General

Origins of my mad 40-yard dashes might surprise you

This may not come as a shock, but running the 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine in my suit, tie and lace-up dress shoes was born out of absolute boredom.

It was born back in February 2005 when I was sitting in the stands at the old RCA Dome, waiting to tape a segment for that night’s edition of “NFL Total Access.” To my right, sat one of my analysts, also bored to tears: Super Bowl 32 MVP Terrell Davis. As we were staring into space, facing the field that had just emptied of all the combine participants for the day, I turned to TD and asked a simple question: How fast do you think I can run the 40?

(Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

He laughed.

It was a completely understandable reaction. That said, part of me didn’t quite appreciate the response. I mean, after all, there’s one thing you just can’t teach … and that’s heart. Am I right?

So, I asked TD again: If I got down on that field right now and ran the 40, how fast do you think I can run?

Davis’ simple response: “C’mon man. Stop.”

That, as they say, was that. I got up, went downstairs, took to the turf, steadied myself and, jacket and tie flapping about, made a mad dash for the finish line. Then, after 6.77 seconds, I had made my point. And thought I had run my first – and last – 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

But, unbeknownst to me, the no-doubt-equally-as-bored NFL Network crew rolled their

(Ben Liebenberg/NFL)

cameras on the run. Thankfully, I was slow enough to be captured on tape. My colleagues decided to air the run on “NFL Total Access.” It was an instant hit amongst the talent evaluators. Scouts and GMs were stopping me in elevators. Joe Gibbs saw it and loved it. Mike Holmgren demanded to see it. Tony Dungy was left speechless.

Another completely understandable reaction.

Seven years later, I’m still running and, like a fine wine, getting better every year. Thanks to the fabulous NFL Network promotions department, it’s now gotten to the point where you got involved.

With each passing video entry that you kindly Tweeted in or posted to the internet as part of the Run Rich Run promotion, my wife and I watched with shock, awe and total humility. I can’t thank you enough for joining in the fun. It’s knocked me over with a feather because it proved … I am not alone.

We all want to be fast. But very few of us, you know, really are. But lord knows we’re going to keep trying. And while every single one of us may have a Terrell Davis in our lives who may laugh and tell us we can’t (and we may, to be honest, really can’t) we’re going to dust ourselves off, get on that track and run.

Run like the wind. Or some reasonable facsimile of the wind.

Enjoy the best of Run Rich Run everybody. If your video is not here, my apologies. We were inundated, but please know: thank you! Let’s do this again next year!

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