Twelve years ago, the NFL Scouting Combine changed forever. It wasn't a location change, major format alteration or the inclusion of a groundbreaking drill or test. It was former Terrell Davis challenging Rich Eisen to the 40-yard dash.
Eisen accepted, running the dash in his full suit in 6.77 seconds. He did it again in 2006 and every year since. It has become one of the highlights of the event.
Because of its popularity, why not include other non-future draftees? Or better yet, let's recruit some fictional characters to run it. Here are fictional characters — some athletes, some not — that we'd love to see run the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
Willie Mays Hayes — Major League
Players prepare for the 40-yard dash for weeks, sometimes months. Some need the surface, clothing, timing, noise and a billion other things to be perfect so that zero non-athletic factors hinder their 40 time.
Amateurs, says Willie Mays Hayes. One of the fastest fictional athletes of all time, the Cleveland Indians' boisterous and blunt speedster could easily run a sub-4.2, with or without his shoes.
Vincent — Collateral
Not Tom Cruise's best movie, but not his worst, his 2004 film Collateral had a perfectly simple plot and good acting. Though there was a lot more to the film that Cruise's athletic exploits, it's impossible to overlook them.
Cruise runs in most of his movies. In Collateral, he flew like Usain Bolt with an outboard motor strapped to his booty.
Icebox — Little Giants
Becky "Icebox" O'Shea is a true American warrior.
One of the most feared fictional football players ever, the dirt-digging, bone-crushing, athletically superior gal from Urbania, Ohio, single-handedly led the Little Giants to glory in 1994.
A drill with more contact may suit Icebox better but we'd still like to see her run the 40.
Frank the Tank — Old School
Enthusiasm, pride, willingness to sacrifice clothing for speed and performance. What else do you need in a 40-yard dasher?
Frank's attention span and nudity are legitimate concerns for NFL Network, as is the max time on their stop watches, but they're minimal sacrifices given Frank's intangibles.
Benjamin Franklin Rodriguez — The Sandlot
The 'beast' is a bigger, older dog. He's not as fast and agile as a young lab or even middle-aged retriever. But he's still a dog, one that should outrun most humans.
Benny 'The Jet' Rodriguez is not most humans. After exhausting all money, resources and ideas, the fearless baseball prodigy managed to not only leap over a huge fence without assistance but also outrun a dog in one of the most underrated chase scenes in movie history.