This week we're going into the preference of a personalized Pro Day over the NFL Combine for draft hopefuls, the growing need for horse racing to investigate legal drugs in the sport, and Dante Stallworth's fatal mistake.
Universities’ individual pro days present potential draft picks with the option of showcasing their talents in a forum outside of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis. Many draft hopefuls have even skipped workouts at the NFL Combine in lieu of their own personalized, custom Pro Days. At an individual Pro Day, the top players at the school are the focus of the workouts instead of all of the top players in the country. The workouts are also tailored to showcase the talents of each player as opposed to the generic, one-size fits all approach to testing at the Combine in Indianapolis. This preference, one that is common and extremely beneficial to the player, is removing the importance and effectiveness of the NFL Combine.
The Combine is thought to be the best collection of top college talent all working to impress the scouts and pro organizations to increase their draft stock; however, individual Pro Days are taking away from it. Along with the questions surrounding the reliability of the results coming from the Combine (slow 40 yd dash times due to a slow turf), the growing preference of the individual Pro Day is diminishing the need for the Combine. Players are not fully participating, and even when they do, the validity of the results is in question. So it begs the question, why have the NFL Combine? While top players, the ones invited to the event, are not participating and opting out for their own workouts, lower-ranked players are even not invited in the first place and are forced to use their school’s Pro Day as well.
It seems as though scouting during the season and unbiased game film (TV coverage) will need to be utilized more, as it is completely unfeasible for an organization to attend all the Pro Days of all the players that have traditionally participated in the Combine.
Because of the many variables involved in a horse racing accident, experts and leaders in the industry are having a tough time pin-pointing the cause of the recent surge in horse racing accidents. One of the potential problems is whether the legal drugs allowed in the sport are more detrimental than previously believed. It wouldn’t be the first time in history that the results of medical research lagged behind usage of popular drugs. Cigarettes and performance enhancing drugs are case-in-point. It will definitely be something that will be heavily scrutinized in the future and it will be interesting to see if the future of horse racing lies in an all natural, drug-free approach. I highly doubt that will be the case though as the business of horse racing continues to grow and owners have more at stake.
Expert contributor and professional horse trainer, Sharon Soileau has previously written two articles on this subject in her Trainer's Perspective column: Trying to Understand Horse Breakdowns and Why They Occur and A Look at the Use of Lasix in Horse Racing and Equine Athletes.
This is another example of professional athletes being reckless and putting themselves in harmful positions off the field. Unfortunately, this time an innocent bystander was killed due to the atrocious decision-making of Dante Stallworth. Stallworth was legally drunk while driving his car when he struck and killed a pedestrian. This is completely inexcusable and tragic. Professional athletes have the financial capability to hire a driver, or at the very least call a cab, and shouldn’t ever be behind the wheel after a night of drinking (nor should anyone else for that matter). Athletes are in the spotlight more than any ordinary citizens are and should be setting the standard for everyone else. This is a mistake that Stallworth will have to live with forever and unfortunately one that came too late.
As always this blog is for you, so any questions, comments, or concerns send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Enjoy this week's games and good luck in your brackets.