Thursday, February 20, 2020

Brother, do you even attempt to raise heavy objects against the force of gravity?

Next week begins the NFL Combine. It also kicks off the NFL Network's "What-The-Hell-Do-We-Air-For-6-Months?" Season.

Faithful readers of this blog might remember that I purchased a complete 275 lbs. free weight set from an unnamed Hollywood big shot about about 7 months ago -- (whispering) Steve Levitan, a former copywriter who has done significantly better than me, or anybody I even remotely know.

Because of his many multi-million dollar film and TV projects, Steve didn't have time to work the weights.

I'm not burdened by any such nonsense, so I bought the hardly used rubber-coated set from him. Suffice to say, the work has been done and my preparations are complete.

I gave myself a unique goal. I made it my mission, and in retrospect I should have had this sponsored by Advil, to bench press more than the lowest ranked athlete at this year's NFL Combine.

Those of you familiar with the NFL Combine, know that rookies from college attend and compete in a number of skill set competitions, including the 40 yard dash, the Vertical Jump and as a measure of strength and stamina, the 225 lbs. Bench Press.

I'm slow. Can't jump. And I'm 44 years of age. So I chose the Bench.

The task is simple.

The players rack up 4 plates. And the NFL prospect goes about bench pressing as many reps as possible. As you might expect, some of the behemoth lineman can throw that weight up 40-50 times. The more spindly players are in the single digits. My territory.

A couple of years ago, an unknown running back, who is now managing an airport Cinnabon in Des Moines, was only able to eek out 4 reps. I can do 4 reps on a two cups of coffee.

In 2018, two players embarrassed themselves with 5 reps.

If there's a Metallica song on Pandora or I've had a fight with my wife, that's a cinch.

By the way, those two weaklings never took a snap in the NFL.

But when Christian McCaffrey, a Stanford graduate, went to the combine in 2017, he managed 10 reps. And he is a starting running back on what once was a premier competitive team. Last time I checked McCaffrey made $3 million a year. Christian is 5'11 and weighs 205. I'm a little shorter and have him by 10-15 lbs, depending on my intake of bourbon.

Suffice to say muscle mass looks a little different on him than it does on me.

Next week, I will be watching intently. Particularly the benching competition. I will match or beat the lowest score. And then, after repeated viewings of a Captain Ouchie Foot press briefing, topped by a reading of his daily tweets, I will make a beeline to my garage and anger-lift 225 lbs. ten times.

Beating a 23 year old NFL superstar who is almost half my age.

Then I will come back inside and inform my wife.

She will yawn, like you, and ask me to take out the garbage.

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