Nike SPARQ Rating: A Sports Writer Participates In The Shadow Of Tebow


I ran the 40 yard dash in front of Tim Tebow yesterday. While I won’t be grouped into the elite category, Tebow nonetheless offered words of encouragement as my legs churned 20, 30, and 40 yards down the field. If he was that vocal for a stranger, I can only imagine what kind of voice he’ll be for the Broncos.

I need to give a big “thank you” to Nike for inviting me to take part in this weekend’s event. It was first class all the way through.

I boarded the Oakland bound shuttle yesterday and first arrived at “The Zoo” recording studio. It was there that Nike showcased their newest trends in shoe design. From “strong” shoes to “speed” shoes, Nike’s philosophy was presented in a creative way. Just as creating music is all about flow, shoe design follows the same principles, we were told. We got a glimpse into the shoe designs that were created for Larry Fitzgerald and heard that his life story was taken into account when it was time to create his shoes.

After the shoe presentation, we boarded the shuttle for Laney College. This is where the SPARQ training event was held. For those of you unfamiliar with SPARQ, it’s an assessment tool for high school athletes that evaluates their athleticism as a football players. Many college coaches use the rating as a tool in their evaluation of a player. I was lucky enough to get my SPARQ rating after participating in four football drills. I did the 40 yard dash, an agility shuttle, the kneeling power ball toss (replaces the bench press), and the vertical leap.  The highest score possible is a 130.0. It’s well known that Tebow participated in this event when he was in high school and got the highest rating (96.92) ever for a QB. Here we are being briefed on the SPARQ rating system:

 After we completed warm up drills with Tebow, Darrelle Revis, and Nnamdi Asomugh, we were set to take part. The three NFL pros watched us as we completed each drill. After receiving my SPARQ score, I quickly learned that I lost a step since high school and college. Oh well. That’s why I hold the mic in front of athletes now.

The media had about 10 minutes to interview Tebow and Revis before we ate lunch in the Laney College press box. Here’s Revis saying a few words:

 During lunch, I sat at a table with Revis. It was great that he stuck around to eat lunch with the media. He talked to us about Rex Ryan and the HBO series “Hard Knocks” featuring the Jets this year. From what I hear, this year’s team should be very entertaining to watch.

Overall, this experience has been great, and I’m looking forward to sharing more of it with you, Broncos fans.

Stay tuned in because tomorrow I’m going to give you the low down on the Tebow interview.