New Combine Test: Staring Contest?

I’m an open-minded guy. I have some strong opinions on stuff- obviously, with regular series like the Tool Belt Award and The Next Stupid Thing– but ultimately I believe everyone should basically do whatever the hell makes them happy.

I’m especially open when it comes to sports. Nowadays it’s the TB12 Method making all the headlines, but don’t sleep on the Seattle Seahawks and wackaddodle Head Coach Peter Carroll.

For the better part of a decade the Seahawks have been looked at as anything from “different” to “revolutionary” for some of their techniques…including required meditation and yoga, and chefs preparing specialized menus as highlighted in a 2013 ESPN the magazine piece that I inexplicably cannot link here.

While I’m on board with thinking outside the box, this latest Seahawks story has me like:


At the combine in Indy, the Seahawks met with Texas punter Michael Dickson, and asked him to take part in a STARING CONTEST.




First off, your once-heralded defense is falling apart in front of your baby blues (no idea if he has blue eyes) Pete…why are you spending time at the combine talking to a punter?

Secondly, what are punters doing at the combine???

And thirdly…a STARING CONTEST?! What the what? That is so dumb it hurts. What is even good? Do you have times of other guys to compare it to? Are you using this as a decision-making tool?

Let me give you the benefit of the doubt, and we’ll just assume that on some level you’ve proven a staring contest is translatable to football acumen…which there is no chance it is…but we’ll just pretend. Why is it important for a PUNTER?

A punter needs to have their eyes open for, what, maybe .7 seconds just to catch the snap. That’s it. The rest is muscle memory and repetition…a punter worth anything should be able to execute the kick itself with his eyes closed.

But, let’s say you are adamant he needs to kick with his eyes open…another second and a half maybe.

Now, if you’re really demanding, you probably want the punter to be aware of where the defense is aligned…in case they are running some type of block. So I’ll give you two seconds pre-snap.

We’re at a grand total of 4.2 seconds for a punter to get a read, handle the snap, and deliver the punt. I’d argue he’s the guy on the field that LEAST needs to be able to succeed at a staring contest. I’d also argue that if the “Blind Barrier” is ever to be broken, it’ll be a punter to do so. That’s right…I’m calling for a  BLIND PUNTER!!!

So you want to revolutionize football with your staring contest test…start with a QB, or a LB…someone who actually needs to have their eyes open.


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