By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard
The NFL Combine is possibly one of the world’s largest job fairs and by far the biggest in professional sports. Imagine applying for a job all the while having what equals to a job interview broadcast and live streamed on the NFL Network and NFL.com.
The NFL has the ability to process up to 335 athletes for the combine although they don’t always hit this mark all 32 NFL teams are represented to see the incoming pool of talent. For several days athletes are poked, prodded (physically and verbally), dissected and tested to see if they have what it takes to be selected in the NFL Draft. While the combine does not guarantee an athlete a draft position or even a tryout with an NFL team a solid performance can go long way to improving an athletes draft status, or being hired.
The penjamlum can go the other way as well as former Notre Dame Linebacker Manti Te’o is finding out. He had a dissappointing combine topped off with a rather slow 40 yard dash time of 4.82 seconds (the fastest linebacker ran a 4.47). That combined with his fake girlfriend death and his awful performance in the BCS National Title game has seen his draft stock fall. In other words, his chances of being hired quickly have shrunk.
The visibility of this event also makes it more difficult on the employers, the teams. Their customers, the fans, now have access to the same information that they do (more or less) and can see with their own eyes what a player did or didn’t do at the combine. It’s almost as transparent as it can get. What other industry allows you the customer to see everything this employee has done right up to the actual hiring?
Make no mistake, this is a job interview for these athletes. Not everyone gets invited and not everyone lands a job. It’s ruthless, cut-throat and very, very public. Getting through the interview process alone should say something about these individuals and the failings of their employers.
Jump to the 2:41 mark of the video below.