When the NFL Draft started on Thursday, it was widely believed that Florida DT Sharrif Floyd, arguably the top defensive tackle prospect in the draft, he would be gone in the top 5. If not the top 5, most assuredly the top 10.
But as the picks kept being announced, Floyd's name wasn't called. Whispers started making their way around the desks of analysts covering the event.
"He's got short arms", they were whispering.
"Just got a text from a personnel guy", said NFL Network draft expert Mike Mayock, stunned, almost in a whisper. Struggling to keep his composure, he looked into the camera, lower lip quivering. "I'm being told he has...short arms".
Rich Eisen choked back tears, stifled a sob, and quickly went to commercial.
Over on ESPN, it was much the same.
"Boomer, I'm getting texts and calls from everyone in the NFL saying that Sharrif Floyd has SHORT ARMS", said insider Adam Schefter.
"Jaws, THAT GUY, THIS CAT, cannot play FOOTBALL with SHORT ARMS", Jon Gruden yelled, his face contorting into something that looked like a cross between Alien and Chucky.
"BACKBACKBACKBACKBACK GOOOOOOOOOONNEEE", said Chris Berman, mistakenly thinking he was at the Home Run Derby.
Why had I not heard this? His arms looked proportionate. How could he have risen to the #1 DT prospect with short arms? Nah, it can't be, I thought. It's just one of those unfounded draft day rumors that cause a guy to drop for no reason, much like Dan Marino back in 1983, Randy Moss in 1998, or Aaron Rodgers in 2005. He'll get picked soon.
Pick #14, no Floyd. Pick #18, no Floyd. 20, 21, 22. Sharrif Floyd is still on the board.
"Well", I said to myself, "we have Rick Spielman, and he most assuredly knows about Floyd's short arms. "We'll get the gangly armed and proportionate Manti Te'o, and then we will get to mock whoever takes Floyd. Much like we're mocking the Jets and the Bills right now."
Roger Goodell stepped to the podium with an ashen face. If I didn't know any better, Gooddell looked like he was walking to his own execution. Or maybe a face to face with DeMaurice Smith.
Oh, no. They're going to take Floyd, short arms and all. I felt my stomach tying up in knots.
"With the 23rd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Viking select...Sharrif Floyd, defensive tackle, Florida."
A stunned silence fell over the Radio City Music Hall crowd. You could've heard a pin drop.
Then the whispers started.
"He has short arms", one spectator in the crowd was overheard to say.
"How will he be able to tie his shoes, much less get in and out of a stance?" said another.
"I don't think he can even reach his nose to scratch it, or his dick to mast-" said a third, before the audio feed was cutoff.
During his first round press conference, Rick Spielman was talking to the press when he was abruptly called into another room. By some accounts, he ran out of the room. There were unconfirmed reports that he had tears running down his cheeks.
The story that the Vikings put out was that they needed Spielman to okay another trade, allegedly for Cordarelle Patterson. No, what we're dealing with is something much worse, and much more tragic.
Ladies and gentlemen, Sharrif Floyd does, in fact, have Short Arms. We've been in contact with the American Short Arms Society, and after repeated unreturned calls, we did receive an email:
Thank you for your call and interest in helping raise awareness for Short Arm Disease, or SAD. We were unable to return your call, because our offices and phones haven't been SAM'd yet (short arm modified) and we are unable to reach phones to pick them up.
SAD is something that strikes tens of Americans every year, and the sooner we raise awareness, the sooner we can find a cure. We hope that someone with the stature of Sharrif Floyd can help us bring attention to this disease that is SO NOT MADE UP AT ALL, help find a cure, and bring and end to the scourge that is SAD.
Yes, Vikings fans, Sharrif Floyd has Short Arm Disease. We only hope that with research, understanding, and eventually a cure, Sharrif will be able to scratch his own nose one day, or hold his own...you know what, never mind. Let's just stick with being able to scratch his nose.