If you think the 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine is challenging, try running it in a business suit.
That’s what 48-year-old NFL Network anchor Rich Eisen has done for the last 14 years for St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. If you haven’t watched Eisen’s 2018 attempt yet, check out the Giants.com video of his surprisingly smooth run where he clocks an impressive 5.97, beating out his last year’s time of 6.02.
Respectable numbers (his second-best time ever) for an almost 50-year-old non-athlete wearing work clothes.
But the fun doesn’t stop there.
His interview with St. Jude’s kid reporter (and patient) Bailey before the run is priceless.
When Bailey asks Eisen what he’s hoping to show people with his attempt, the older man’s answer gives every indication that he knows exactly how ridiculous his effort is going to look.
“Well, Bailey, I’m hoping to show people today what a 48-year-old man in shoes he’s never run in before can do after sitting on his butt for 7 ½ hours of live television.”
Bailey asks, “Do you ever think about tucking in your tie?”
Eisen deadpans, “Good question. Um, no, I don’t. This is it. This is who I am. This is what I’ve got. Snoop [rapper Snoop Dog] once told me to run in a bow tie. People have told me to take off the jacket. Do you know what I tell them? No way. This is what I’ve got and I’m going to crush it.”
And crush it he did. Well, sort of.
“Rich Eisen, Michigan” is announced as the relatively older gentleman prepares himself for the run. Wearing fancy silver and purple track shoes that have ‘The Rich Eisen Show’ and a cartoon suit clad runner printed on the sides,
he takes the familiar sprinter’s stance ( right arm down, left arm held back and up for balance, feet and knees bent and ready) and prepares to bolt.
After a few seconds of concentration and deep breaths, Eisen does what the 335 NFL wannabes did before him and takes off sprinting.
“Come on, Rich, come on,” shouts one of the on-field coaches.
Eisen, smileless and with everything he’s got, pumps his arms and kicks his legs as fast as he possibly can. This is no joke to him – he’s truly trying his best despite his tie and coat flapping and his bald head gleaming with sweat.
“All the way through, all the way through,” yells the same coach.
“I think he’s going to like this one,” says the TV announcer.
Eisen never slows down and when they give him his time he seems genuinely pleased.
“It feels great, Bailey,” he tells the extremely young reporter afterwards. “I think you’re my good luck charm.”
Even more fun are the multiple simulcams from MSN.com. The runs of some of the collegiate combine attendees are shown simultaneously with his so you can see how it compares.
Even with head starts of up to eight yards, Eisen still gets blown away by these younger guys, and not just the fastest ones like OSU CB Denzel Ward, LSU’s WR DJ Chark and Central Florida’s DB Shaquem Griffin.
In fact, Eisen is easily beaten by the heaviest of linemen like Michigan’s C Mason Cole and LB Mike McCray. The closest he comes to a tie is against OU’s Orlando Brown, who ran an extremely unimpressive 5.85, but that was still plenty fast enough to beat the 48-year-old.
He did defeat one guy, though.
Peter Frank, the man who created the simulcam, can’t quite keep up, but that’s mostly because he trips about ten yards before the finish.
Also in support of the St. Jude charity, San Francisco’s GM John Lynch and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell both posted videos of their own 40-yard-dash attempts. Lynch’s was untimed and in a parking lot while Goodell’s was down the hallway on the fifth floor of the league’s NYC headquarters.
Goodell’s (highly unlikely) time of 5.41 seconds was undisputed, at least to his face.
Using the hashtag #RunRichRun, Eisen’s run has raised over $650,000 for the St. Jude’s hospital, including a nice fat check by grumpy Browns ex-head coach Bill Bellichick.
“How old are you?” Eisen asks Bailey after finishing the run.
“Want to get a beer?”
“Sure,” laughs the youngster.
“Yeah, let’s do it. You’re the man.”
No, Rich Eisen, for all you do for those kids and for St. Jude Children’s hospital, you are the man.