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The Combine: A Brief Op-Ed And Scholastic Concerns (1 Viewer)

rockaction

Footballguy
It popped into my head that the hatred of the combine was genuinely misplaced in certain instances. I'm thinking of people that want to throw a wrench in the system by bypassing or eliminating the combine, as if it were a monolith and we were monkeys in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In reality, think of the following quoted material before you hate on the combine. Here's what I had to say about the "underwear Olympics" in another thread. Peruse at your leisure. 

"You guys are amazing. It's always the people lovers who usually argue for the people that mistakenly hate things like the SAT and the combine. 

Hey, folks, those were meritocratic inventions so that prejudice didn't enter into selection! The SAT was designed to level the class system and admit immigrants to higher institutions of learning by changing the selection from landed class systems to merit. It's the same thing with the combine. The blue chippers are alongside the small school kids and all you have is a stopwatch. There's no big school **** swinging influencing the cold truth of time telling.  

Sheesh."

Discuss if you wish. 

 
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rockaction

Footballguy
I would. But I don't know what I just read.
I was saying that people that want to throw a wrench in the system (or systems) often hate the combine erroneously. The combine is a great leveling device. It makes big school players and small school players alike perform the exact same tasks in the same conditions at the same time. It strips the pageantry of Saturday game day away, and leaves us with nothing but the measurement of athletic prowess, raw and unfettered. 

If you truly love wrenches in the system -- and college football is indeed a corrupt system based on favoritism and pedigree --  you should love the combine because it's the closest shot these small school guys have at a level playing field and meritocratic judgments. 

 
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foxco

Footballguy
Wasn't the monolith a good thing for the monkeys? I mean it imbued them with an intelligence that enabled them to use tools to viciously murder their competitors and obtain food. Or is that the point of the analogy? Feel like I need to mix a drink and reread the original post.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Wasn't the monolith a good thing for the monkeys? I mean it imbued them with an intelligence that enabled them to use tools to viciously murder their competitors and obtain food. Or is that the point of the analogy? Feel like I need to mix a drink and reread the original post.


Don't look too hard into the analogy. Just imagine monkeys throwing wrenches and committing mayhem against the system. 

But mix that drink anyway. I'll hoist my water with you in spirit! 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
The SAT failed at it's stated goal as well. 

The SAT was designed to level the class system and admit immigrants to higher institutions of learning by changing the selection from landed class systems to merit. 
The SAT failed too.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
The SAT failed at it's stated goal as well. 

The SAT failed too.
The SAT didn't fail at all. It was such a rousing success that it bent and shamed elite universities to shift away from a class-based system to a meritocratic one. The Ivys used to be gentleman's clubs; after the SATs they admitted Poles, Italians, Jews, you name it. All because now they had to justify themselves to the public eye and public opinion if they were truly to hold themselves out as elite in some way. 

Any other take on it is revisionist, actually. The history of the SAT is that of a leveler, not of a divider. That it came to be viewed that way because of perceived bias in testing toward certain cultural classes is a shortsighted view considering what admissions to universities and colleges had been based upon. 

 
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Chaka

Footballguy
The SAT didn't fail at all. It was such a rousing success that it bent and shamed elite universities to shift away from a class-based system to a meritocratic one. The Ivys used to be gentleman's clubs; after the SATs they admitted Poles, Italians, Jews, you name it. All because now they had to justify themselves to the public eye and public opinion if they were truly to hold themselves out as elite in some way. 

Any other take on it is revisionist, actually. The history of the SAT is that of a leveler, not of a divider. That it came to be viewed that way because of perceived bias in testing toward certain cultural classes is a shortsighted view considering what admissions to universities and colleges had been based upon. 
The SAT had a profoundly positive impact.

It can still be deeply flawed as a means for comparing people across the broad spectrum of society, as any "standardized" test would, and still favors the wealthy as most things do.

 

Chaka

Footballguy
This is true. 
I have read so many essays over the years that try to explain why it is such profound and important film, and I am sure that it is, not that I can remember any of the reasoning. But that doesn't change the fact that I would rather star in the sequel to "Ow, my balls!" than suffer through watching 2001 again.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
The SAT had a profoundly positive impact.

