Unless you’ve spent the last month vacationing at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, you’re well aware that the NFL Draft takes place this week. The deluge of draft-day details is overkill to some, but to me, it’s the inspiration for a brilliant new epiphany: Drafting pro football prospects while they’re still in the womb. Say hello to the the Pro Football Fetus Draft.
Today’s NFL scouts not only know everything, but they know everyone. It’s all part of the quest to find the next great player. And no one is better at it than these scouts, whose personnel evaluations and background checks make the CIA look like amateurs.
I truly believe that if we would have given pro football scouts a picture of Osama Bin Laden after 9-11 and told them he ran the 40 in 4.0, they would have found the dude in days. (And someone might have even picked him in the 11th round and dubbed him a ‘project’.)
The sports media is just as ravenous for info. For example, a recent visit to a sports website told me every imaginable detail about Royal McDeuphus from Northern Southern Alabama State (which is located on the most eastern edge of the western side of the state).
Royal McDeuphus is 6’2’’. He’s 215. He runs the 40 in 4.3. He blinks 23 times a minute. He hates flossing, especially those hard-to-reach back molars. In a pinch, he prefers blue boxers over black.
Some are repulsed by the vast resources dedicated to unearthing this information, but I say let it rain. If I have a ton of content about guys like Royal McDeuphus, that means I have more stuff to distract me from news about shootings, bombings, killings, death, and destruction.
But why stop there? True to my epiphinal nature, I decided to take draft-day mania to an even more profound level.
Bring on the Geneticists
Pro football scouts use physical evaluations and study game films to evaluate players. But what if we studied the genetic makeup of top players? If we could hone in on the “NFL gene”, then surely a team could lock-up a prospects’ rights while they’re still in the womb.
I mentioned this to my good friend, Ted Thompson, GM of the Packers. “That’ll work,” he said. “Throw some cash at a geneticist to isolate that gene sequence. Then let’s find us a fetus!”
Before I could find a fetus, I had to find a geneticist, which is not something you do every day. Heck, it took me half this post to even spell “geneticist” correctly, much less know where they work. Rather to tax my brain with problem-solving, I just googled “Find a Geneticist” and found the website: “HireAGeneticist.com”
I called the phone number on the site, which was answered by a man named Dave. Turned out he was the owner of “Geneticist-for-Hire.”
“Dave, just curious. Why did you launch the company? I mean, what the heck do people hire geneticists for?” I asked.
“Well, geneticists can help us understand diseases, including genotyping specific viruses to direct appropriate treatment, or identifying oncogenes and mutations linked to different forms of cancer. They can design medications and predict their response better; assist in the advancement in forensic applied sciences; develop biofuels and other energy applications; provide insight into agriculture, livestock breeding, bioprocessing; participate in risk assessment; bioarchaeology, anthropology, evolution. They can also assist in the commercial development of genomics research related to DNA based products, a multibillion dollar industry,” he said, sounding very much like he’d just lifted an entire section of text straight from Wikipedia.
“That’s all well and good,” I replied, “but how would you really like to contribute to society? What would your geneticists think about helping the Packers find a top-notch wide receiver?”
“The Green and Gold?” Dave cried. “We’re in!” .
I immediately hired his team, and we worked on isolating the “football gene”. We extracted DNA samples from jockstraps of top NFL players (our interns handled that job), and then searched extensively for the NFL gene.
After several months of intense research (and spending several billion of Packer shareholder cash), we isolated our sequence. Much back-slapping ensued among the gene team, but I knew that pedigree wasn’t a good enough guarantee of success when it came to fetus prospects. Another factor was involved — an X-factor.
Putting Mom Through the Combine
The true gamers have an X-factor, an internal motivation that makes them rise above all the rest. But what was it? I researched game film extensively over the following months, searching for a defining trait or a characteristic shared by the great ones.
Finally, I found it. I had been reviewing game film of a spectacular wide receiver, when I noticed that after each of his spectacular touchdowns, he did the same thing. Sitting on the sidelines and resting, he turned toward the TV camera and mouthed the words, “Hi Mom!”
