Indianapolis transforms into a football madhouse

INDIANAPOLIS¬†— Look! It’s Seahawks WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh sitting in the window seat of that restaurant.

Check it out over there: Norv Turner and Russ Grimm are downing a cold one in that bar.

Oh, wait, there’s potential No. 1 draft pick Gerald McCoy sauntering through that hotel lobby.

Hey, who’s that gigantic man walking down the street? Oh, it’s small-school OL Jared Veldheer, who’s trying to make a name for himself.

That’s what it’s like to be in downtown Indianapolis during NFL Scouting Combine week. It’s a bizarre blend of Pro Bowl players in town to hang out with old friends, coaches on hand to watch, interview and familiarize themselves with the newest draft-eligible class, and weary prospects trying to secure their childhood dream.

As Titans coach Jeff Fisher alluded to Friday, some of the best exchanges don’t come during the formal, organized interviews, but rather in impromptu conversations that happen when team representatives and players run into each other while strolling around the city.

It’s easy to become so immersed in the energy and excitement of the combine that one forgets just how strange the entire event really is in many ways. But every so often, it helps to take a step back and just realize the football madness unfolding all around.

Jason Feller

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