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  • Bill Chastain

4.3 40? Really?

While I don’t follow the NFL Combine, I haven’t been able to insulate myself from the deluge of information spewing from Indianapolis.

Of particular note are all the 4.4 40s. Are these are all the same speedsters who left high school running 4.2s and 4.3s? Did going to college reduce their speed?Stopwatch

We all know the answer to that one. It’s kind of like the sizes you’ll see in a high school football program. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sat with a high school coach while he rattled off random heights and weights for his players. Stronger and faster players always live in the coach’s recollection.

Bottom line: Covering 40 yards in 4.4 seconds is picking them up and putting them down. Which means most 4.3 times are fables.

Thinking about exaggerated 40 times brought to mind two other sports boasts that are rarely accurate.

First is the guy who says he hits a golf ball 300 yards. While I understand technology has made 300 yards more attainable, most golfers who think they drive the ball 300 yards do not. Simple as that.

Finally, flash back to a memorable confrontation that took place when I covered sports for the Tampa Tribune. Back in the day we had a boat load of guys working in the downtown office, which led to many an, uh, interesting, conversation. During one such conversation, a high-profile member of the group boasted that he was at the batting cage the night before and fared well hitting against the machine delivering 90-mph pitches.

Normally said bravado would remain untouched. In this case one of my colleagues could no longer take it. Everybody in the department was thinking the same thing when this young sports writer told the veteran scribe: “Bullshit!”

Remember that the next time you hear about a high school kid who runs a 4.3 40, your neighbor who hits 300-yard drives, and the guy in the office who would knock Felix Henandez around the park.

bchastain19@gmail.com

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©2020 by Bill Chastain. Photo credits: Jill Doty Photography