The NFL Scouting Combine is a chance for college football players to increase their stock in hopes of becoming a high selection in the forthcoming NFL Draft. Every year, Heisman Trophy winners and small-school heroes suddenly burst onto the national stage, and it only takes a few impressive drills to get noticed. Arguably the most important drill is the 40-yard dash, but not a single NFL player, past or present, has ever ran one as important as the NFL Network studio host Rich Eisen's 40-yard dash.
Every year, Rich Eisen runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL combine while wearing his suit. While every event is pretty hilarious watching Eisen slowly rumble toward the finish, he's turned his annual run into a phenomenon that means so much more than a six-second sprint could ever tell you. Lineman, nose tackles, wide receivers, linebackers, Tom Brady, and even head coaches have torched the NFL Network host via simulcam, but it's easy to see why the host of the Rich Eisen Show cares so much about his important dash fundraiser.
It might not be as important as breaking down the Super Bowl or an NFL playoff game, but it's one of the most important moments of the NFL year. That's something even Cowboys and Giants fans can agree on.
How "Run Rich Run" Got Its Start
Back in 2005, NFL Hall of Fame running back Terrell Davis first challenged Eisen to make the run at the old RCA Dome in Indianapolis (The combine is still in Indy, but now takes place at Lucas Oil Stadium). Eisen blew the doors off of the place... with laughter.
He ran the 40-yard dash in 6.77 seconds, which, not shockingly, was slower than every other athlete that year. His personal best came in 2016 when Eisen blazed his way to a 5.94-second time.
For reference on how slow the Brooklyn, New York native really is, spend two minutes watching NFL talent absolutely roast him in this side-by-side graphic.
? Could you outrun @richeisen in the 40 yard dash?#NFLCombinehttps://t.co/oxDLVF6LFI
— Gridiron (@Gridiron) March 5, 2018
However, Eisen doesn't just run this thing because he likes to have former draft analyst Mike Mayock, who's now the general manager of the Oakland Raiders, time him every year. He's doing to for an amazing cause.
Eisen began the Run Rich Run campaign to raise money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. In 2017, Eisen was honored as the 12th recipient of the Pat Summerall Award, given to honor outstanding broadcasters who use their platform to benefit others around them. To date, Run Rich Run has raised over $300,000.
It?s that time of year again ? when you can time me with an hour glass.
Let?s all pitch in for @StJude at https://t.co/qB35TbzngA and, while you?re at it, upload a video of you running your own 40 (safely) at work in your work clothes. Best gets on @nflnetwork #RunRichRun pic.twitter.com/DXfXrXc56T
— Rich Eisen (@richeisen) February 26, 2019
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Football fans everywhere (yes, even you) can upload a video to social media and use the hashtag #RunRichRun for a chance to be featured on NFL Network during NFL Scouting Combine. Also, you can click here to make a donation and check out this event's hilarious past.
Here are some entires that flood social media more and more every year as this awesome annual event continues to grow.
Chairman @TimShriver & @SpOlympicsMD athlete Terrell Limerick answered the #RunRichRun challenge from @MarriottIntl's Arne Sorenson w/ a ?5.22 second 40 yd dash! Your turn @United Oscar Munoz; @Chobani @hamdiulukaya; @JNJCares Alex Gorsky! Lace 'em up! ?? ? pic.twitter.com/NhVjXwmJMg
— Special Olympics (@SpecialOlympics) April 6, 2018
.@Saints Linebacker @AlexAnzalone47 and his pup Sammy showing us how it's done for #RunRichRun! (Look out @richeisen ??)
Show us your 40 yard dash in support of #StJude! pic.twitter.com/spq3PQWJ9M
— NFL GameDay (@NFLGameDay) February 26, 2019
Ok here you go brother... @richeisen this is for all you do - #RunWarnersRun #RunRichRun pic.twitter.com/Jj1cNJwlSs
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) March 5, 2017
.@nflcommish challenged Arne to run the 40. He accepted that challenge & will donate $10K to the @SpecialOlympics! Now it?s your turn, @TimShriver and @dkhos! @NFL345 #RunRichRun pic.twitter.com/vygAxpvlrn
— Marriott International (@MarriottIntl) March 29, 2018
That bird sure can fly.
Poe takes on the #RunRichRun Challenge and clocks in at 6.03. pic.twitter.com/cFtBIgDReq
— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) March 6, 2017
Rich Eisen's 40-yard dash is not going to break any records and scouts would be better off using a sundial to record his time. However, if there's one thing we know about slow 40-yard times, it's how mere seconds can change the trajectory of someone's life. And while Eisen's sprint may only last seconds, the impact on the life of the child he's running for will undoubtedly last longer.
Godspeed, Rich. You may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but you're a superhero to us.
This article was first published on February 26, 2019.
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