Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pro Day #KevinBallingerForMrIrrelevant

Now that I am student teaching, I have had less time to prepare for the upcoming pro day being held at Purdue. I have had to take a break from being my regular self, a real man's man; the type of man who lifts massive amounts of weight over his head, fights dragons or builds suspension bridges. Instead I have been spending my time shaping today's youth into tomorrow's learned doctors one badminton lesson at a time. However, I have been able to hone my skills in several different areas, which I am really banking on helping me out for my workout at pro day. My soccer, badminton, basketball and kickball skills have never been at such a high level. During my prep you can find me in the gym shooting free throws with a woman's ball (because that's what I have tough guys and honestly its only 1 inch smaller in diameter so back off) preparing for my students inevitably to challenge me in a game of Tip-In-21 later in the day. I also have a couple of weights class but I elect not to lift with them so that I will not be sore for the big day. Have to be fresh when Jerry Jones and Zygi Wilf come breathing down my neck wanting a piece of this jelly.

Most guys trying to make it in the league play pretty hard during the season then elect to go away to a training facility to get right for the combine or their respective school's pro day. What I've always wondered was why don't these guys just work hard all the time instead of the few months they give themselves between the season and showtime? I'm trying a totally different approach to this pro day...

I will do the exact opposite of what everybody else does and not work at all between the end of the season and pro day. From what I've heard from nobody is that NFL teams really like guys who think outside of the box and one step ahead of his competition. All of my snaps from last season are well documented on film, so I see exactly zero reason to snap at pro day. These scouts are professionals, they know a good snapper when he walks in the door. 225 bench press max? Not for this guy. If they want to know how much I can bench they can just look at the record board for specialists as I currently hold the record for most reps at 225 and 1 rep max*. Vertical jump? Broad Jump? Look, if a long snapper needed to be able to jump high or long I wouldn't have made it this far. Wonderlic Test? They can just ask me, I'll tell them I got average grades.

But the one thing they haven't seen, the thing that is going to set me apart and be a game changer: The 40.

That's right folks, I plan on foregoing all tests and drills except for the 40. I haven't sprinted since bowl prep in December but I still feel I can produce a gentleman's sub 6 second dash and they will respect me for it. I already have my white tights laid out. No shirt or shorts necessary probably won't even wear socks (to cut down on wind resistance). Just me, my cleats and my fat gold rope chain that is going to look so baller bouncing on my chest when I set Mollenkopf on fire.

I know I'm not a first round pick, I don't play a flashy enough position to be invited to Radio City Music Hall. That's fine. Like my pro day preparation, I am taking a different approach to this years NFL draft: I'm trying to be Mr. Irrelevant. For those of you who don't know, Mr. Irrelevant is the last picked in the draft. Nobody really wants to be Mr. Irrelevant because if you are undrafted in the late rounds, you often have a choice of what team to go into camp with thus giving you a better chance to make the team. I want to be Mr. Irrelevant. Pick me. Just keep me long enough for the rookie show, trust me. Just trying to make my mark on Purdue by becoming the first from this great university to be Mr. Irrelevant.
Give the people what they want. #KevinBallingerForMrIrrelevant


love you,
Kevin "Hopefully the future Mr. Irrelevant" Ballinger

better blogs you should read: if you like sports and laughing if you like celebrities and laughing if you are into long snapping and/or snapping in college click here if you like awesome paintings and sports themed art and stuff

*Last summer was the first year Purdue started recording records. Therefore, a lot of records were broken last summer. Actually, all of them were set and broken at the same time.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Workout Update

I know what you all are wondering and yes, my pre-combine workouts have been going great. I decided to continue my studies and train here at Purdue instead of go to a training facility like my agent wanted (LOLZ JK). Thanks to my new personal trainer/roommate Spencer Dawson, I worked out 4 whole days in a row once. I haven't been on to check in a while, but I'm really banking on my hunch that the NFL hasn't passed out all of their invitations to the combine yet. I haven't physically received mine yet, although I'm sure it is lost in the mail somewhere (I live in apartment B, a lot of my mail goes to A. its a whole thing). Also, it is possible that they haven't called yet because I haven't updated my contact info with the league in quite some time. I did recently get a new phone number senior year of high school.
At night, Dawson and myself (and sometimes our roommate Dan Barry) take to the CoRec weight room located on our lovely campus. In some ways, a weight room open to all students is a billion times more intimidating than the football weight room. It is always crowded and we never get the machines we want. Of course we could go to Mollenkopf, but who wakes up and works out before 4pm? Not this guy.
The weight room is virtually silent except for the sound of treadmills and weights hitting together because everybody is listening to their iP3 players and concentrating, which makes people who do weird things stick out even more. The first day we were there two guys got out a huge rope and started slamming them making extremely loud noises with ever rep they did. Ropes are a great workout and would totally make sense to use them if you were going to like, wrestle or UFC fight or apparently work out in an otherwise quiet room. I don't know, maybe I'm just upset because it took everybody's focus off of my 95lb military press (yeah ladies, that's almost 100lbs.). Also, Trainer Dawson makes us do dumb stuff like pull ups. Here's the thing Dawson, if I wanted to tone up I'd get a shake weight. I'm trying to look like the guys at the gym who clearly only do curls; from the research I've done, that's the direction the NFL is going in anyways. When Barry and myself had to hold each others feet so we could complete one rep, I could physically feel my pride hurting. I'm here to tell you that is not a good feeling. The gym is also a great place to see extremely attractive girls you'll never talk to and kids wearing weight lifting gloves. Apparently the bars there make your hands extra callusy, I guess I haven't really noticed the difference yet.
The rest of my training consists of watching movies and searching the interweb for funny pictures of cats.
As for training for snapping, I figure that will probably just take care of itself. I've done it enough already. Strikes all day. LEETTSS GOOOOOOOO

