John Ross, a wide receiver out of Washington, set an NFL Combine record by running his 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds. The blistering time was .02 quicker than Chris Johnson’s standard, set in 2008.
Ross’ incredible accomplishment will afford him obvious benefits. He greatly improved his standing on draft boards league-wide and became a household name with one ferocious burst of speed. There is, however, one disappointing angle.
He’s ineligible to claim the personal island Adidas offered to any combine participant who broke Johnson’s record. You’ll recall the company’s wildly successful bit of brand-awareness marketing in the days leading up to the event. For reference, check almost any sports website.
The devil, as it always is, lay in the details. The prospect had to be wearing a pair of Adidas’ snazzy new shoes in order to claim the prize. What, you think they were going to give something like this away without wetting their own beaks?
In a piece of journalism, Deadspin took a deep dive into the other problems with this promotion and why it wasn’t entirely appealing. All of this is moot because Ross didn’t run in the approved shoes. He ran in Nikes.
But he shouldn’t feel bad. He saved himself a headache. Both for the long list of reasons laid out in that article and this one:
An NFL wide receiver should not have his own island. Tropical getaways have been nothing but trouble for that particular fraternity in recent times. The heat from the Odell Beckham takes — after he led the Giants receiving corps on a boat bash in Miami before a playoff game — is still radiating.
If Ross came into a possession of an island, his receiver friends would want to come and visit. The good times would end up on social media and then the press could have a field day. Ross doesn’t need that. No one needs that.
You know what they say: don’t own an island — find a friend who owns an island.
You see, my friends, owning one’s own island is something to avoid. And for an NFL receiver, it’s tantamount to putting a target on one’s back and letting the stodgy sportswriters take aim.
Ross came out of today just fine. He’s made history. In a great act of trolling, Nike offered him a contract on the spot. He lost out on an island but gained an endorsement. Classic tale right there. Happens all the time.
No one could catch Ross today. He may not have been running from something during his sprint, but he likely dodged a major bullet.