Every NFL type seemed to know Offerdahl, but the only people he recognized were the Cowboys' Tom Landry and the Lions' Darryl Rogers.
"I was introduced to Paul Brown [the legendary Cincinnati owner] on the elevator," Offerdahl says. "I was talking to him. When he got off, I said, 'Bye, Paul.' An agent who had been riding on the elevator said, 'Do you know who that was?' And I said, 'Yeah. Paul Brown.' He said, 'The Paul Brown. He practically invented football.' From now on, I'll call him Mr. Brown."
From February until mid-April, Offerdahl's life in Kalamazoo was unpredictable. "I'd go by the field house every day at 12:45 to see who wanted to test me," he says. "I could never make plans with my friends. I knew I'd only leave them waiting."
Most NFL teams visited twice. Dallas made four trips. "The Cowboys were out of control," Offerdahl says. "One time, their scout pulled out a torque box to test my hip strength. Well, he couldn't get it to work. So he came all the way back to Kalamazoo two days later. Then the test only took two minutes."
During one two-week span, Offerdahl was examined by two teams each day. The question most often asked: "How committed are you to medical school?" The strangest question: A Washington Redskins scout asked Offerdahl if he liked girls.
And when the teams weren't around, they made sure the NFL was on his mind. " Dallas sent me so much junk—all with form letters," he says. "I only kept the pen, because it worked. Why do teams send that stuff? It's not like they're recruiting us. We have no choice of teams."
The scouts pestered Offerdahl about his 40-yard-dash time. His agent called the NFL office in New York, asking that the teams be informed that John would rerun 40s on two days in early April. Then Offerdahl took aerobics classes and sprinted on a track. Ten teams showed up, and he ran a very commendable 4.7, making him even more attractive to the scouts.
Meanwhile, the questions about medical school persisted. "They [scouts] were concerned that if things got tough in football, I'd bail out and go to school," he says. "They didn't want me to have high aspirations for anything except football."
In a way, the pre-draft stress wasn't much different from football life during the season.
"A lot of the fun things I did in college I did to keep sane," Offerdahl says. "There was a time [last fall] when I went into the film room at the stadium, took my helmet off and cried. I took a shower and left. The pressure of football and school was too much. Winning and losing isn't the important thing. Doing well and having fun is."