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Saturday, May 06, 2017

So maybe I should have tried out

I was looking up some of the 40 times from the NFL combine and was interested to see where mine fit in the mix. Turns out my 40 was in between Danny Amendola's and Wes Welker's. That's not a bad comparable. Of course, if I'd actually been able to play at the pro level, I'd probably have post-concussion syndrome or whatever now, so it's probably just as well that I stuck with soccer. And given that Gordie Lockbaum couldn't make it - I saw him play against Bucknell once - it's highly unlikely that I ever could have even with an NFL-caliber 40.

Especially since my vertical was a pathetic 28 inches.

This season started great but got a little shaky when I somehow strained that ligament in my leg that nearly ended my playing career about eight years ago. The cold seems to make it more susceptible, but I've learned to take myself out immediately when I feel anything, which seems to help, and I managed to play 12 minutes the next game and about 45 the next. I'm still starting, which is something of a surprise since I'm probably the #3 wing in terms of skill when everyone is there, but I do get back better and play considerably more defense than the other two guys, which I suspect is why I usually get the nod over the other two.

On the one hand, it's nice to be valued and to see your efforts rewarded with playing time. On the other, it's incredibly frustrating when the team loses and it's mostly because your substitute simply can't run with the opposing wing or do much with the ball when he gets it.

Also, as an ex-sprinter, I'm quite happy to come out after 20-30 minutes, then return in the second half all nice and rested, whereas the guys who grew up on 3-substitution games never want to come out and are reluctant to go back in once they've come off.

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37 Comments:

Blogger Josh (the gayest thing here) May 06, 2017 3:29 PM  

Turns out my 40 was in between Danny Amendola's and Wes Welker's. That's not a bad comparable.

Gritty deceptive speed

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 06, 2017 3:36 PM  

Welker couldn't jump either. I'd be surprised if he could tag 30 inches for the draft.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 06, 2017 3:40 PM  

Your probably write more enjoyable posts without aggravated compound concussion-itis.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 06, 2017 3:42 PM  

Besides, if you had hit a 30 inch leap, that would have been half your height, making for a very dangerous return to earth.

So thank goodness for the small things.

Blogger Mr.MantraMan May 06, 2017 3:47 PM  

Lunch bucket, student of the game speed.

Blogger Benjamin Kraft May 06, 2017 3:49 PM  

@4. VFM, you voluminously vapid vato, I see what you did there :)

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 06, 2017 3:59 PM  

You can't stop him, you can only hope to concuss him.

Blogger JBig1969 May 06, 2017 4:05 PM  

We all get old. I'm relegated to a big desk where I'm the mandatory signature guy once it goes through engineering. When offered the job with a 25% pay raise. I asked my wife of decades? Answer. You're not getting younger. Take the desk.

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 06, 2017 4:06 PM  

Ok "lunch bucket speed" is really good. I laughed.

Anonymous rienzi May 06, 2017 4:19 PM  

Don't feel too bad Vox. Diego Maradona looks like he couldn't play two minutes without having a coronary. Time catches up to us all.

Blogger JBig1969 May 06, 2017 4:22 PM  

And I'll have fire up the kindle I was given as a gift. Looks like Castalia is offering decent stuff. Good hunting blind entertainment. Engrossing enough that the deer, hogs, and big cats walk.

Blogger cheddarman May 06, 2017 4:29 PM  

Take fish oil so you can play into your 60's. It will help your asthma as well.

Blogger Jeff Wood May 06, 2017 4:43 PM  

Our host does not want to play into his sixties, whether he knows it or not. By about the age of fifty, playing football (soccer) becomes a little dangerous. Back in Scotland, I went to a couple of funerals which suggest the point, and heard enough anecdotes to at least masquerade as data which confirm it.

Blogger Lazarus May 06, 2017 5:01 PM  

rienzi wrote:Don't feel too bad Vox. Diego Maradona looks like he couldn't play two minutes without having a coronary. Time catches up to us all.

As the sports guys say, "Father Time is undefeated" Maradona might be able to go 2 and a half if they let him handle the ball like in the 1986 World Cup

Anonymous VFM #6306 May 06, 2017 5:19 PM  

Vox is more likely to die at age 60 in a BabyMetal themed 5k fun run than deiseling on the pitch. If soccer was deadly for fit old men, the sport would have a lot fewer decent referees.

Blogger DeploraBard May 06, 2017 5:39 PM  

Red men can't jump

Blogger Pencil Maestro May 06, 2017 5:44 PM  

Isn't there supposed to be a strong correlation between top speed and vertical jump? Btw, 71 is the NBA average.

Blogger VD May 06, 2017 5:50 PM  

I went to a couple of funerals which suggest the point, and heard enough anecdotes to at least masquerade as data which confirm it.

Heart attacks? Marauding elephants?

Blogger SemiSpook37 May 06, 2017 5:52 PM  

Still better statistics than Sparklepunter. And I don't even have to look.

Blogger Jeff Wood May 06, 2017 5:55 PM  

Ah, but refereeing has different demands from playing. I have done both. Even so, at the top level, the refs are not old: even in Italy, where they perfected the relaxed, possessional game, it is a lead-up to explosive pace around the penalty area and the man in black has to keep up.

Anonymous Brick Hardslab May 06, 2017 6:12 PM  

the man in black has to keep up.
Johnny Cash plays soccer? In Italy?

