Speed dating bar kick
("It's like speed dating up there," one Senior Bowl official said.) There are also informal interviews, with team personnel wrangling players inside the downtown Renaissance Riverview hotel, bringing them to divans, or folding tables, or a secluded nook behind a pair of grand pianos. Then there are the tests: written questionnaires, i Pad quizzes and a round of psychological testing, including the one that informed Phillips, a defensive lineman, that his athlete type was an eagle."Clean-cut, image-conscious, likes tradition and rules, awareness of how everyone is behaving, tries to live up to expectations, good work habits, punctual, neat and tidy," Phillips explained, reading off his results."It tells a lot about me." There aren't just animal comparisons. "You basically just do that about 30 times, for about three hours straight." Then there's the strangest moment of all, when players gathered behind a stage in a massive convention hall are paraded out one-by-one, wearing nothing but tight shorts, to be measured and weighed as the hushed crowd of scouts jotted down figures in notebooks or tablets.Players are given sequences of numbers and asked whether they're identical. You know that canard about imagining your audience wearing nothing but underwear? "It's just kind of weird," Auburn long snapper Ike Powell said.They're told to track six out of 20 bouncing balls on a screen, and then to point out those six balls when they stop bouncing. "You're walking on stage, you've just got your tights on, your shirt off, and everyone's just staring up at you, writing all these notes down.
"For us, this is the last time we get to see them actually play football," Los Angeles Rams General Manager Les Snead said.But while it has become a popular televised spectacle, football people can't help pointing out that the event features exactly zero moments of football.Stop gawking at Mobile's sidewalk celebrities for a minute, and you will discover that the Senior Bowl's real focus is those midweek practices - run by NFL coaching staffs, featuring NFL terminology and NFL drills, and highlighted by one-on-one showdowns conducted with a please-hire-me ferocity.The NFL Scouting Combine, which begins this week in Indianapolis, is by now a familiar part of the draft process, with televised positional drills, widely publicized negotiations and a heavy spurt of national attention.But it's the lesser-known, slightly weirder Senior Bowl that serves as the unofficial start to the lengthy player evaluation process, which culminates each spring with the league's seven-round draft. "It's Indianapolis once for the combine, and Alabama; that's it." The NFL has 30 full-time homes, almost all in major media markets with modern venues that host the league's premier events: conference title games, Super Bowls, the draft."How many times a year does everyone from the NFL come to one town. Its 31st stop comes at a 68-year-old stadium in a southern port town that rings in the new year by dropping a giant Moon Pie, where residents are happy to tell you about that time Ron Rivera visited their restaurant for dinner or Bill Cowher hung out in the bar across the street."It's one of the last bastions of the old-school NFL," said Alex Marvez, a veteran reporter who has traveled to Mobile for two decades."For someone like myself who's doing this 30 years, it's like you're coming home for Thanksgiving dinner," said Alan Herman, a longtime NFL agent."I mean, look in the stands," former defensive lineman D'Marco Farr said during one practice session.--- In truth, Lewis would find plenty of supporters in Mobile, which is a big part of this event's appeal.The Indianapolis combine offers many of the same perks as Senior Bowl week, including interviews, weigh-ins and off-hours networking.