A Tornado May Have Helped Ex-Hawkeye at “Pro Day”

Matt Bowen

Matt Bowen

Matt Bowen played seven years in the National Football League after having a distinguished career at safety for the University of Iowa.

His career may have been jump-started by a tornado in Iowa City, if you can believe that.

Wrote Bowen at his www.nationalfootballpost commentary on Pro Days at college campuses:

At Iowa — before the rage of field turf took over the nation — we had an indoor practice facility covered by what’s known around Iowa City as the “bubble.” Prior to my senior season at Iowa, a tornado touched down north of town, and the “bubble” blew down the street.

The result: months of rain, sun and early snow beating down on the AstroTurf field. By the time spring rolled around (and the bubble was replaced), the turf had become one of the fastest tracks around. So I could stand on my Combine time of 4.48 or run at Iowa on my pro day.

Looking at the track in front of me, the question was easy to answer.

I ran in the low 4.4’s. Some even had me at a 4.39.

NFL scouts — the good ones — stand by their own times and their own stopwatches from the Combine, but they still like it when they see a prospect run faster, no matter what the track is like.




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