Blogger Lazarus May 06, 2017 6:49 PM  

VFM #6306 wrote:Welker couldn't jump either. I'd be surprised if he could tag 30 inches for the draft.

Not only can't he jump, but he will not even remember his name when he gets old.

Blogger Shamgar May 06, 2017 7:15 PM  

That whole concussion thing from football... Is it really that widespread? Why not in boxing? Maybe there are certain people or certain ways that make post-concussion syndromes more likely?

Blogger Retrenched May 06, 2017 7:24 PM  

Gordie Lockbaum, now there's a name I haven't heard in a while. Perhaps the last man to play the game the way it was meant to be played.

Blogger Silly but True May 06, 2017 7:44 PM  

One of the most heartbreaking thing I ever saw was Superbowl-winning Bears' Jim McMahon try to string a single sentence together in 2011.

No amount of money is worth that.

The interesting thing will be to see the pressure of NFL superstars expecting hire salaries, despite game becoming "easier" versus the reality that pro football is on the decline and the associated contracts that will be offered.

Anonymous Sheiko29 May 06, 2017 7:50 PM  

Concussion thing is pretty depressing. I had always looked forward to coaching sons. Second-guessing that now. Wrestling still seems an okay bet.

Then again, if you are only doing high school level, and in a not especially competitive area, probably just fine. Slow as molasses.

Anonymous Clay The Swamp Spartan May 06, 2017 8:25 PM  

I think it's all in the "size of the hands". Fingers, most importantly. You can grab the ball, and cover it. Strength & grip.

Anonymous Clay The Swamp Spartan May 06, 2017 8:35 PM  

BTW...I always liked Austin Collie. The man would run slot-routes, without a care in the the world.

Now, after about 15 concussions....he is the care of the world.

But, he damn sure wasn't scared.

Blogger Wallace Beamfire May 06, 2017 9:26 PM  

Collie was great, really sad what happened to him. Concussions are serious business. I played WR for 11 years and while I came out of it better than some, my memory is shot and not a day goes by that I don't word salad something. Still, I wouldn't trade it. There's nothing so unequivocal as football. Maybe combat, but I wouldn't know.

Anonymous JAG May 06, 2017 9:32 PM  

The most shocking thing to me when I was younger was finally meeting several former and, at the the time, current NFL players. With the exception of the linemen, they were not nearly as big as they appear on TV. I met Cliff Branch, and could not believe how much bigger I was than him. Same thing with professional wrestling unless your name is Andre Roussimoff. TV not only adds pounds, it adds height.

Blogger Lazarus May 06, 2017 10:34 PM  

Wallace Beamfire wrote:Still, I wouldn't trade it. There's nothing so unequivocal as football. Maybe combat, but I wouldn't know.

Speaking of which, do people who go into combat not expect to possibly be maimed in some way during their service?

People that go into football should be the same way. You take the risk for the reward. There are no zero risk investments.

Anonymous Causal Lurker May 06, 2017 11:42 PM  

"I somehow strained that ligament in my leg"

Vox, that's the money quote. Once you strain or stretch a ligament, it doesn't recover. It will stay stretched beyond its original length, because the connective tissue (muscle to bone) is inelastic. It makes the affected joint looser, and more easily damaged by further sprains. Good support, exercises for the joint and muscle groups, and heat are big helps. My bad knee still laughs back, though.

Anonymous JAG May 07, 2017 12:54 AM  

Lazarus wrote:Wallace Beamfire wrote:Still, I wouldn't trade it. There's nothing so unequivocal as football. Maybe combat, but I wouldn't know.

Speaking of which, do people who go into combat not expect to possibly be maimed in some way during their service?

People that go into football should be the same way. You take the risk for the reward. There are no zero risk investments.


I played varsity football in high school in the 1980s. On day one we were warned about concussions, broken bones, paralysis, and even death from participation. This was back when we would get one water break during a two hour summer practice in 100+ degree heat. My coaches would probably be thrown in jail for that, and yet even in those days the knowledge of what could happen to you playing a sport as dangerous as football was widely known. I seriously doubt any of the professionals were not similarly warned.

You mess with the bull, and you might get the horns. That doesn't mean we should kill all the bulls to save people from themselves in my humble opinion.

Anonymous Cowboys fan May 07, 2017 3:26 AM  

Ryan Switzer baby (who is apparently, some sort of cousin to the Super Bowl winner with Jimmy's team Barry Switzer, so that helps in getting drafted by the Cowboys).

Blogger Lazarus May 07, 2017 6:28 AM  

Clay The Swamp Spartan wrote:I think it's all in the "size of the hands". Fingers, most importantly. You can grab the ball, and cover it. Strength & grip.

Those giant sticky clown gloves help as well.

Anonymous Avalanche May 07, 2017 7:41 AM  

@23 "That whole concussion thing from football... Is it really that widespread? Why not in boxing?"

Did you not see Muhammed Ali in his dotage? Parkinsons, inability to find words? Concussions (and non-concussed head injuries are part-and-parcel of boxing. It's a ... less-than-optimal way to (try to) make a living!

Anonymous Avalanche May 07, 2017 7:45 AM  

@33 "You mess with the bull, and you might get the horns. That doesn't mean we should kill all the bulls to save people from themselves in my humble opinion."

And all young men are impervious and immortal -- just ask them! (It's in the fine print of the job description: "being a man.")

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