NFL Stars to Race Cheetah

by
posted on July 25, 2013
wilder_ah2015_fs.jpg (24)

undefinedIt's no secret that professional athletes (well, most of them, anyway) are pretty darn fast. Faster than this blogger, for certain. But humans, no matter how fit, have long paled in comparison to the speedsters of the animal kingdom—notably the cheetah, which we're all taught, nearly from birth, is the living embodiment of land speed.

But, being humans, we 're stubborn. And we love challenges. Oh, and some good clean fun and commercial exposure. Which is presumably why we'll soon be seeing two of the NFL's fastest players try to beat a cheetah at its own game.

According to a report from TheWrap.com, Titans running back Chris Johnson and Bears wide receiver and special teams ace Devin Hester will open Nat Geo Wild's "Big Cat Week" by racing a cheetah. Details are still sparse, but the special will be aptly titled "Man vs. Cheetah," and will pit both Johnson and Hester against the fleet-footed big cat for all the world to see.

According to the report, the special will dedicate itself to exploring the cheetah species and all of its strengths and weaknesses, before closing with the titular prizefight. No details have been revealed as to how the race is going to be handled—so we're left to speculate on things like the distance and playing field of the race (not to mention how we're keeping the big cat away from its fellow racers).

As representatives for all of mankind, Johnson and Hester are fairly respectable choices. Johnson hasn't fared well coming out of the backfield the last few years in Tennessee, but he's well known as the man that produced a mark of 4.24 in the 40-yard dash. Hester, known largely for his elusiveness during punt and kick returns, isn't quite the blazer that Johnson is, but isn't a slowpoke, either. He's arguably more elusive and agile than Johnson (much like the cheetah), but that won't help him beat it in a straight race.

On paper, the big cat is a runaway winner—there won't be any Vegas lines on this one. Cheetahs have been clocked at speeds up to (and, allegedly, over) 58 miles per hour in the field. The fastest human beings, meanwhile, are believed to top out somewhere in the mid-20s, with only the fastest among us nearing 30 mph.

Usain Bolt, he of the many Gold Medals, has been clocked in the upper 20s before. A FOX affiliate in Phoenix recently reported that Arizona Cardinals rookie Robert Gill hit 25 miles per hour—on the treadmill. That's just a wee bit short of 58.

The only thing that I could see being a problem for Team Cheetah is outright motivation. What's going to prompt the cat to give its all? I don't think telling it "You're on TV," or "You're racing Chris Johnson!" is going to do much for it. A cheetah may be willing to exert the effort it takes to reach 60 miles per hour when it's chasing dinner, but I'm not sure it's going to do the same in a controlled environment. Sure, a greyhound can be convinced to reach its top speed with little more than some fake bait—but they're trained to run around the track. We'll have to trust that Nat Geo's experts have a reliable motivating force in mind.

That all said, it should still make for some pretty entertaining television. Trust that I'll check back in on this one after the race has been run.

Latest

Mountain Lion Lede
Mountain Lion Lede

First Case of Staggering Disease Observed in Colorado Mountain Lion

A brand new study out this week in the Emerging Infectious Diseases journal has unveiled that the rustrela virus—most commonly known for the "staggering disease" it causes—has been found for the first time in a North American mountain lion.

New for 2024: Kent Cartridge Fasteel+ Bayou Blend

Kent Cartridge has announced the launch of Fasteel+ Bayou Blend. This new shotshell is specifically designed for duck hunters as a "Do-It-All Duck Load," combining high-velocity, precision-plated steel shot with advanced corrosion-resistant materials, for lethal patterns and unmatched reliability no matter the conditions.

Third Circuit Affirms Denial of Preliminary Injunction in Challenge to Delaware’s "Assault Weapons" Ban

On July 15, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of a preliminary injunction in Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association v. Delaware Department of Safety & Homeland Security, NRA-ILA’s lawsuit challenging Delaware’s ban on “assault weapons” and magazines that hold more than 17 rounds.

Review: Ruger American Generation II Bolt-Action Rifle

B. Gil Horman takes the Ruger American Gen. II rifle to the range, putting this affordable yet accurate rifle through its paces.

New Hampshire Signs Pro-Gun Privacy Bill Into Law

On Friday July 12th, Governor Chris Sununu (R-N.H.) signed HB 1186, "an act relative to firearm purchaser's privacy," into law.

Review: CZ 600 American

An American-style bolt gun from CZ, this walnut-stocked beauty is sure to appeal to the gamut of hunters on this side of the pond.

Interests



Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.