The Cincinnati Bengals snagged receiver John Ross in the first round in large part because of speed; Ross set a combine record by ripping through the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds. Flush with the glory of his new job, Ross declared he could beat Olympic champion Usain Bolt in the 40-yard dash, and even challenged him to a race.
We haven’t yet heard from Bolt, but another Olympian, Christian Coleman of the United States, decided to take up Ross on his challenge. Coleman, a sprinter for the University of Tennessee who was part of the United States’ 4×100 relay team in Rio, lined up on the field at UT’s indoor practice facility and, well:
— UT Track & Field/XC (@Vol_Track) May 1, 2017
That would be a 4.12 time that Coleman posted, one-tenth of a second faster than Ross. That equates to roughly a yard of distance between them. There isn’t a 40-yard competition in the NCAA, but there is a 60-yard sprint, and Coleman recently won gold in that event at the 2017 Indoor National Track & Field Championships.
Granted, speed is only one component of a football game; it’s pretty much a certainty that Ross has better hands than either Coleman or Bolt. Still, this was useful for a bit of perspective. The fastest guy in the NFL isn’t anywhere close to Olympic level.
Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.