To my right are three podiums, labeled "A", "B" and "C" specifically. There are also eight round tables, identified numerically, as well. Each place serves as the meeting grounds for the hundreds of NFL draft eligible prospects and the equal amounts of print, television, radio and web media members ready to talk to them. And the funny thing about almost every single interview I've been able to take in? The Tebow factor.
Of course, the subject hasn't made its way into every interview. After all, what could the kicker from Texas Christian possibly have to say about Tim Tebow? But seemingly every single coach or general manager who took the podium today fielded something along the lines of Tebow-related questions. And college players who possibly could have been sneezed on by the Florida Gator were also asked about the quarterback. It's the virus that keeps spreading.
I get the celeb factor. (Well, not really, but I understand that he is a celeb already so I have to deal with that). But it seems some in attendance at the NFL Scouting Combine are treating this like an Entertainment Tonight or E! Television event where after Tebow, we hope to kick coverage to Joan Rivers commenting on how good Joaquin Phoenix looks even though he's plastered. Instead of sensible questions that matter to the team or individual being interviewed, it's constantly kicked back to the Pro-Lifer.
Here's hoping some people wake up, but to be honest, this is only day one with punters and kickers among others. When the actual man himself physically shows up -- perhaps descending from the heavens -- mass hysteria will ensue. Then again, maybe that will keep things interesting at the combine and serve as a decent subplot to the whole event. As for me, I'm just happy I held my tongue with Scott Pioli around.