It can still be deeply flawed as a means for comparing people across the broad spectrum of society, as any "standardized" test would, and still favors the wealthy as most things do.
You'll get no argument from me on that. The claimed racial and class bias of the SATs is beyond my ken, really. I'm sure it existed in some form. Standardized tests can also be often studied and one can learn exactly how to take the test. I did it with the LSAT. I had disposable income to take a course and buy prep materials, a luxury not everybody had. So even before the actual material in the exam, there's an advantage for the wealthy. 

 
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rockaction

Footballguy
I have read so many essays over the years that try to explain why it is such profound and important film, and I am sure that it is, not that I can remember any of the reasoning. But that doesn't change the fact that I would rather star in the sequel to "Ow, my balls!" than suffer through watching 2001 again.
What did HAL do to you? That monster! 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
FTR I am not against the combine entirely, I am against the risk the players assume for marginal, at best, gain. 

The combine has some value but the risk/reward heavily skews against the prospects. David Ojabo had absolutely zero reason to be running drills for scouts at that point in his career. He put it all on film already and the drills cost him a couple million bucks up front.  Although I could argue he may ultimately benefit by getting to his second contract a year earlier. Still, he had no business running drills particularly as the league offered him zero financial protections against exactly the worst case scenario that played out.

Combines and Pro Days may have marginal value but all prospects should refuse to perform without adequate financial protections, provided by the league.

 

wgoldsph

Footballguy
The problem with leveling the playing field is there's always going to be some bumps.  The ringer put out an article about the handful of elite players who skipped their final college season (the covid year) in order to prepare for the draft/nfl, and how a few took the game by storm.   Does that mean that all players should take a year off from actually playing games to focus simply on training?   Of course not.  @Chaka brought up how even now anything standardized still favors the "haves" and you see this in how the combine is still a /thing/.   Does Jim Bob from Nowhere U's lack of "official" testing matter when everyone waits until their pro day to do every skill anyway?

 

rockaction

Footballguy
FTR I am not against the combine entirely, I am against the risk the players assume for marginal, at best, gain. 

The combine has some value but the risk/reward heavily skews against the prospects. David Ojabo had absolutely zero reason to be running drills for scouts at that point in his career. He put it all on film already and the drills cost him a couple million bucks up front.  Although I could argue he may ultimately benefit by getting to his second contract a year earlier. Still, he had no business running drills particularly as the league offered him zero financial protections against exactly the worst case scenario that played out.

Combines and Pro Days may have marginal value but all prospects should refuse to perform without adequate financial protections, provided by the league.
This is a really fair point but the end result of no combine testing still hurts the small school guys because then there's no baseline against which to compare their times, assuming they want the chance to test. I get that players are taking a risk, but they're also taking a risk every time they step on the field to play. Ojabo is a terrible tale of what can happen. 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
You'll get no argument from me on that. The claimed racial and class bias of the SATs is beyond my ken, really. I'm sure it existed in some form. Standardized tests can also be often studied and one can learn exactly how to take the test. I did it with the LSAT. I had disposable income to take a course and buy prep materials, a luxury not everybody had. So even before the actual material in the exam, there's an advantage for the wealthy. 
I can't speak to the biases inherent in any sections of the SAT either.

However the advantages of being able to afford prep courses, private tutors or even paying someone to take the test for you are obvious.

Even if the test itself were completely unbiased, which it may be, or maybe not, I have no idea, the playing field is far from level. In light of that how can the test be considered meritocratic?

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
On topic (if that’s even possible) I have said and will continue to say that while it is not the end-all/be-all, it is an important tool.

Measuring physical arrivistes and traits of players away from the actual game, used in conjunction with observable data from in-game action is the best way to analyze player talent/ability.

There will be outliers for whom the combine is less than beneficial, and yes, it sucks when a player is gimpy going into the combine (a la Spiller) or the rare corner case where a player gets injured at the combine.

But it also provides a mechanism by which players from smaller programs who don’t get national visibility, or play in high profile games, can be noticed.

All hail the meritocracy. The combine has value. 

 

rockaction

Footballguy
I can't speak to the biases inherent in any sections of the SAT either.

However the advantages of being able to afford prep courses, private tutors or even paying someone to take the test for you are obvious.

Even if the test itself were completely unbiased, which it may be, or maybe not, I have no idea, the playing field is far from level. In light of that how can the test be considered meritocratic?


