Everybody knows that one of the best parts of being a sports fan is debating and dissecting the most (and least) important questions in the sporting world with your friends. So, we’re bringing that to the pages of LGHL with our favorite head-to-head column: You’re Nuts.
In You’re Nuts, two LGHL staff members will take differing sides of one question and argue their opinions passionately. Then, in the end, it’s up to you to determine who’s right and who’s nuts.
Today’s Question: What random event would you like to see added to the NFL Combine?
Jami’s Take: Cartwheels
The NFL Combine requires NFL prospective players to undergo a rigorous series of physical and mental tests, including skill-specific drills, a 40-yard dash, bench press exercises, vertical jumps, and a 60-minute intelligence test.
You know what’s missing? Some comedic relief! And while I don’t think a standup comedy set or a round of zip-zap-zop is the best use of everyone’s time, I do think it would behoove the NFL to add some light relevant comedy in the form of cartwheels.
That’s right! I want to test NFL players on cartwheels!
Cartwheels aren’t a particularly necessary skill for those looking to excel in the NFL, but it’s not a total waste of everyone’s time, either.
While cartwheels might seem like a cute kindergarten party trick, they’re actually quite challenging. They require a tremendous amount of balance, strength and agility, which are qualities any strong NFL prospect should possess. Yes, this might be considered a “basic” skill in gymnastics, but as football players well know, having a strong foundation is key.
In order to perfect a cartwheel, you have to possess strength in your biceps, triceps, shoulders (delts), abs, quads and hamstrings AND you have to couple that with strong balance and overall flexibility.
Theoretically, anyone who is about to enter the NFL should have those skills. And the idea of watching large football players do beautiful, graceful cartwheel drills makes me giddy. Even sillier is the idea of a poorly executed cartwheel! That is the comedic relief the NFL Combine is missing.
Sure, the long jump is nice. But CARTWHEELS would put a smile on everyone’s faces while still providing a worthwhile skill test for players. And why CAN’T we inject a little more fun into the world of pro-sports?
Cartwheels could also prove useful on the field. It is not entirely unheard of for athletes in high school and even college to use cartwheels to distract their opponents. Why can’t we bring this level of circus behavior to the pros? I personally would love to see the Chicago Bears doing cartwheels when all else fails – if I have to watch the Bears on Sunday, this would lower my depression by at least a hair. Testing this at the NFL Combine adds a layer of legitimacy to this idea.
It would also up the victory dance game. 2023 should be the Year of the Cartwheel. Score a touchdown? Do a cartwheel. Intercept the ball? Do a cartwheel. Recover a fumble? Do a cartwheel. Run the ball back for a TD? You guessed it - cartwheel!
Football is, at its heart, a silly game where large people hit each other over a tiny Hey, Arnold-shaped object. Cartwheels get to the heart of that silliness, and it’s time we recognized that as a society.
Matt’s Take: Simon Says
I know this seems even sillier than Jami’s suggestion of cartwheels, but I think it actually makes a lot of sense. A good, old-fashioned game of Simon Says incorporates a lot of what the combine already focuses on: Fast-twitch reactions, rapid decision-making ability, endurance, and (depending on what Simon says to do) strength, agility, and problem-solving.
Of course, it would be hard to measure how someone does in a game of Simon Says and then compare it to other potential draftees, so there would need to be some way to standardize it. The athletes could be grouped by position in order to play an all-wide receiver game (for example). That way, you would be able to judge that group of competitors against each other with everyone on an equal playing field. There would be a single Simon standing at the front of the group, and every participant would have their own individual judge making sure that they accomplish the tasks according to the guidelines set forth. As the tasks become more difficult and faster, when a player eventually screws up, they then must sit down on the turf at Lucas Oli Field criss-cross applesauce until a champion has been crowned.
If there were too many players from a specific position to have them all in a single Simon Says competition, you could have multiple heats with each group having a different set of instructions. Of course, if you wanted to make it even more intense, you could have each player have their own individual Simon Says session. Again though, in order to allow teams to accurately compare the results between players, the goal would be to replicate the same instructions for everyone.
So, again, grouped by position, players would be sequestered in a holiday room with no feed to what was happening on the field and no phones or electronic devices, so that their agents, trainers, or friends can’t tip them off about what types of things Simon is going to say to do. Then, one by one, they come onto the field and go as far into the Simon Says sequence as they can.
Can you imagine what watching a bunch of soon-to-be millionaires doing this would be like? Absolute TV-viewing gold, I tell you.
- Simon says do a jumping jack.
- Simon says quick turn to your right.
- Simon says do a burpee.
- Simon says tell me what 64 + 37 is.
- Simon says stand on one foot for 10 seconds.
- Simon says switch feet and stand for 10 seconds.
- Switch back to the first foot... Simon didn’t say.
- Simon says tell me what your responsibility is on Spider 2 Y Banana.
You know, we came up with this idea for the column today as a joke, but now I really think that the NFL needs to add this for 2024.
Who has the right answer to today’s question?
This poll is closed
Matt: Simon Says