March 04, 2010
Much has been made across the Internet of the alleged time of 4.24 seconds run by USC safety Taylor Mays in the 40-yard dash at last week's NFL combine. The questions surrounding the time became the NFL's version of Bigfoot. Some said the time was real, others insisted it was a myth (pointing to the official 4.43 time) and still others swore that Deion Sanders once ran faster uphill in the rain while wearing church shoes.
A recent video aired by the NFL Network doesn't make the answer any clearer. Despite being timed as .09 seconds slower than LSU's Trindon Holliday, Mays clearly comes out ahead when the two sprints are transposed over one another in a video. Witness:
The .19 seconds discrepancy in time isn't a small difference either, particularly given the fact that it occurred in a four-second race. In Olympic Alpine skiing, the difference between a silver medal and seventh-place was .12 seconds. When dealing with hundredths of seconds there is room for error. But not 19 of them. It's 2010. The phrase "if we can land a man on the moon … " has been around for 41 years, yet the NFL is still having trouble timing events.
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