The NFL combine is a trip. These insanely talented, skilled, and just plain freakish athletes taking what God gave them and putting it to the test. The way these guys train now with strength coaches and speed coaches… it seems that every year, we’ll have more and more records broken. I never played college football, but for a high school player, a tailback, I was alright. I ran a 4.6 40-yard-dash and I lifted 225lbs on the bench press 15 times. (Yeah, yeah, insert all your ‘glory days’ insults here… shut the hell up) Welp, sit me down in front of the TV for 5 minutes and kickers are crushing my 225lbs reps and D Lineman are faster than me. Humbling to say the least. If you’re like me, you sit there and watch, thinking… this can’t be that hard, right? A couple years ago, a few of us were sitting around the office and the combine was on. The conversation went like this. Me: “Guys, 225 isn’t that much.” Friend: “I got $20 bucks that says you can’t do it 5 times right now.” Me: “You’re on.” Easy money, right? Well, I hadn’t done the bench in about 7 years… aaaaaaand it showed. I sat down and cranked out 3 reps fairly quickly and easily. Then, while putting up number 4, it felt like someone was simultaneously holding my arms down, punching my face, and kicking me in the nuts. Shaking, squirming, and swaying, I put it up. Number 5? Not so much. The bar just sat on my chest. Good times. I’m $20 poorer because of it.
Oregon State defensive tackle Stephen Paea put up the 225-pound bench press a record 49 times this weekend, breaking the old record of 45. Here’s a link to the video. That, my friends, is not human. This guy has kryponite running through his veins or some crap. I can’t even begin to describe how impressed I am by him. There’s a reason the NFL is so popular in the US…it’s because of freaks like Paea that do things on the field that we won’t ever be able to do ourselves.
Americans watch movies to see superheroes and the NFL to see superhumans…and I will do the same.