Media overanalyzes 40-Yard Dash times at NFL Combine


The NFL Combine is an annual event that brings with it a great amount of media attention.

One of the most talked about events of the Combine is the 40-yard dash. Each player has two attempts to get timed running 40 yards, and the times usually fall into the 4.3-5+ second range. The times are scrutinized heavily, as the difference between a time of 4.6 and 4.7 can be the difference between being a second-or third-round draft pick.

The infamous Manti Te’o was heavily criticized for his time. His “Catfish” story is beginning to die down, but as the draft approaches, it seems like there are still those who do not want to see him succeed.

Te’o ran his 40-yard dash in 4.82 seconds. This seems like a great time on paper, but he is surprisingly drawing criticism for this performance from the media. Chicago Tribune writer Dan Pompei wrote an article titled, “Te’o disappoints with 40-yard dash times.”

Speed is important, but it cannot determine the heart of a player, or the will to win. It does not account for the intelligence of a player, or how he will handle certain game situations.

It is time to stop overanalyzing small, trivial aspects of these men and focus on what matters, which is their performance on the field. Unfortunately, some members of the media forget about this, and nothing will change until these players are on the field for their NFL teams.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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