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Mediocre NFL Players To Race Cheetah

Wow...this is going to be a HUGE waste of time.

Wow…this is going to be a HUGE waste of time.

Chicago Bears wide receiver/punt returner Devin Hester and Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson are both relatively unimpressive complete players in the NFL. That’s not to say that either of them are bad players, it’s just that one of them is a special teams player and the other peaked in 2009.

Sure, Hester has made quite a living returning punts—he may be the greatest punt returner of all time—but he’s a terrible wide receiver. And Johnson may have set the record in the 40-yard-dash at the Combine in 2008, but he hasn’t even gotten close to the success that earned him a rich new contract after his sophomore season.

Which is likely why they were pegged by Nat Geo Wild to race a cheetah. The special is set to air in November during their fourth annual Cat Week—their highest-rated week of the year. Lesser names wouldn’t attract much attention, bigger names would never agree to participate in such a ridiculous stunt.

That’s no knock on ridiculous ratings stunts either—some of them are awesome. It’s just that this one has already been done…by the same network…with a faster athlete…that lost to the cheetah.

In August 2012 National Geographic magazine published the world record time for the standing 100-meter dash, which was 5.95 seconds, and it was set by an 11-year-old cheetah named Sarah at the Cincinnati Zoo. By contrast, the human record set by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt—the fastest man in the world—was nearly double that at 9.58 seconds.

If this guy lost, how do you think Hester and Johnson are going to fair?

If this guy lost, how do you think Hester and Johnson are going to fare?

Cheetah’s are by far the fastest land animals on the planet, with acceleration that NatGeo reports rivals that of a Lamborghini. Not only are they faster than Bolt (not to mention the rest of mankind), they have 4x the “kick power” of him as well. Their rapid acceleration allows them to turn on a dime while pursuing prey, without sacrificing speed.

So what, exactly, is the point of the Man vs. Cheetah special? Well, apparently the show is going to “reveal the advantages and vulnerabilities of the contestants.” They claim the overall differences in physical ability between humans and cheetahs is “razor-thin,” with certain human strengths like agility and the ability to adapt leveling the playing field.

Uh…or they are just trying to justify having a couple of dudes race a cheetah to boost ratings. Call me a pessimist, but this all sounds like a big bunch of hooey. Call me when you have Tito Ortiz and Kimbo Slice wrestling sharks during Shark Week.

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