AO: The Combine l Kiewit Middle School

April 29th, 2021

50 degrees, zero wind. A perfect morning.

PAX: Wait Time, Slow Pitch, Gator, Kill Switch, Speed Square, Italian Job, Grease Fire, Second Chance, Big Money, Sea Biscuit, Sparty, Bubble, Convoy, Tube Socks, U-Haul, Slick

Q: Roadhouse

With the 11th pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select… Justin Fields. And with that, for the first time in 42 years, my Bears made the right pick. I could breathe, and relax and now I could be ready for the Combine that next morning.

I pulled into the parking lot at 4:30 AM. I had an idea of what I wanted to do but I needed to figure out the setup. Sparty pulled in shortly after me and brought me some supplies I had asked for. Five cones. Three lights. And two footballs. Thank you Sparty for always having the Q’s back at the combine. You are a terrific site Q and I love you.

Sparty and U-Haul took off for a pre-run and I started setting up. As soon as I got on the field, it all came together. I would have one area for the warm-a-rama, one for the pre-thang, and 6 stations for the Thang. It was starting to come together Pepper…

I headed back to the shovel flags and some PAX member started to arrive. Slow Pitch and Bubbles met for a mosey around the track. How cute is that? I get in fist fights with my brothers, they jog together. Adorable.

By 5:15, I was surrounded by 16 men. Some my best friends, others guys I had hardly met. I was excited about this group. I welcomed the PAX and walked through the mission and 5 core principles. I also used this time to celebrate my Bears draft pick. I thanked Wait Time and his Niners for drafting the wrong QB so that the QB I wanted was still there for my Bears. He took it well…

I then told the PAX we were going to have some fun today and asked them to take a mosey with me around the track. We circled the track and gathered at the 50 yard line for warm-a-rama.


Silent SSH 20 IC. For the record, we nailed this. Everyone in sync. No Burpees. Nice work. Our resident historian Wait Time said he’s not sure that has ever happened.

Big Ones 15 IC

Imperial Walkers 15 IC

Sun Gods 10 each

After Warm-a-rama, I issued a challenge to the group. I recently saw a video of Rob Gronkowski catch a football that was dropped 600 feet from a helicopter above and inspired me to try something. I needed three volunteers and I would throw the ball high in the air and see if they could catch it. If they didn’t catch it, the group would do five burpees.

I started with Italian Job. I threw the football high in the air and it came down against his chest. He caught it. Then I moved to Convoy. He is a Vikings fan so I threw it even higher… he caught it. He tossed the ball to me and it hit my hands and fell to the ground. God dammit. The group moaned with disappointment and I yelled out to do five burpees. Me dropping a toss back to me was not on my radar…

I had one final throw and I chose Second Chance.  A Packers fan. For this one, I threw it as high as I could. It came down right in his bread basket… dropped in between in his arms… and hit the ground. Five more burpees.

After the challenge we moseyed to the goal line on the East side of the field for the Pre-thang.

Pre Thang:

High Knees to 20 yard line

Big Boys 10 on Up

Butt Kickers

Big Boys 10 on Up

High Knees to 20 yard line

Big Boys 10 on Up

Butt Kickers

Big Boys 10 on Up

After the Pre-Thang, I explained the Thang. A six station beatdown inspired by the NFL combine. I had the group count into threes and immediately realized this would not work. The group realized it before I did. Six stations, count off by threes? Now Math was never my strongest subject but wow this was embarrassing. As my brain scrambled for a solution Wait Time spoke up, “let’s stay in our groups of threes…”. After a quick count I realized this would work beautifully. We ended up with five groups.

I instructed the groups to their stations and hopped into one as their fourth. It was Wait Time, Slow Pitch and Slick. What an incredible group to spend my morning with. The stations were as follows:

Six Stations:

Bench Press/Merkin Mania:

Merkins 15

Werkins 15

Ranger Merkins 15

Chick Norris Merkins  15

40 Yard Dash:

40 Yard Dash – front and back until you are relieved.

Vertical Jump:

Under the goal post. Jump squats. Try to touch the post…hehe.

20 Yard shuttle:

Three cone drill. All together

Broad Jump Burpees:

20 yards until you reach the next station.

Route Running :

 I set two footballs on the twenty-yard line. The goal at this station was to throw some TD passes.

I am not sure if anyone else enjoyed this workout but I had more fun than I have had in a long time. The stations were fun and there was plenty of opportunity for some second F. Some highlights included:

  • None of us getting close to touching the goalpost on the vertical jump
  • Slow pitch falling down during the shuttle. Then me falling down during the shuttle
  • Me messing up the push group and all the groups being in limbo…
  • The touchdown station was the best. Groups asked if they could just stay there the whole time.

Finally I called Omaha and instructed the PAX to circle up for Mary at the East goal line.


Dying Cockroaches 20 IC

Flutter Kicks 20 IC

Heels to heaven  20

American Hammer – Rancid-style while we tossed the football to the person next to us.

And with that, we were done.

Name-a-rama went well. After Brazilian’s video error the day before, I was feeling self-conscience. Turns out that was just user error.


June CSAUP coming. Bubbles and Sparty can answer questions

Dragon’s Lair Launch – great job Crab Cakes and Tonight Show.


This week is the NFL draft and all sports drafts focus on one thing and one thing only… POTENTIAL!! This reminds me of a concept that I recently learned about; Unlimited Potential. Now when most people hear this term, they think of the sky’s the limit or you can do anything your mind to. But this can be hard because of our past failures and missteps. But at the end of the day, what unlimited potential means, is that we all can all be better tomorrow than we are today. That’s it. And no one has ever argued that with me.

So that is the goal. To get better everyday and here is the cool part, you can point that potential in any direction you choose.

One more thought, it is so important to believe that you have unlimited potential, but it is equally important for us to believe that others have it. And believing that someone can get better is the purest form of love there is. Don’t put someone in a box. Don’t put a top rung on their ladder. And that includes you too.

I love you all!


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