The NFL combine is a place where players are laid bare, physically and mentally if not necessarily literally. Teams want to find out everything they can about a potential multimillion-dollar investment. And sometimes, that runs counter to traditional workplace laws of privacy and boundaries during interviews.
Of note this week is the question of Manti Te'o's sexual preference, or, more specifically, whether teams are permitted to ask about said preference. Generally, such topics are off-limits to interviewers, though laws differ by state, and it's possible to get around a direct inquiry with some canny around-the-edges questions.
Or, according to Colorado tight end Nick Kasa, they can come right out and ask. Speaking to CJ and Kreckman of ESPN Radio in Denver, Kasa said NFL teams are doing all they can to dig deep under the combine players' skin:
"I think the whole point of the week is to play with your mind to see if you stay focused and stay driven," he said. "There was a couple of questions by coaches … they try to catch you off guard or try to say something you wouldn’t normally say … to see if they can get a reaction. They’re trying to see how badly they can get in your mind."
As for those specific inquiries? "They ask you like, 'Do you have a girlfriend? Are you married? Do you like girls?'" Kasa told the hosts. "Those kinds of things. It was kind of weird. But they would ask you with a straight face, and it’s a pretty weird experience altogether."
[Related: Best combine performances ever]
The gold standard for idiotic questions remains Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland's 2010 inquiry to Dez Bryant of whether Bryant's mother was still a prostitute. So far, there are no reports that anyone's come close to that ballpark. But the sooner Te'o gets himself drafted and can start making headlines for his play on the field, the better for everyone involved.
-Follow Jay Busbee on Twitter at @jaybusbee.-
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