The NFL Combine is ridiculous, but I'm sort of excited about it

Today starts the NFL Combine, or, as I like to call it, "proof that we care about football way too damn much."

And I'm not excluding myself from that. When the players start bench-pressing and running 40s, I'll be eating it up like everyone else. My biggest complaint about Combine coverage is that they don't televise the player interviews, because that would be about the most enthralling thing in television history.

The Super Bowl, of course, consumes us. The NFL Draft, which is long stretches of boredom occasionally interrupted by a temporary slight thrill, generates huge interest.

But the Combine doesn't even offer those slight thrills, and still, it's covered like the apocalypse. There's a "radio row." The NFL Network has 26 hours of coverage planned. ESPN alone is sending 14 reporters. And all so we can have intimate knowledge of a few practice drills, run mostly by people you've never heard of, that may or may not have anything to do with how well they'll perform in the NFL.

But the media and fans aren't the only ones who pay it too much attention. These college guys have spent the better part of their lives learning to play football, and they show up here, and they've got one chance, and one chance only to prove their worth. If they stumble a little bit in the 40-yard-dash or fail to make good eye contact in their interview, it could cost them millions.

Anyway, here are a couple of interesting things out there you might want to read before all this combine nonsense really gets rolling. Former NFL'er Ross Tucker writes for that the insane "prove everything about yourself in one day" nature of the combine can, somewhat understandably, drive a guy to use steroids. And FanHouse's Stephanie Stradley relays a story about an odd question Mike Shanahan asked Mario Williams in his interview.

Today, players are arriving, registering, and getting X-rays. The interesting stuff won't start happening until we're closer to the weekend.

• Unintended consequences /
• Combine Tips From Mario Williams: Don't Say Mike Shanahan's Questions Are Dumb / NFL FanHouse

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