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Published: Aug. 3, 2012 at 03:25 p.m.
Updated: Aug. 3, 2012 at 05:49 p.m.

NFL training camp drills as Olympic events

This week in the world has been about two things (three if you count 'Robsten'): NFL Training Camps and the Olympics. Dueling Summer Green Fields. Suddenly, the hottest season has gone from 0 to 120 in a blink. We’ve segued from trying to pass the time by installing Mountain Lion to trying to keep up with action both here and abroad all while taking the kids to the pool. So let’s make it easier. What if we combined the two? What if we turned ordinary, training camp drills and happenstances into Olympic events? Every two years we’d be treated to things like:

8 Photos Total

  • THE MULTIPLE CATCH MEDLEY 8

    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    THE MULTIPLE CATCH MEDLEY

    You know the wide receiver drill you've seen a thousand times where the player keeps turning around to catch passes that zip towards him every three seconds? We'll do that but it won't always be footballs. Sure, we'll throw the occasional pigskin his way, but the next time he turns around it may be an actual pig. Or a wrench. Or an arrow fired from an archer's quiver. Or a baby shark with a laser beam on his head. Want to really know who has the best hands in the game, that'll figure it out pretty fast. Players who will not do well in this event: Terrell Owens, DeSean Jackson, Braylon Edwards, Lee Evans.

  • THE SITTING OUT WITH A HAMSTRING CONTEST 7

    Paul Spinelli/Associated Press

    THE SITTING OUT WITH A HAMSTRING CONTEST

    This is an event that calls for focus and stamina. Players who skip practice due to a "hamstring" injury either real or fake (I'm looking at you, Revis) will sit on the sideline on their helmets, motionless. Move, and you're eliminated. That's right, scratch something or squint at the sun and you're done.

  • THE RED FOR GOLD EVENT 6

    Evan Pinkus/Associated Press

    THE RED FOR GOLD EVENT

    This is a fan event (hey, you have to be fan friendly nowadays or your sport will turn into golf). Think you have good eyesight? Can pick up things fast? We'll plop the qualifiers into an easy chair, turn on a TV with training camp footage and see who can spot the player in the red jersey the fastest. It's an easy event to train for, because EVERY piece of footage you see from camp has a player in a red jersey in it. It's like we're legally obligated to do it so people don't think we're trying to fool them by showing video of a bunch of guys who aren't making a team. "Red jersey! I see a red jersey! I bet that's David Carr!" OK, bad example.

  • THE SHIRTLESS RAIN SPRINT 5

    Rich Barnes/US Presswire

    THE SHIRTLESS RAIN SPRINT

    Every team brings in a weather machine (or we just hold this in Florida) that makes it rain (literally), and each NFL squad sends the player who looks the best out of a shirt to run past reporters. The categories to judge in can be the pec bounce, glisten factor, and the fitting of the uniform pants. In case of a tie, the winner will be whoever looks the best when we play the video back in slow motion. Fabio will be the main judge. We actually do this at NFL Network every day in our newsroom.

  • THE BEST LAST MAN STANDING SHOWDOWN 4

    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    THE BEST LAST MAN STANDING SHOWDOWN

    A big summer attention-grabber is the "talented veterans who still have not gotten a call from NFL teams." The most important thing you need to do to win this event is stay unsigned through the end of camp. The best player not on a team by then wins. If this event were taking place right now, and it ended today (which it's not and it doesn't, but I feel like we have to say that), the 2012 Gold Medalist would be Cedric Benson. Silver goes to Ryan Grant, and there would be a tie for the Bronze between Jim Leonhard and Andre Carter. But we still have a lot of time left for possible contracts, which means T.O. could wind up finally winning something.

  • THE 7 ON 7 CHALLENGE 3

    Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

    THE 7 ON 7 CHALLENGE

    We save this for the last event of the Games, since it always seems to be THE most important piece of news in camp. "In 7 on 7 drills today, Matt Flynn was just 3 for 10. His contract has been voided by the Seahawks." Obviously, the QB who completes the most passes wins the Gold. But, to make things interesting, if you fail to win a medal, you automatically get traded to a CFL team. Or even worse, the Browns.

  • THE HEAT JUST GOT TO ME HURDLES 2

    Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

    THE HEAT JUST GOT TO ME HURDLES

    Much like an Olympic marathon, this is a grueling test of time. Taking place over the course of all of training camp, we wait and see what person says the most outlandish thing for the entire month of August. This event is hard to win. Think about it - Jerry Jones saying the Cowboys are going to whip the Giants butts is pretty good, and Drew Brees saying the players don't trust Roger Goodell is shocking, but both fall way short of Antonio Cromartie claiming to be the 2nd best WR on the Jets. That statement's going to be tough to beat. Even if it's true.

  • THE LONG WALK 1

    Chuck Burton/Associated Press

    THE LONG WALK

    Players are judged on the signing of autographs in a two-minute span for fans lining the ropes as they walk by them into practice. A player earns extra points for every child under 10 he signs for, and for the signing of body parts. For instance, signing an arm isn't worth as much as signing a calf. They can also improve their final score by multiplying their degree of difficulty if they hold their helmet and shoulder pads in their free hand while signing, or use a cheap Bic pen that has trouble writing. (Anyone can do it with a Sharpie.) The participant loses points for illegibility, or for not smiling while he's competing.

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