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I’m 6’3″, 200, I Swear

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Here’s a comment/question from reader Far North:  

“A player who was listed as 6’3″, 200 pounds on last year’s college roster  is listed as 6’2,” 175 pounds by his new NHL team.  I’ve stood next to enough college players to think that the roster stats are often optimistic.  Does this continue at the higher levels?  Are NHL teams required to report those things accurately?”

The craziest thing about height measurement, in my experience, is that there’s no uniform, standard procedure for doing it, even in the NHL.  It’s like a slightly upgraded version of a mom putting notches on the wall as her kid grows.

Yes, I shoot with abnormally close hands.

Yes, I shoot with abnormally close hands.

My favourite year was the one in college where they measured us using the advanced clipboard-on-head method, followed by the measuring of that mark.  The guy taking the measurements that particular year was all of about 5’8″, so all the clipboards had a nice uphill slant to them.  I literally had to call the athletic administration to tell them not to list me at 6’3″, because I figured scouts would notice I wasn’t, and label me full-of-shit before I even had the chance to prove them right (I’m 6’1 and a half, but was always listed at 6’2″). 

But every year, in a split second, your height and weight were both measured and permanent, to be splashed on a dozen websites, in programs, on scouting reports, wherever.  All the guys tried to drink about a gallon of water (literally) the morning of the weigh-in, as to appear more muscle-dense.  I actually played with a defensemen who was drafted that was told to “beef up” in the off-season, so he literally had two 2.5 pound weights hidden on him for weigh-in (they didn’t make us strip down in college like they do in pro either, which is nice - wearing jeans tacks on at least a pair of crucial l.b.’s).

It’s probably just the lack of thorough measuring in college that leads to the misrepresentation of height and weight.  They want the guys to look bigger to increase their chances of moving on too, as it looks good on the program.  Once you’re in the NHL, there’s no advantage in lying about your size – results are finally what matters, not potential, so you tend to see a more honest representation of size (even though there are in fact no rules governing truth in advertising).

But sure enough, at Islander camp, in Hershey, wherever;  you simply took your shoes off and stood against a wall with heights on it.  I always managed to get my heels just that half-inch of the floor to make the 6’2″ mark.  Nobody cared (MLIA).

*****

 There’s only one other thing I want to write about for today, and it’s of crucial importance to me.  I have a neat opportunity to contribute to the USA Today’s online hockey section, so starting today, I’m writing an occasional blog (every week or so) on a profile there.  If all goes well, it could be a great thing for the other sites I write for as well, bringing more credibility to what I do, while helping increase readership.usa today

Basically, it would be in my best interest if the blog did well there, so please, if you’re an avid Bourne’s Blog reader, click THIS LINK and feel free to contribute a positive comment or two.  The article is a more current re-packaging of my piece  ”A Love-Hate Relationship With Hockey” , and has a link on the main USA Today hockey page, www.nhl.usatoday.com (thanks to those of you who commented already – minor technical difficulties at USA Today have meant I’ve had to re-post the article, and lose the early comments).  Turns out there is hope in this writing world…

Comments

5 Responses to “I’m 6’3″, 200, I Swear”
  1. SPO says:

    Re the USA Today gig, done and done Justin. I am on re-entry from a few days in Vegas and well, reading about sports online has managed to take all of my attention today as opposed to actually getting something productive done… But hey, I guess I have gotten something done because I commented on your article, so good for me (and you)!

  2. SPO says:

    Although I’m not seeing my comment for your USA post right now, so maybe my comment submission went as well as my gambling this past weekend – which is to say not very…

  3. ms.condcut says:

    Fabulous on the USA Today gig! Look at you go! Congrats!

  4. Far North says:

    Thanks! Now I’m left to imagine how that guy was able hide 5 lbs. worth of weights.

  5. Melissa says:

    I played golf in college and my coach had me listed at 5 ft. 7 inches because he wanted me to look intimidating…I’m 5 ft. 2 in. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why I needed to be intimidating in golf! His contract was not renewed!

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