Your boys at Illegal Touching decided to go to downtown Indy to see what shit we could get into at the NFL Scouting Combine. To our surprise, the NFL hosted a fan experience in conjunction with the NFL Combine this year. The even was open to the public, and tickets were free, and since we did not apply in time to get media passes, this was the best that we could do. Side note-media passes are apparently ridiculously easy to get considering the sheer number of joe-blows who had credentials around their necks. Anyway, Al, Kevin, and I headed in at about noon. There was typical NFL-esq security at the front gates, to the point that sneaking in large banners and grappling equipment would’ve been no problem. The entire event is geared mostly towards kids, and they have stations set up where you can run the 40, leap higher than Leonard Fournette in the vertical jump, and participate in the gauntlet drill. They also had some obstacle courses and stuff set up that probably would’ve left us having to register as sex offenders had we participated. Al and I felt pretty good about our receiving skills, and did the gauntlet twice. The first time was way too easy for me, so I requested a more challenging one in round two. The second time was still too easy, even as I tried to do one handed catches at a higher difficulty level, but I digress. After leaving it all on the field at the gauntlet challenge, we found out that they were doing the bench pressing at the fan experience. We went over to the bench press station, where we were informed that picture taking was STRICTLY FORBIDDEN. They wouldn’t even let you have your phone out. The best part of the whole process is that they make injured prospects and those not participating face the bleachers full of scouts and explain on the microphone why they will not be participating. Kevin decided to loudly boo North Carolina WR Mack Hollins as he explained that he was not lifting, much to the disgrace of those around us. Moments
later a member of NFL security told Kevin that he would be kicked out if he did anything like that again. Maybe it was a little out of line to boo a guy who broke his collarbone last fall, but Kevin was just trying to keep the kid motivated. Although booing is frowned upon, cheering is encouraged, and people get really into cheering for a WR prospect struggling to get his 8th rep of 225 up. I would like to note two things that were going on during the bench pressing. One, Dashon Kizer was clowning around a little bit. Nothing huge, but I think it raises some character concerns about the Notre Dame QB, which doesn’t bode well for him as he’s a shitty prospect already. Second, Mark Brunell stopped by and was drinking a Coke. So if you were wondering if Mark Brunell is a Coke or Pepsi man, he’s Coke all the way.
After watching some guys younger than us lift a heavy bar, Kevin needed to take a leak. On his way out, he noticed ESPN personality Britt McHenry. Britt as you all should know was involved in an incident with a tow yard attendant. Despite the apparent risk involved, we asked Britt if she would take a picture with us, and she was more than happy to do so. Maybe the week suspension from ESPN got to her, but she was probably the nicest C-List celebrity that we met all day.
We then went over to the set of NFL Insiders, where all the big-wigs from ESPN’s B-team were stationed. Schefter, McShay, Polian, Suzy Colbert. It was a surreal moment. Al and I even made an appearance (very brief) on the show. #famous
After a while, we felt that we needed some liquid courage to get through this thing. We headed over to the famous (in Central Indiana terms) Kilroy’s Bar and Grill. We had a few beers, and met up with Vince and Jon. As we’re sitting there, we see none other than Joey Porter come in and sit at the bar. It was good to see that Mr. Porter was back on the wagon after his latest alcohol related arrest. Joining him was former Bucs head coach Raheem Morris. To celebrate this, Vince ordered a shot of Patrón for Joey and Raheem. At first they seemed confused, but they looked over and cheers’d us before taking the shots like champs. It seemed a little risky to ask a liquored-up Joey Porter for a picture, but we had just met an ESPN Bad Girl, so Joey Porter wasn’t really a big deal. Plus, sometimes you have to be willing to put yourself in danger for this job. Vince went up and asked them if they’d get a picture with us, and Joey said that he needed to go back to the kitchen and get trash bags for later (possibly to dispose of Vince’s body). I talked to Raheem for a little bit, just shooting the shit. Nbd. Once Joey returned, he agreed to take a picture with us. He’s a class act all around in my opinion.
After getting a little lit, we went back into the combine experience. ESPN had just wrapped up filming NFL Insiders, and Adam Schefter took a moment off from getting scoops from teams to mingle with fans. I thought Schefter would be a complete douche, but dammit, he stayed and took pictures with everyone that asked.
The whole fan experience ran dry after awhile, and we were there as media personnel, not fans. We went out to the hallway of the convention center, where there was a slew of team personnel and prospects. Vince found Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer and chased him down. Coach Zimmer seemed surprised that someone would recognize him sans the eye patch and mouthful of Redman, and was very happy (a little too happy) to take a picture with Vince. I even apologized to coach, and he said that it was no
problem. We then got a picture with Mark Brunell, and were able to stop (former) Coach Coughlin. We asked coach for a picture, and he said that we were “killing him” and to make it quick. We got Coughlin’d, and it was a true honor. Our last coach run-in was with
reigning Coach of the Year Jason Garrett. Garrett took this awkward, get the hell away from me photo with Vince. We saw a few more big timers walk by, like NFL Network analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Charles Davis, but they weren’t even worth our time after meeting legends like Coughlin and Joey Porter.
The men of Illegal Touching infiltrated the NFL Combine, and gained some serious #cred among the NFL world. In our heads at least.