NGSC Sports

Halfway Hilarity: The Smartest Person Ever Is an NFL Quarterback

Sorry, Albert Einstein, you are not the smartest person ever. Nor are you, Isaac Newton. Thomas Jefferson – we all acknowledge you are a bright dude, but you felt short also.

So did the lead professor of nuclear-astro-hydro-carbon-cyber-physics at Princeton University. And Rafael Edward “Ted” Cruz, the senator from Texas who graduated cum laude from Princeton and magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama – you join this illustrious crew also. Each of you became the President of the free world, but you not the most intelligent people this world has ever known.

The smartest person in the history of mankind is Ryan Fitzpatrick, the starting quarterback for the NFL’s Houston Texans. First of all he went to Harvard, which makes him a top 1 per center smart-wise.

Much more importantly, he scored a 49 out of 50 on the NFL’s esteemed Wonderlic Cognitive Ability Test. The test consists of 50 questions that need to be answered in 12 minutes. It measures a player’s ability to learn and solve problems quickly. A score of 20 equates to average intelligence.

Fitz scored higher than any NFL quarterback in history – a monumental achievement to be sure. His classmates at Harvard could not have done better except maybe the chemistry majors who also appreciated reading literature while in kindergarten and never stopped reading. They would have gotten 50s. But they are not interested in football tests.

I tried to do the test awhile back. After I got the first one wrong, I got frustrated, felt insecure and inadequate, and started lamenting by my high school SAT experience. Closing the program, I thought it best to let deadly experiences stay dead.

Although I quit doing Wonderlic, I thought I would give you a flavor for the questions. Here is one actual example:

If NFL quarterback Tom Brady and his super-model wife Gisele Bundchen took their X and Y chromosomes and split them into atoms and molecules, how many sets of twins or triplets would they have, what would the sexes and colors of eyes of each child be, on which day of the week would they be born, factoring in that each child except the one third was born within 3.78 years and they leveraged artificial insemination for 67 percent of these lucky children who will be rich forever?

Fitzpatrick got this one right. No other quarterbacks did. To come clean about this, there is a rumor floating that a punter from Harvard, Paul McNally, scored a 50 on this test. But punters aren’t football players. And I don’t comment on rumors or speculation.

Stop and think about this: Fitzpatrick is so smart he could be running America. Instead, he focuses on reading 3-4 defensive schemes, deciding what decision progressions he needs to sequence through to find an open receiver either on the skinny post, over-the-middle slant, or check down in the flat.

Fitzpatrick has started at quarterback for four teams in his NFL career. Teams keep signing him and starting him because he learns so fast the offenses, which are more complicated than life itself.

“OK, Ryan, here’s the playbook. Read it and learn it,” the offensive coordinator says on the first day he arrives.

“I don’t need to read it or learn it,” he says. “I already know everything about playing quarterback, all the plays, all the defenses ever designed. I did all this as a Harvard undergraduate. Don’t spread this around, but I knew it all before then, but I thought it made sense just to review it. Didn’t want to show up the football professor. He had tenure so was powerful. Political crap.”

If I were to have a cup of pumpkin-laced coffee with Ryan this morning, I would ask him a few questions:

“Being so intelligent, can you figure out why some fish are brilliant colors like baby blue and some are dull brown? What’s that all about, Ryan? When you took the Wondelic test, were you even trying? Did you get one wrong on purpose so everybody wouldn’t goo and gah about you? Do you want to be left you alone with your smartness or do you wake every morning feeling grateful you’re smarter than everyone? When you took the SAT, did you have to study for it? When you were in high school, did you take all AP classes or all AP classes or all AP classes or all AP classes?”

Ryan for President. Ryan for leader of the free world. Ryan for Mayor. Ryan for head of the World Problem Solving Summit. Ryan for Town Council Chair. Ryan for lead tutor at Exeter Academy. Ryan for President, Dean, Provost, Chancellor, and Faculty in Residence at Yale for three years, Princeton for three years, and Harvard for three years – in no particular order. Ryan for software programmer, aerospace engineer, rock star, juggler, and Chairman of the Board of the most profitable company on Earth.

Who was this Wonderlic cat? I bet he can’t get a 49 on his own test. He probably also invented the SAT. I bet he can’t score 800 on the SAT verbal or math sections. Maybe the writing section but nobody cares much about that. Verbal and math scores are revered more than breathing.

Hey Wonderlic, Ryan owns you. He’s licking his chops. You thought you had him in your cross-hairs like the other NFL quarterbacks. You thought you could break him.

But my boy Fitz outsmarted you. Makes you wonder about yourself, doesn’t it?

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Sammy Sportface
Possibly America’s best sports blogger. Sometimes relevant and insightful. Often funny and satirical. Mostly mysterious and unpredictable. Only mildly interested in the truth.

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