It's relative. The SAT, before it became an industry to be gamed and a test to be studied, smashed the class system of admissions, which was ten times less meritocratic than admissions based on a standardized test of knowledge. 

 

rockaction

Footballguy
Of course not.  @Chaka brought up how even now anything standardized still favors the "haves" and you see this in how the combine is still a /thing/.   Does Jim Bob from Nowhere U's lack of "official" testing matter when everyone waits until their pro day to do every skill anyway?
It's better than asking the pros and chauvinistic scouts (biased towards the Alabamas of the world) to judge the small schools on film alone. It's way more meritocratic than leaving it to the film junkies and their personal prejudices. 

Stopwatch, meet at least an attempt at meritocracy. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
FTR I am not against the combine entirely, I am against the risk the players assume for marginal, at best, gain. 

The combine has some value but the risk/reward heavily skews against the prospects. David Ojabo had absolutely zero reason to be running drills for scouts at that point in his career. He put it all on film already and the drills cost him a couple million bucks up front.  Although I could argue he may ultimately benefit by getting to his second contract a year earlier. Still, he had no business running drills particularly as the league offered him zero financial protections against exactly the worst case scenario that played out.

Combines and Pro Days may have marginal value but all prospects should refuse to perform without adequate financial protections, provided by the league.
What if the NFL put together some sort of insurance program for combine participants?

I agree with you that it’s a ton of risk.

i don’t necessarily think that’s a deal-breaker, considering the potential rewards for the risks entailed.

But it is true that the risk is legitimate. 

 

Truebluey

Footballguy
God what a terrible overrated movie. 


A fairly hot take on one of the most influential movies in cinema history. Think of all the movies that never would have been made without 2001 - Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters, on and on. You can own your own dislike of the movie (although that tells us a lot about you), but you can't knock its prodigious impact on movies. 

 

wgoldsph

Footballguy
I think you're on topic. It's not that confusing. It's just an analogy extended from the NFL of their own meritocratic leveler to an experiment that society adopted once upon a time. 
I think we're still stuck debating 2001: A Space Oddesy.  You guys know you're supposed to be high when you watch it right?

I repeat myself as I truly do feel like this accounts for the whole topic - each time there's a new meritocratic leveler introduced into something we both have to reevaluate what constitutes as "merit" and who is still being left behind.  So yes, things are better than they were, but we're at a point technology wise where the top schools have microchips that track the speed of players so does the whole circus really help anyone aside from the ring leaders any more?  I know there's always one or two small school nobodies who show up and dominate but do we actually know if this effected their draft stock in any tangible way?

 

rockaction

Footballguy
I know there's always one or two small school nobodies who show up and dominate but do we actually know if this effected their draft stock in any tangible way?
I can't say for certain because only the head honchos know, but guys like Elijah Mitchell and Pierre Strong would probably not have been drafted in the sixth and fourth without the combine. 

 

Leroy Hoard

Footballguy
A fairly hot take on one of the most influential movies in cinema history. Think of all the movies that never would have been made without 2001 - Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters, on and on. You can own your own dislike of the movie (although that tells us a lot about you), but you can't knock its prodigious impact on movies. 
From a technical standpoint it is fairly flawless. Nothing at that time looked like it  But it does drag somewhat imo.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
A fairly hot take on one of the most influential movies in cinema history. Think of all the movies that never would have been made without 2001 - Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters, on and on. You can own your own dislike of the movie (although that tells us a lot about you), but you can't knock its prodigious impact on movies. 
Now the real debate begins, it seems. I was just thinking of crazy monkeys going ape#### over a monolithic thing, like the SAT or the combine. That's all! Nothing else! 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
What if the NFL put together some sort of insurance program for combine participants?

I agree with you that it’s a ton of risk.

i don’t necessarily think that’s a deal-breaker, considering the potential rewards for the risks entailed.

But it is true that the risk is legitimate. 
The reward is much less than the risk, particularly for top prospects, unless one thinks that blowing out your Achilles to avoid the 5th year option is a good long term strategy.

There is more value to being an UDFA than a 6th or 7th round pick. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
The reward is much less than the risk, particularly for top prospects, unless one thinks that blowing out your Achilles to avoid the 5th year option is a good long term strategy.