NFL Combine: 27 days
NFL Draft: 87 days


By the way, I'm not an NCAA athlete anymore. So feel free to send me free stuff. I'll wear it. Swear I will. Best decision your company has ever made.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Bowl Champs!

It feels great to bowl champions! I started my career as a  Detroit bowl champion (180 lbs) and ended my career as a Detroit bowl champion (236ish lbs). Circle of Life.
The days spent in Detroit were extremely fun and packed. Detroit itself, despite what you might have heard or seen on tv, is the most depressing city I have ever spent time in. Every third building is abandoned and boarded up, however the buildings that are not destroyed are beautiful. The streets are littered with spectacular artwork and architecture, but that is mostly due to the streets being deserted.
As I mentioned earlier, our time in Detroit was full with meetings and events we were required to attend. LOL JK! The offense and defense had a bunch of meetings, the specialists spent our time playing video games in the players lounge. One of the events the team was scheduled to attend was a luncheon on Christmas day with the other team. Let me preface this by saying Lloyd Carr spoke and it was one of the greatest speeches I have ever heard; but, whoever thought it was a good idea to have the two teams sit across from each other during lunch vastly underestimated the awkwardness that would ensue. Neither team said a word to each other, because both teams are classier than that. However, every time you would look up to try to get a glimpse of your competition you would make eye contact with someone on the other team trying to do the same. Awkward turtle. But, it gets better!
Later that night both teams met up at the legendary Thuderbowl Lanes of Detroit for a friendly roll on the hard wood. Prior to arriving, a challenge was equally accepted by both teams for the four best bowlers of each team to square off and assert their dominance in the Game of Kings. After bowling a gentleman's 76 on my first game, I took a stroll down to see how our boys were doing. Turns out, Western Michigan had four professional bowlers on hand for such an occasion. After the first couple of frames, the scoreboard read Western Michigan "X" Purdue "-". I'm no PE teacher (yet) but I think that means they were winning. After seeing the first of our bowlers I knew we were in trouble. Kawann Short aka KK aka Best of Both Worlds was bowling for us; I could have swore I watched KK bowl a 90 right beside me for a warm up game. The games ended and nobody even bothered to check the scores because it was obvious who had won; good thing bowling in no way translates to football! HEYY OOOHH. #nailedit. After watching a few more rolls, I went back to my lane and we started to see how many balls we could roll down the lane at one time. Because that is what you do with unlimited bowling and no adult supervision. BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!!

Ford Field is a great place for a football game; also a great place to embarrass the quarterbacks (Sean Robinson) by beating them in their own game involving throwing a ball into a bucket and the AD watching and asking out loud how the specialists are better than the quarterbacks. The actual game against Western Michigan was definitely an exciting one. We were able to execute two (of the worst ever  kicked) surprise onside kicks as well as return a kickoff for a touchdown. Its not that I place more of an importance on special teams, it's just that I have no idea whats going on on offense or defense aside from the kids who are playing them. Personally the game went well for me; I either ended up on my back or on my face at the end of every play AND I was credited with my first career tackle. There was a mix up in the booth and the announcer said "45 Kevin Ballinger with the tackle," which is weird because I could have sworn my number was 46 and I was sitting on the bench when the announcement was made. Not how I always dreamed it would happen, but I'll take it.
It was great to get a quality win against a good team like WMU to cap off an amazing senior season that at one time I never even dreamed I would get the chance to have. I'm proud to have had this opportunity and to call these teammates my brothers; it was the time of my life.

I would also like to take this time to officially put my name into the 2012 NFL Draft. Uh oh, looks like somebody has thrown a wrench into the first round of the draft! Eat your heart out Mel Kiper!!!!

Hail Purdue!

NFL Draft: 108 days
Christmas: 351 days