Bolt will not race NFL’s Johnson
Triple Olympic and world sprint champion Usain Bolt has said he had no intentions of playing professional football in the United States.
Bolt’s agent told Universal Sports that he also has no intention of testing his speed against NFL running back Chris Johnson, refuting an ESPN report.
By Joe Battaglia, Universal Sports | Posted: Jan 4, 1:35p ET | Updated: Jan 4, 1:35p ET
During the fall, triple Olympic and world sprint champion Usain Bolt said he had no intentions of playing professional football in the United States.
Apparently he has no intention of testing his speed against the NFL’s best either.
Bolt’s agent, Ricky Simms, says there is “no truth” to a report by ESPN football analyst Adam Schefter that the Jamaican sprint sensation is trying to set up a charity race against Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson to determine who is really the world’s fastest human.
“There is no truth to the story and I have contacted ESPN in an effort to get them to take the story down because we don’t want this to spread like wildfire,” Simms said in a phone interview with Universal Sports.
“Usain doesn’t follow the NFL too closely and is not really familiar with all of the players. He likes (international) football and cricket. But more importantly, he has a schedule and a coach to follow and there is no chance that we would set up this type of event.”
Bolt won three gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, setting world records in the 100m and 200m while also running the third leg of Jamaica’s world-record-setting 4x100m relay team. At the World Championships in August, Bolt shattered both of his sprinting record, covering the 100m in 9.58 seconds and the 200m in 19.19 seconds.
On Sunday, Johnson became the NFL’s sixth 2,000-yard rusher when he completed his season with 2,006, breaking Earl Campbell’s franchise record of 1,934. He also broke Marshall Faulk’s NFL single-season record with 2,254 total yards from scrimmage.
A second year pro out of East Carolina, Johnson turned heads at the NFL Combine in February of 2008 when he covered the 40-yard dash in 4.24 seconds, the fastest time ever run at the Combine.
Trying to determine how fast Bolt would run in a similar 40-yard setting by converting his world record 100m time is an inexact science, to say the least. First you need to break the race down into tenths (click here) and then grab a calculator.
During his 100m race in Berlin, Bolt ran the first 30 meters, or 32.8084 yards, in 3.78 seconds. He covered the distance between 30m and 40m in 0.86 seconds or .086 seconds per meter. That converts to 0.0786384 seconds per yard. If you multiply that figure by the 7.1916 yards - the distance between 30m and 40 yards - you get .565 seconds.
If you add that to his 30m time, it would bring the 40-yard time to 4.345 seconds. Once you subtract his 0.146 reaction time, a factor in the Fully Automatic Timing system used in track and field but not the NFL Combine, it would make Bolt’s estimated 40-yard dash time 4.19 seconds.
This does not take in to account the 0.9 meters per second tailwind Bolt enjoyed in Berlin on August 16, nor the fact that Bolt did not attain his top speed until later in the race - he actually covered the distance between 60m and 80m in 1.61 seconds.
It also does not consider the fact that the fastest 100 meters Bolt has ever run was actually the final half of his 200m race in Berlin, which he covered in 9.27 seconds. Factoring in the curve of the track and the running start make it an impossible comparison.
During a promotional visit to ESPN’s headquarters in Bristol, Conn. in September, Bolt was asked whether he would consider playing in the NFL and he indicated that he would not, in large part because his 6-foot-5 frame would preclude him from playing his favorite position - running back.
“I wouldn’t want to play in the NFL,” Bolt said on SportsCenter. “If I did, I’d want to play running back but they say I’m too tall. They would want me to play wide receiver. They get hit too much. I’m not in the mood to be hit that much.”