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