This week signals the kickoff to the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, an even which has been held in Indianapolis, Indiana for the last 25 years.
Earlier last week, Redskins general manager and executive vice president Bruce Allen discussed his memories of the Combine with Redskins Nation’s Larry Michael. Although Allen has only been an executive in the NFL since 1995, he’s been involved with the Combine since it’s early days:
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Obviously, since 1985 the event has grown into a media spectacle that garners around-the-clock coverage on the NFL Network in the days and weeks to come. Fans are taken into every conceivable angle of a player’s draft stock, but have never been allowed on the premises.
All of that will change this year, as 250 lucky fans are being invited to watch the workouts from stands in Lucas Oil Stadium.
Those selected were asked to submit a request for tickets, and the winners would be randomly selected in lottery fashion. The winners will have a live view of the wide receiver and quarterback 40-yard dashes, as well as the position skill drills.
This is a big step forward for the NFL, which has consistently worked to create the best fan experience possible. For any of you disappointed to not be attending this year, you can expect this plan to stick around and grow in future years.
The other, perhaps more fun opportunity for fan interaction, is the Fan 40-Yard Dash. Seven years ago, the NFL Network’s Rich Eisen ran a 40-yard dash in his Prada suit and tie. Admire the 2010 edition:
And this year, Eisen is calling on fans to submit videos of their own 40-yard dash, in their respective places of business, in their respective business attire. As Eisen points out on his NFL.com blog, it’s only fair:
For the love of all that is holy, block out the naysayers in your world and run. Run like the wind. And then tweet out a link to either @richeisen, @NFL or @NFLNetwork and use the hastag #RunRichRun.
The best runs – and the worst – will air on NFL Network as divine inspiration just before I take the field.
Together, we can create a (very slow) movement. Or not. Either way. Just run.
I will not ask you to run or do any physical activity not approved by your doctor. But if you do choose to participate and share your 40-yard dash with the NFL Network, I ask only that you share your efforts with the Redskins online community as well.
Happy hamstrings, everyone!