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How to Lose Millions in a Day Without Benefit of the Stock Market

Matthew J. Darnell, writing on Yahoo!’s N.F.L. blog, talks about how Andre Smith, an Alabama offensive lineman slotted as a potential overall No. 1 draft pick, has destroyed his own value with a series of bad decisions and, most recently, a really bad workout in front of pro scouts:

I can’t recall anyone’s draft stock falling quite like Andre Smith’s. Picture Wilford Brimley‘s frail and helpless body tumbling end-over-end off a cliff, picking up speed as it goes (Note: Do not picture this if you are Wilford Brimley, or someone who knows him). That’s about what we’re looking at here.

Darnell quotes a report from

His bench press results were a pitiful 19 reps. His position work was also very mediocre. One scout has told us is it the “worst workout he ever saw” and a number of scouts are cranky that they made the long trip to Alabama to watch the pitiful workout. A second scout has told us “Smith lost millions of dollars.”

It is an eternal and interesting question: how can someone with such strong incentives to do the right thing spend so much energy doing the wrong thing? The same could be asked, of course, about Eliot Spitzer or Bernie Madoff.
But the N.F.L. draft is more of a zero-sum game than either politics or money management. Smith’s loss is someone else’s gain, almost dollar-for-dollar.
Fans of Michael Lewis‘s book The Blind Side will be pleased to know that its subject, the Ole Miss offensive lineman Michael Oher, is also entering the draft this year and is therefore in a position to grab a few of Smith’s dollars. But according to The Sporting News, Oher hasn’t done much to help his own cause either.