32 years ago in Tampa, Florida (And that's 1982, let that sink in for a second for those over the age of 40), the first NFL Scouting Combine took place with 163 players, however back then it was known as the N.I.C. or, the National Invitation Camp.
Not only were there only certain players who were invited, only certain teams took part in the event while other teams took part in other events in two other locations. In 1985, the owners wised up and decided they would hold one large event and every team in the league could come and split the cost.
After the combine moved around a bit in the earlier years with stops in New Orleans a couple of times and Arizona once, the league decided Indy was as good as place as any to settle down and set up shop. And since 1987, this is where many player's lives have changed and the future of every NFL team has changed. Some for the good, and some for the bad.
335: That's the number of players that are invited to the combine that's taken place in Indy from today until Sunday. And 335 player's lives will be impacted this week just by running, jumping and lifting some weights. Yeah, there's a little more that goes into it than that, but overall, the numbers from those events have a large impact on what happens during the draft this coming May.
Although the players are impacted greatly by the outcome of the combine, let's not forget who else is affected by what goes down in these next few days. Everyone from the front office, coaching staff, down to the agents of each player. And let's not forget about the families of these players – the driving force behind most of the players that come out to the combine.
As these players get herded through the RCA dome like cattle through a Texas Ranch, they'll be weighed, measured, poked and some will even get prodded. They'll do all those drills and lift weights. And during that time we, as fans, will fall head-over-heels with players we've seen for the last 4 years and players we never knew existed.
We just never know, and that's what makes this event so fun for fans.
Although I don't make it habit of watching men in spandex, you can bet your spandex I'll be watching every muscleman, every fat man and every man in between run, jump, and lift in hopes they might be the difference in what sends the Dallas Cowboys over the top.
Stay tuned to DC Nation for more 2014 NFL Combine coverage…