Put most of us in an empty field house, with complete quiet and nothing to disturb us, and almost none of us could make 34 straight free throws. Now, head to the court, heart pumping, the deafening cheer of the crowd and television cameras watching every move, and many of us couldn’t even hit two in a row! It takes a special talent to sink 34 free throws in a row. It takes an even more impressive kid like Jordan Bohannon to miss the 35th.
University of Iowa point guard, Jordan Bohannon, was on a roll. He’d hit 34 straight free throws and was at the line to sink his 35th in a tight game against Northwestern on Sunday. His next free throw wouldn’t just extend the Iowa lead, it would also make history. That was the problem.
In 1993, Iowa Forward Chris Street set the school record for consecutive free throws made at 34. Street would have tried to top that number, but the night before his team was scheduled to play again, Street’s car hit a snow plow, killing him and injuring his girlfriend. His free throw record stood for 25 years, until Bohannon had the opportunity to break it. In a world where everyone wants their name in the record books and clamors for individual validation, Jordan Bohannon went the other way.
He chose to miss.
In a world of sameness, where most of us are told what it should “look like” to be successful in our space, the NFL Scouting Combine stands out as perhaps the world’s most predictable job interview. One the one hand, draft prospects are told to stand out, to make an impression, but what teams really want is another player that fits their ideal mold for certain positions. That’s why we should all be rooting for Shaquem Griffin.
Griffin is well decorated: a two-time first-team All-American Athletic Conference linebacker, AAC Defensive Player of the Year, National Champion, and Peach Bowl MVP.
And he did all of it without a left hand.
Dear Commissioner Goodell,
I hereby declare myself available for the 2018 NFL Draft.
– Don Yaeger
I get it. I probably (ok, certainly) won’t hear my name called among the 250+ players picked during the 2018 NFL Draft on April 26-28. Sadly, there are countless others who have written this letter to Roger Goodell that are in the same boat as me – they won’t hear their name either.
But don’t think I’m stopping there. Before the week is out I’m writing Adam Silver (NBA), Rob Manfred (MLB), Gary Bettman (NHL) and even Ethan Sturm (Major League Quidditch) letting them know I officially announce my eligibility for their leagues and associations, as well!