The NFL’s Giant Job Fair.

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


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.

Why We Watch Sports

By Brad Hubbard @bradhubbard

The past week has been filled with everything but actual sports. From Lance Armstrong’s doping admission to Oprah, the MLS SuperDraft, NFL Coaching hires, and the Manti Te’o ‘catfishing’ story, all of the sports news has been about everything outside the field of play.

Maybe that’s what makes Saturday and Sunday so great.

Saturday was one of the best days of regular season college basketball match ups in recent memory. #1 vs #6, #10 vs #17, and it was to be topped off with #8 Gonzaga at #13 Butler. You know it’s a going to be a good day when ESPN College Gameday is at Butler and someone makes the half court shot for $18k…on the first attempt.


The end of the day was even better. 10 plus hours later Roosevelt Jones makes a runner as time expires to win the game for Butler in an ending you have to see to believe. 

About 30 minutes before Jones’ game winner, Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Vitor Belfort TKO’d Michael Bisping at UFC on FX 7 in Sao Paulo, Brazil with a head kick. It’s a close call as to which crowd reaction was better. The one in Brazil or the one in Indianapolis.

Then Sunday morning saw American Clint Dempsey get the tying goal for Tottenham in stoppage time against Manchester United in a snow storm. Dempsey was yellow carded for celebrating with supporters after the goal but he’ll take it and the point for Spurs.

This is why we watch sports. For the unbelievable moments that can occur. The comebacks when all hope was lost. That rush of adrenaline into your system as you scream and jump up out of the chair. The rest, is to fill air time. Armstrong’s admission doesn’t make you forget the moments you watched over the years. The fake girlfriend of Te’o doesn’t make you forget the big plays he made during the year (or the tackels he didn’t make against Alabama).

This is why we watch sports and why we will continue to watch regardless of the flaws these athletes have.

Follow us @SidelineSignals