Each and every year, the NFL combine becomes a bigger and bigger spectacle. And no individual event exemplifies the NFL’s sad attempt at making money off of jacked dudes in spandex doing gladiator-like things more than the ever-popular forty yard dash. In lieu of the spectacle this particular drill has become, now is as good of a time as ever to take a look back at the four most renowned (but for slightly different reasons) 40-yard dashes.
From a Super Bowl winner to two thousand yard rusher, from an athletic freak to a surprisingly fleet of foot geek, many a man has navigated the trials and tribulations of running as fast as humanly possible for approximately one hundred and twenty feet. Without further ado, let’s begin.
Wait, That’s Tom Brady. . .
credit via @nickjomalley
That’s Thomas Edward Patrick Brady Jr.? The same guy with five Super Bowl titles, four Super Bowl MVPs, and a perennial twelve time Pro Bowler? The husband of Gisele? The deflator of balls? TB12?
From the tucked in shirt to the all white (wait are those New Balance 608s tennis shoes) dad shoes on his feet, can you fault 31 teams for passing on this dude? I don’t need my quarterback to run like Michael Vick, but I’m skeptical of any guy whose lungs finna’ explode ten yards into a sprint. With the form of a maimed ostrich, Tommy turned in a senior citizenry-time of 5.28. More than four seconds slower than — wait for it, wait for it — no other than Peyton Manning and his 4.8 40! I have no idea when this supposed 4.8 40 occurred, but the probability of it ever happening lands somewhere between extremely doubtful and statistically impossible.
Chris “The Hummer” Jones
Chris Jones had something to prove. After scouts widely questioned the 6’6, 310 pound defensive tackle’s decision for leaving Mississippi State early, a fast forty was the chance to prove his explosive athleticism. Little did he know that when his run was finished, all anyone wanted to talk about was his, uh, “measurables.”
From Viral Videos Youtube channel
After Jones headfirst slide at the conclusion of his run, draft analyst and guru Mike Mayock loudly proclaimed, “Oh that hurt, but. . . he’s laughing?” What the hell just happened, and why did Big Chris flail around on the the ground like that? As he rose to his feet, the situation became clear.
“My. Dick. Came. Out.”
Or as he hilariously stated in Jacob Feldman’s recent piece for Sports Illustrated, “I looked down and the hummer is out. I try to cover it up. I’m thinking to myself, ‘little kids are watching.'” The Hummer?? THE HUMMER? This is the kind of character I want in a prospect. A man supremely self-aware of his opportunity to be a positive role model for kids, and one honest enough to tell it like it is.
After his surprising speed and great “size” (sorry, I can’t stop), the Chiefs drafted Hummer Jones with the 37th pick. He promptly repaid the favor, as he finished last season on the Pro Football Writers of America’s All Rookie Team and endowed, *ahem* endeared himself to football fans like me all over the country. Ball out, Hummer Jones, ball out. On a side note, the Hummer Joneses sounds like a great name for a motown band. Someone make this happen.
Mr. 4.24 Himself
Before he became one of only seven players to rush for 2,000 yards in a season, Chris “CJ2K” Johnson was better known (and maybe still ONLY known to casual football fans) as the man to run the
current previous fastest 40 in NFL combine history. photo via nflrush.com
Ascending the throne of fastest forty leads to great opportunities. You can now inscribe sports memorabilia with shit like “Mr. 4.24,” wear a diamond encrusted stopwatch memorializing your time, and race a cheetah. Wait a second, race a cheetah? You serious, Clark? Oh, I’m serious alright. You know you’ve made it when a Nat Geo Wild producer hits up your agent to gauge interest in racing the fastest land animal in the world. For the record, the cheetah race was lame. A fence separating the two contestants? Come on. We want a race in the cheetah’s natural environment with absolutely zero safety protocols in place. Not fast enough? Well that’s tough shit because your ass may just get ripped to shreds. If a guy like CJ can run a 4.24 on an indoor field, what would he run with a a carnivorous beast bearing down? I don’t know about you, but I would watch this show.
I see you, RICH!
In addition to his hosting duties for NFL network, Rich Eisen is a man of many talents. But who knew he could go sub-six in a two-piece suit.
I may have thrown shade Rich’s way earlier with the “geek” reference, but damn if this isn’t the most impressive of the four. The best ass hauling in a suit since Tom Cruise’s Mitch McDeere dusted the scary albino dude who continues to haunt my dreams. As if Rich’s 5.99 wasn’t impressive enough, this fun-run isn’t just a one-time thing, either. Run Rich Run is Eisen’s annual combine 40 run done in an effort to raise money for St. Jude’s Children Research Hospital. With three sponsors (Under Armour, DirectTv, and Courtyard Marriott) I think it’s only right Barn Burner finds a way to get involved.
Therefore, I am submitting formal notice a full year in advance of @theBarnChief’s intention to fly me to the draft, race Rich Eisen in a balling pinstriped pimp suit, and raise exorbitant amounts of money to eradicate cancer. On what condition, you ask? How does more than than twenty-five people reading this article sound? And no, Mom and Dad — you don’t count.