According to Mike Florio from ProFootballTalk.com, a future NFL player scored a “4” on the NFL’s Wonderlic test. What is the Wonderlic test?
The Wonderlic test is a Cognitive Ability test (previously known as “Personnel Test”) by the National Football League each year to potential football draftees prior to the NFL draft. It is a test that “helps measure how well a candidate will be able to understand instructions, learn, adapt, solve problems and handle the mental demands of the position.” [Information obtained from www.wonderlic.com]
Understandable, certainly, why this type of test would be administered. Large monetary investments are made by owners and teams in players, particularly those drafted in the first round. Need to make sure their money is being “invested” wisely. It’s part of the process though; gather as much information as possible to make a decision. However, it should never should it be the sole deciding factor as to whether a player is drafted or not.
On a scale of 0-50 with 50 being a perfect score, a 4, according to this test is a sign of someone who lacks intelligence. But to sportswriter Pat Dooley (as seen in the re-tweet below), it’s the intellectual equivalent of a tree stump:
RT @pat_dooley: Mo Claiborne of LSU scored a four on the Wonderlic test. A tree stump could score a five. That's embarrassing.—
Ben Volin (@BenVolinPBP) April 03, 2012
Mr. Dooley deleted the original tweet. His reasoning?
Fyi I deleted the Claiborne treat because I misspelled NFL test. It was also meaner than I meant it to be. Be cool people.—
Pat Dooley (@pat_dooley) April 03, 2012
Do you see any misspelling in the original tweet?
In 2005, results of a 15-year study were published that was performed by McDonald Mirabile. The study focused on the relationship of intelligence and football. Analyzing various data for a group of 84 quarterbacks, the study concluded:
This article presents empirical evidence that within the modern draft era, there exists no statistically significant relationship between intelligence and quarterback performance at either the collegiate or professional level.
But this brings up the question…what purpose does it serve to publicize, or rather comment on, someone’s score as Mr. Dooley, Mike Florio from Pro Football Talk and anyone else who did that today?
Nothing. Here’s why:
Let's put Wonderlic scores in perspective: Dan Marino 15, Ryan Leaf 27.—
Peter Burns (@PeterBurnsRadio) April 03, 2012
Last time I checked, Dan Marino turned out to be a “pretty good” quarterback. Ryan Leaf? He’s in jail for an arrest on Monday. His SECOND arrest. In the span of a few days. Publish Leaf’s Wonderlic score today and he has all the makings of a good quarterback right? Maybe. But then again, would it really make a difference to know what his score was? No.
So why publicize and comment on it in the media? Publicity.
There can be no other reason can there? Publicity, plain and simple. When the player has a “known” learning disability, the fact that he scored so low on it, should not be surprising should it?
There are some who agree:
There is a reason I didn't tweet Morris Claiborne's Wonderlic score when given it. Whomever leaked that score should be fired, NFL.—
Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) April 03, 2012
Show me a direct correlation between a Wonderlic score and football aptitude, I'll show you a connection between 40 times and running Apple.—
Jim Trotter (@SI_JimTrotter) April 03, 2012
Every coach in the league should be forced to take the wonderlic & be subjected to the leaks they subject these kids to. Not all geniuses.—
Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) April 03, 2012
Do fans care? Some do. Some don’t. In the end, it’s all about “their” team though isn’t it? It’s just football.
I thought the Wonderlic test was irrelevant? Who cares if football players are dumbasses? Many of them get brain damage before they go pro.—
OTCSOE (@Murkaholic) April 03, 2012
Bomani Jones is mostly right…..it’s more than just 30 year-olds:
know who loves when wonderlic scores get leaked? 30 yr olds who still take pride in their sat scores.—
Bomani Jones (@bomani_jones) April 03, 2012