding” in 1951. It involves three cones and a drill, and is considered much more difficult than its predecessor, the two-cone drill.

Q: Are touchdown dances part of the NFL Combine?

A: Yes. But you must bring your own orchestra.

Q: Why is the 40-yard dash so important?

A: Because the NFL is considering shortening its fields to 40 yards, either this year or next, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Q: Are contestants permitted to hum show tunes while taking part in the bench press competition?

A: Yes, but only Rodgers and Hammerstein and early Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Q: What IS the bench press competition?

A: A bunch of professional oglers are brought into a room where they gather around a bench, beneath a single light bulb. Then they bring in a contestant, who approaches the bench, extends his arms, and presses his hands against it really hard, preferably while humming something from “Cats” or the overture from “Oklahoma.” The oglers ogle enthusiastically, then check their stop watches and break for lunch.

Q: Will President Trump be there?

A: Uh, no.

Q: Who has the first pick in the NFL Combine?

A: Al Pacino.

Q: How many events are there in the NFL Combine?

A: The total this year is 39, not counting the swimsuit competition.

Q: Do the contestants get paid to appear at the NFL Combine?

A: It depends what their time was in the bench press.

Q: How much does the interview with Michelle Tafoya count towards the contestant’s final score?

A: About 33 percent. It’s factored in with the results of the arm-wrestling match with Booger McFarland, and the score from the pierogi casserole cook-off.

Q: Are the contestants given any time to write home, visit a craft fair, or perhaps sample the local culture and cuisine in the surrounding neighborhoods?

A: Yes.

Q: How much time are the contestants given to study for their height measurement test?

A: Three to five hours.

Q: Are there any tickets left for the bobbing-for-apples tournament?

A: Sorry. They go fast.

Q: Are tuxedos mandatory?

A: Only for the interior linemen, and long snappers.

Q: Do contestants at the NFL Combine ever just give up and go home?

A: The last time something like that happened was about 15 years ago. The guy said he was a cornerback from Utah State.

Q: Does the NFL Network broadcast any of the events from the NFL Combine?

A: Only the spelling bee.

Q: Who is playing at halftime at this year’s NFL Combine?

A: Conan O’Brien.

Q: When the contestants are interviewed by individual teams, do they ever get asked, “Are you the next Jim Brown?”

A: Yes. That happens all the time.

Q: What do the constants say?

A: “Who?”

Q: What’s the procedure for overtime at the NFL Combine?

A: They go back out to the 16th hole, and it’s driving irons only the rest of the way.

Q: How hard are the written tests that the teams give to the contestants?

A: Very hard. About 10 percent of the contestants, after taking the test, are ordered into the concussion protocol tent.

Q: What kind of a question would cause a concussion?

A: Why do they still call Bill Cowher “Coach Cowher” when he hasn’t coached in 12 years?

Q: How many of those pretty boy quarterbacks will be at the NFL Combine this year?

A: All of them.

Q: Do the contestants at the NFL Combine receive a certificate of participation?

A: Only the ones who confuse the vertical jump with the broad jump.

Q: Will Tom Brady’s wife, supermodel Gisele Bundchen, be there?

A: Uh, no.

Q: Is live tackling permitted in the cafeteria at the NFL Combine?

A: Absolutely. Many teams shoot video of lunch.

Q: Does the NFL Combine include some quiet time?

A: Yes. The contestants are encouraged to bring a blanket, a pillow, and a book with them.

Q: The Saints really got screwed in the NFC Championship game, didn’t they?

A: Totally.

Contact Jim Ingraham at (440) 329-7135 or and follow him @Jim_Ingraham on Twitter.
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