Swope turning heads with 40 time at Combine
FEB 28, 2013 12:26p ET
Swope ran fast at the Combine. Real fast. He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds, and he has noticed that people seem to be shocked by this and he thinks he knows why.
"I think a lot of people were pretty shocked," he said on Dan Patrick's radio show. "You don't see that every day, a white guy running a 4.3."
And this is true. The overwhelming majority of the world's fastest sprinters are not Caucasian. There is a lot of controversial theory about why this is the case, and there are debates to be had about exactly what we mean by "sprint" and to what extent race is just a construct. But it's fair to say that, as those terms are commonly used and understood, it is the objective reality.
Also playing into all this is that Swope was a slot receiver at Texas A&M. Although he made plenty of big plays in college, he was rarely used as a straight-up field stretcher. So he fit neatly into a little box, that box being the Sure-Handed White Guy Who Tries Hard.
So when a guy like that runs the second-fastest time at the Combine, his scouting report has to be rewritten.
"I've been compared to ( Wes) Welker," Swope said. "I think that's a huge compliment because Welker's a great football player. But I think people decide to make a white and white comparison."
Swope thinks he's more like Jordy Nelson, another highly productive white receiver who played at an ag school ( Kansas State), was thought to be a bit of an overachiever and surprised people when his 40-time (4.51) put him in the upper portion of his draft class.
Welker, by the way, ran a 4.65 in his day.
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