There is more value to being an UDFA than a 6th or 7th round pick. 
But for not top prospects it’s the opposite 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
A fairly hot take on one of the most influential movies in cinema history. Think of all the movies that never would have been made without 2001 - Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters, on and on. You can own your own dislike of the movie (although that tells us a lot about you), but you can't knock its prodigious impact on movies. 
I did not knock its prodigious impact on cinema.

I just find it to be long, boring and not altogether entertaining in and of itself. I don’t feel it’s a story well-told, nor particularly compelling. 

As a kid I thought it was a gorgeous film, credit where due.the soundtrack is magnificent.

But I also thought it was way too long & meandering.

No offense to those who love the film. I’m just not one of those people 

ETA: I also see autocorrect did me a disservice here. What I was saying was a “terribly overrated movie” which AC changed to “terrible”.  To be fair, I did not think it was terrible. 

 
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Chaka

Footballguy
It's relative. The SAT, before it became an industry to be gamed and a test to be studied, smashed the class system of admissions, which was ten times less meritocratic than admissions based on a standardized test of knowledge. 
Agreed, but I think it was gamed within the first year or two after it became the norm but it's potential negative impact took years to begin to distort it's value and even longer to become systemic.

 

BassNBrew

IBL Representative
FTR I am not against the combine entirely, I am against the risk the players assume for marginal, at best, gain. 

The combine has some value but the risk/reward heavily skews against the prospects. David Ojabo had absolutely zero reason to be running drills for scouts at that point in his career. He put it all on film already and the drills cost him a couple million bucks up front.  Although I could argue he may ultimately benefit by getting to his second contract a year earlier. Still, he had no business running drills particularly as the league offered him zero financial protections against exactly the worst case scenario that played out.

Combines and Pro Days may have marginal value but all prospects should refuse to perform without adequate financial protections, provided by the league.
agree with you. I’m against companies wanting to interview me for a job. My tape is on the resume. They should be paying me if they want to pick my brain. 

 

Hot Sauce Guy

Footballguy
From a technical standpoint it is fairly flawless. Nothing at that time looked like it  But it does drag somewhat imo.
That’s where I’m at with it. I gave it another shot as an adult, feeling that perhaps I was unfair to judge it through the lens of my 16 year old self.  But nope, felt pretty much the same.

I didn’t hate it. I’ve seen far far worse films. I just feel it doesn’t live up to the monumental hype. And I do enjoy Kubrick’s other movies quite a bit. 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
It's better than asking the pros and chauvinistic scouts (biased towards the Alabamas of the world) to judge the small schools on film alone. It's way more meritocratic than leaving it to the film junkies and their personal prejudices. 

Stopwatch, meet at least an attempt at meritocracy. 
Meh. I think you underestimate the depths, lengths and breadths NFL scouting departments go through to leave no stone unturned. The combine provides a blip on their radar. It has marginal value at best.

 

Chaka

Footballguy
Truebluey said:
A fairly hot take on one of the most influential movies in cinema history. Think of all the movies that never would have been made without 2001 - Star Wars, Alien, Close Encounters, on and on. You can own your own dislike of the movie (although that tells us a lot about you), but you can't knock its prodigious impact on movies. 
I didn't knock its impact, openly acknowledged it. I have read many essays on its impact. Doesn't change the fact that it's boring as hell.

 

Chaka

Footballguy
rockaction said:
I can't say for certain because only the head honchos know, but guys like Elijah Mitchell and Pierre Strong would probably not have been drafted in the sixth and fourth without the combine. 
But they would have ended up on NFL rosters. If not drafted then as UDFAs. 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
Leroy Hoard said:
From a technical standpoint it is fairly flawless. Nothing at that time looked like it  But it does drag somewhat imo.
Somewhat? After the monkey throws the bone it does nothing but drag.

 

rockaction

Footballguy
But they would have ended up on NFL rosters. If not drafted then as UDFAs. 


We don't know that for sure. We can speculate. I'd be inclined to agree with you, and somewhat understand that being a UDFA might be preferable to being a sixth or seventh rounder, but there's no guarantee they would have gotten that attention. 

 

Chaka

Footballguy
Hot Sauce Guy said:
But for not top prospects it’s the opposite 
There would be far more reward for the top prospects if they could choose their teams like UDFAs can.

 

Chaka

Footballguy
You've done something you hated 4-5 times?  The chick must have been smoking.
I don't hate it, I think it's boring. 

I understand how important the film is and have tried several times to gain a better understanding of why. 

 
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