We’ve all had job interviews before; terrifying meetings where you‘re being judged, poked, prodded, evaluated, and in my case, endlessly mocked by your perspective boss for having the audacity to claim you were qualified to work there. No need to be a jerk, manager of McDonalds.

In most cases, the week after the interview is an even more unpleasant experience.  A soul-crushing half-fortnight filled with sleepless nights and an irrational fear of ringing phones. Now picture that constant scrutiny spread over six weeks, with your skills being constantly tested until you are deemed fit to work at whatever company was foolhardy enough to think that you would be a responsible hire (suckers). That’s what it would be like if job interviews were like an NFL training camp, six grueling weeks of trying to prove your worth over and over.

Since my last interview was here at The Score (it was a delightful process by the way, this is not sarcasm), I’m going to re-imagine (in diary form) the interview as an NFL training camp, right down to the very real Gatorade bath I took at the end.  My new boss was unimpressed.

Training Camp Diary

On Day 1, a group of perspective bloggers were herded into a giant room where we were forced to do picture caption “drills”. We wrote captions for picture after picture while a man in a ‘90’s era Starter jacket blew a whistle and yelled motivational slogans at us.

We followed that with a cool down period where we gulped Gatorade and went over The Score’s “playbook”. We needed to memorize what kinds of articles were appropriate and what words and subjects were off-limits. I guess my proposed review of O.J. Simpson’s semi-(probably entirely) autobiographical crime novel If I did it was completely off the table. There were also several words and phrases I needed to strike from my vocabulary (hehe, muffed punt).

Next, was the first of our “two-a-days” where bloggers scrimmaged against each other. Scrimmaging in the internet writing world meant that we were given a subject and then had a series of head-to-head writing match-ups to determine a winner.  Winners were chosen based on speed, accuracy and overall quality of the piece. The victors were cheered and patted on the ass; the losers were reamed out by their blog coaches, and booed and trash-talked by their peers. Luckily, all the booing and “yo mama” jokes directed at me were eventually drowned out by the loud ringing in my ears.

Lunch followed the first scrimmage, where we were pumped with caffeinated beverages and foods with an almost toxic amount of sugar. You know what they say; a good blogger is a twitchy and hyper-aware blogger.

I don’t remember much about the next part of training camp because I blacked out pretty early, but from what I understand, it was time to hit the weights. While we were bench pressing and doing power-squats with comically small dumbbells, we were shown “game film”, which was just a series of old articles from the website. It was a struggle to concentrate on reading the fine works of Sean Tomlinson, Dustin Parkes, and Darren Kritzer with all the exaggerated grunting that was going on, but I powered through.

After yet another Gatorade break, we had the second of our “two-a-days”, which was a carbon copy of the first, only with more whistles and coaches calling me a “little bitch”. Despite shorting out three keyboards with my tears, I actually won the scrimmage and was subject to those cheers and ass-pats I had mentioned earlier, although it wasn’t as satisfying as I thought it would be. I actually felt a little violated.

The day wrapped up with a team meeting, where the coaches spouted clichés about work ethic, team effort, and attacks on my personal hygiene. All of these speeches were extremely inspirational and really made me feel like I was starting to become a part of the team. This feeling was immediately shattered when [name redacted], a veteran blogger, called me “rook” and physically coerced me into being his personal ottoman for several hours.

Well, that was the end of my first day at NFL training camp…er…The Score training camp, only six weeks and four days left.  If anyone is reading this, please send clean underwear. It’s only Day 1 and I burned through 17 pairs during scrimmages alone.  I’m not sure what tomorrow will bring, but I can say with confidence that I will sweat like Patrick Ewing at the foul line.

I hope I get hired.

-Kyle Smith

Any excuse to post this video…