Usain Bolt (R) and Gatorade help Rich Eisen train for The Combine
Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Gatorade

Rich Eisen Runs the NFL's Most Important 40-Yard Dash Every Year. Here's Why.

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

Rich Eisen poses for a photo on the red carpet during NFL Honors at the Symphony Hall

Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

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.

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.

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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.

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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