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We’re officially out of the Wonderlic business


I never understood why advertisers cared about the 18-35 demographic until I turned 36, and all of a sudden stuff that I cared about for years no longer seemed all that important.

After more than a decade in this business, things that once seemed important to me now are trivial. At one point, the Wonderlic scores generated by incoming players seemed to be critical pieces of information. I’ve now come to the conclusion that they don’t matter, and that I no longer care.

So we’re permanently out of the Wonderlic business. Moving forward, we won’t try to discover Wonderlic scores. We won’t mention Wonderlic scores reported by others. And we won’t poke fun at someone who generated a low score.

The outcome of a 50-question test that the NFL keeps using primarily because it provides an apples-to-apples comparison from one year to the next has no relevance to football abilities. Players routinely don’t give their best effort when taking the test. Many give no effort. Many don’t even know that the test will be taken.

Some have learning disabilities. Some with learning disabilities have agents who don’t know or care to request an accommodation.

As mentioned by Barry Petchesky of Deadspin, Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has disclosed this year’s Wonderlic scores for some of the receivers with the kind of snarky opening sentence that would prompt widespread derision if it came for someone less experienced or revered or decorated. McGinn, however, will continue to avoid widespread criticism -- in part because he has at least one attack-dog friend in the media who admittedly has launched a “preemptive strike” to shout down potential critics.

If you want to see the scores that McGinn has posted, that’s your prerogative. And if you want to think those scores matter, feel free. If you want to get a laugh about it, don’t feel guilty; I’ve done it, too.

But I’ve now come to learn via a protracted exercise of trial and error (emphasis on “error”), that it just doesn’t matter. And it’s no longer important. And I’m done caring about the outcome of an outdated test -- especially since there’s a new computer-based test that is supposed to measure a “wide range of competencies” but that McGinn didn’t even mention.