Chat with John Brenkus
Welcome to SportsNation! On Thrusday, Sport Science host John Brenkus stops by to chat about his Emmy Award-winning TV show.
Sport Science uncovers sports' biggest myths and mysteries by utilizing cutting-edge technology to measure momentum, friction and the laws of gravity.
Brenkus will host a special edition of his show with the Sport Science QB Combine on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. The show is a part of ESPN's year-long "Year of the Quarterback" feature.
Send your questions now and join Brenkus Thursday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:57 PM)
John will be here at the top of the hour to take your questions!
Buzzmaster (1:58 PM)
Which QB impressed you the most from your SS combine?
John Brenkus (2:03 PM)
Each QB impressed me in their own way. No one QB is the best at everything. Colin had amazing touch. Andy Dalton was great throwing from the pocket. Ryan Mallet's arm is the strongest we've seen. And the list goes on and on.
Where do you come up with your ideas?
John Brenkus (2:03 PM)
It's a collaborative process, between the Sport Science team and ESPN. We literally sit around and dream big! And make it happen.
John, when you're playing golf and you miss a putt, are you saying to yourself, don't worry about it, you were just 4/5 of a inch off, like you say in your SS video? Or are you out there ready to throw your putter like the rest of us?
John Brenkus (2:04 PM)
Prior to Sport Science, I used to get angry when I hit a bad shot in golf. But since I've been doing the show, I'm at total peace, realizing that the bad shot represents exactly how good I really am.
John, we hear a lot about steroids in sports. Have you ever done any Sport Science experiments to prove or disprove if steroids help or not?
John Brenkus (2:06 PM)
We've done a lot of statistical analysis on athlete performance before and after steroid. Obviously, they help. It's hard to quantify exactly how much. But there's no question that PEDs do exactly as advertised. The bigger question is, what is a PED?
John Brenkus (2:06 PM)
That's even harder to answer.
Which of the 2011 NFL draft prospects that you've had in your lab has impressed you the most?
John Brenkus (2:07 PM)
If you see them on the a Sport Science segment, they've impressed me. This year's standout to me is Marcell Dareus. Though his college stats won't blow you away, when you see him in action, you can't help but be in awe.
Adam R (Albany)
Mr. Brenkus, what was it like completing the Iron Man Triathlon?
John Brenkus (2:08 PM)
Completing an Iron Man is one of the most rewarding things I've ever done. Although it almost killed me, it certainly made me stronger.
Hey John, have you sustained any injuries while attempting any of these experiments?
John Brenkus (2:09 PM)
Of course. The worst injury came when I sheered all of the skin off my arms after Vernon Davis dragged me on the turf.
Cheesehead Sports Nut (Chicago, IL)
I am becoming more and more a believer that chemistry can't really be quantified but is one of the biggest determining factors in whether teams are successful. Winning obviously leads to good chemistry but when you look at a team like the Celtics, clearly losing Perkins hurt not only in terms of their overall talent this year but also the psyche of the team right?
John Brenkus (2:10 PM)
The better question is how important is believing you're a champion? Team chemistry fosters positive thoughts. Super stars foster positive thoughts. There's no substitute for winning. For certain, there is no exact equation for how to win. There is not only one great answer, there are a bunch of really good ones.
Hey John, what scientific "fact" are you going to be testing next?
John Brenkus (2:11 PM)
Literally hundreds of experiments sitting the queue. Too many to list. Crossing every sport.
Is it harder to test dual-threat QBs or traditional dropback QBs?
John Brenkus (2:12 PM)
We devise tests that cover all aspects of being a QB. Reaction time, accuracy, throwing in the pocket, throwing on the run, being able to think while destracted. And we even tested the power of a QB's voice.
John Brenkus (2:13 PM)
We really wanted to figure out a way to test every type of QB and I think you'll like what we came up with.
I loved the episode with Freeney where you broke down the spin move. It's amazing how fast these guys really are. My question is, who was the QB he nailed? Because that guy deserves a raise.
John Brenkus (2:14 PM)
It was me! You're right, I deserve more money for taking one for the team like that!
What is your background in? Education and the like?
John Brenkus (2:16 PM)
I majored in Rhetoric Communication Studies (the theory of the argument) while at UVA. I love to argue and love even more proving my point of view with facts. Sport Science was a natural evolution of the type of TV program my business partner and I have been making. It taps into the skill sets we've developed over the last 20 years. I have a real passion for sports, science and making compelling arguments.
Adam R (Albany)
Mr. Brenkus, of all the times you've been a guinea pig of sorts, what experience was your favorite/memorable and least favorite/memorable?
John Brenkus (2:17 PM)
My favorite segment is always the last segment we've done. Nothing makes the air unless it blows me away.
Have you ever done a segment, not liked the results and tossed it?
John Brenkus (2:18 PM)
There have been times when we set out to do an experiment and we just didn't find anything interesting. That's what great about the show. If it makes the air, it has to meet our internal "wow factor."
Jon (Virginia Beach)
What do you think of events like the Badwater Ultramarathon? 135 mile running race in 130 degrees. Crazy or just an example of great conditioning and what you can do if you take care of body with hydration/nutrition?
John Brenkus (2:20 PM)
All endurance events, to me, represent what the human body is capable of, if you really put your mind to it. The biggest barrier you have to success (in every aspect of life) is thinking you can't do it. You'd be shocked what you can accomplish if you believe you can actually do it. The Iron Man or Badwater or any other extreme events in life is really all about believing you can take that next step.
John Brenkus (2:21 PM)
Stay tuned for more great Sport Science segments coming your way. Thanks for all your support!