I quickly reviewed every touchdown ever scored by every great player. Sure enough, whenever a great play was made and the cameras zoomed in, they extended soundless greeting to their mommies.
I gathered my team of geneticists together, and announced my discovery. “Boys, it’s not only the football gene that makes a player great. His mom has to kick serious tail too.”
“What do you mean?” they asked.
“I mean we can study the DNA of a fetus, but we need to isolate the X factor. We’ve got to see if mom is a stud too.”
I placed a phone call to Ted Thompson, and asked him if we could alter the Packer’s workout schedule for draft prospects. “We have a few new entrants,” I said. “And we’ll need to quadron off a section of the locker room for some special guests.”
Two days later, the Packers held the first ever pro football combine for pregnant mothers. Because we weren’t certain exactly who would qualify, we invited over four hundred expectant moms to try out.
Judging by the turnout of over four hundred expectant mothers, you’d think there’s nothing else to do in Green Bay but follow football. But they showed, en masse, and readily put on the pads, the helmets, and the cleats, and engaged in a number of tests.
These weren’t typical football player tests, mind you. We were damn fearful that if we made a pregnant lady run a 40, her water might break. Instead, we opted for tests such as making the ladies get out of a chair, unaided. Or lace up a pair of high top basketball shoes. Or watch a bunch of her friends drink wine, have a great time, and not take a sip.
It wasn’t just a test of strength with these ladies. It was a test of will. And no one exhibited more grit, stamina, moxxy and guts (lots of gut) then Denise Zckarercrack.
Denise Zckarercrack, a native of Pecatonica, WI, stood six foot four, and with her mega-fetus, weighed in at nearly six hundred pounds. The scouts estimated that four hundred of those pounds could potentially be attributed to the football-god fetus inside her, and they were literally salivating at their find.
Not only did Denise kick every other mom’s tail in the combine drafts, she also suited up for some scrimmaging with the Pack. She lined up at nose tackle, and cleared four linemen out of the way with one power-mace swipe of her arm. After four snaps, linemen were quivering in fear, and many ironically assumed a fetal position instead of doing further battle.
There’s no telling how much of Denise’s performance could be attributed to hormones, but at this point, the scouts didn’t care. They’d found their fetus, and because of the tremendous promise, elected to make Junior Zckarercrack their #1 pick.
The Most Dramatic Draft Day Ever
Word leaked out that the Pack was going to draft a fetus, and anticipation was extremely high on draft day. The crowd rose to its feet and cheered when football commissioner Roger Goodell announced, “With the 23rd pick in the draft, the Green Bay Packers select unborn Junior Zckarercrack”
The place erupted as Denise Zckarercrack stepped to the stage. After receiving a congratulatory bear-hug from Goodell, Denisen had a surprise announcement, “Hate to tell you, but this girl’s water just broke. And this baby ain’t gonna wait for no ambulance ride.”
Donna went spread-eagle on the floor, and Goodell crouched down over her. Bereft of midwife know-how, all he could do was bark out, “Hut, Hut, Hike!” Junior Zckarercrack shot out as if hiked by a long-snapper. The baby went airborne, and as the crowd gasped, coaches instinctively clicked their stopwatches to clock the hang-time.
Junior would have suffered grievous injuries if it wasn’t for the heads-up play of the Eagles #1 pick, wide receiver Dontelle Dootelle. As the baby spiraled through the air, Dontelle used his 45” vertical leap to rise above the crowd and make a spectacular one-handed grab. Fortunately, the baby was taken from his arms before he had a chance to make a celebratory touchdown spike.
This draft-day theater opened the door to an entire new audience, and soon women were following the Football Fetus Draft alongside their mates. Eventually, the event grew to be so popular that it surpassed the Super Bowl itself, with people placing wagers on which expectant mother might pop on national TV.
And whatever became of Big Junior Zckarercrack? Unfortunately, he opted out of football and chose the chess club, which pissed off the gene team and Ted Thompson to no end.
The cloud does have a green and gold lining, however. Junior’s mother, Denise Zckarercrack, was signed as a free agent by the Houston Texans. She went on to maul offensive linemen for six illustrious seasons and made the pro bowl each year.
I guess it was the hormones after all.
Photo by harinaivoteza