A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 26, 2014
Triangle Numbers (a player’s height, weight and speed)

Football scouts evaluate a prospect’s “triangle numbers”—his height, weight and speed. “Those are the so-called triangle numbers—height, weight, speed—that coaches value more than stats” was cited in print in 1981.

A prospect’s results on the 3-cone drill, short-shuttle and 40-time are sometimes called the “triangle numbers,” but originally and popularly the three “triangle” numbers are for height, weight and 40-time.


20 February 1981, The Oregonian (Portland, OR), “Anxiety grips grid recruiting” by Bart Wright, pg. D3, col. 1:
He stands 6-6, weighs 210 and runs the 40 in a reported 4.7 seconds. Those are the so-called triangle numbers—height, weight, speed—that coaches value more than stats.

28 April 1985, The Times-Picayune (New Orleans, LA), “A look at the top players eligible for the NFL draft,” pg. E-12, col. 2:
Frank Reich, Maryland, 6-3, 210, 4.8—Has the triangle numbers (height, weight and speed) you look for, but the plus that puts him ahead of the other QBs is that he did well in a big-time program ...

Google Groups: rec.sport.football.pro
Who is this Mel Kiper?
Dave Jorgan
4/19/93
(...)
From Joel Buschbaum (derived from Pro Football Weekly, since I don’t have all those back issues of his publication to refer to with me.)

1982: 
(...)
Andre Tippett - “Excellent athlete. Has the triangle numbers you look for. Quick and agile. Tremndous pass rusher. Makes plays sideline to sideline.”
(2nd round, Patriots)

Google Groups: alt.sports.football.pro.atl-falcons
Nathan Davis
John O’
4/19/97
(...)
Negatives: Underachiever who very rarely plays as well as scouts feel he should.  Hot-and-cold player who is more cold than hot and does not show up at times. Plays too upright and lets opponents neutralize his strength and power. May not be quite as athletic as his triangle numbers indicate.

Google Books
The Truth about Chronic Pain:
Patients and Professionals Speak Out about Our Most Misunderstood Health Problems

By Arthur Rosenfeld
New York, NY: Basic Books
2003
Pg. 29:
I was 6 feet 4 inches, 225 pounds, and I had the triangle numbers—height, weight and speed.

Denver (CO) Post
NFL draft history lesson: Please be wary of workout wonders
By Jeff Legwold
POSTED:  04/18/2012 01:00:00 AM
(...)
To NFL scouts, the foundation is known as the “triangle numbers” — each prospect’s height, weight and speed. That’s the starting point of evaluation, not the finish line.

Twitter
Tyler Honeywood
‏@T_Honeywood
You won’t find many college football players with better triangle numbers than #nd sophomore Stephon Tuitt. #future1strounder
7:00 PM - 14 Sep 2012

Twitter
College2Pro.com
‏@BoMarchionte
Can go sideline2sideline & triangle numbers height, weight, speed check out @GoDaSUAthletics LB @E_Liles http://college2pro.com/showPlayer.php?id=76 … @foothillsfast
11:27 AM - 18 Dec 2012

Twitter
Shawn Zobel
‏@ShawnZobel
If I told you that Ka’Deem Carey’s measurables and triangle numbers closely resemble Mike Hart out of Michigan what would you say?
1:01 PM - 22 Mar 2014

Bleacher Report
2014 NFL Draft: Matt Miller’s Latest Scouting Notebook
By Matt Miller , NFL Draft Lead Writer Apr 4, 2014
(...)
Scouting Dictionary
“Triangle Numbers”

Talk to enough NFL scouts and you’ll hear them reference a player’s “triangle numbers.” What the heck does that mean?

This refers to a player’s height, weight and 40-yard-dash time. Often you’ll see people confuse this and reference 3-cone drill, short-shuttle and 40-time, but the “triangle” is as simple as height, weight and speed. 

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CitySports/Games • Saturday, April 26, 2014 • Permalink