Remember the Olympics? Yeah, the Olympics…the collection of athletic contests that ended Sunday. Remember Usain Bolt, that fast guy? Mike Freeman thinks it’s the biggest joke in sports that he’s not in talks with an NFL team as of Wednesday. 3 days after the Olympics ended. Biggest joke in sports. By the way, I'm going to be lazy and assume that Bolt has not played much football. If that's wrong, well Freeman should have brought it up.
Yeah, so there’s a lot of hyperbole on the way.
Why is NFL so slow to go after lightning-fast Bolt?
I know right, it’s been 3 fucking days! Why isn’t Bolt lining up in practice right NOW! Also, matching lightning with “Bolt”? Friggin’ brilliant.
The National Football League is run by smart and hyper-successful people. Well, except for the Cincinnati Bengals. Other than the team that re-signs misdemeanor generator Chris Henry, the league is brilliantly engineered -- which is why it's so puzzling no team has made a strong play for Olympic speed demon Usain Bolt.
Has he ever played a down of organized football? Has he ever run in pads? Has he ever been tackled? Do Sprinters automatically have great hands? Do Sprinters have to memorize inch-thick playbooks? Could he be great? Sure. Is he such a sure thing that NFL teams should have made a move 3 days after the Olympics ended?
Bolt would instantly be the fastest person in the sport, yet teams are signing retread jerks at wide receiver like Henry, whose buffoonery has embarrassed an entire city.
I’m dizzy trying to connect these dots. I bet Mike Freeman every penny I have that Chris Henry is a more valuable wide receiver than Usain Bolt right now. Also, I suspect that Cincinattionians or whatever are not personally embarrassed by Chris Henry.
Maybe Bolt will say he's not interested. Well, make him interested. Make him an offer he can't refuse. Throw millions of dollars and some Black Uhuru CDs at him.
Yeah! Fuck the salary cap! Give millions of dollars to a guy who we don’t know has ever actually caught a football! This is smart business.
At the very least try to get him into the NFL. That's my problem; I've spoke to NFL team officials over the past few days and there is no indication a team is even trying to convince Bolt to play football.
I know right, and the Olympics have been over for days! Don’t these teams want to win?
The fact no one has attempted is one of the biggest jokes in all of sports.
Can I nominate this for Hyperbole of the Year?
When Bolt runs, time moves backward. His 40-yard dash time is in milliseconds. Bolt is the only thing in the known universe that can escape the gravitational pull of a black hole.
"I'm not so sure I can beat him," says a speeding bullet.
He’s fast, we get it. This is intentional hyperbole, so this doesn’t count.
If someone could teach Bolt to catch the football and absorb punishment, he would instantly become one of the top three most dangerous weapons in the NFL. Put him with the right quarterback and he'd possibly be the most lethal.
Instantly top 3? Am I the only one who thinks this is nuts?
A guy who is 22 years old, 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds, and might run a sub-4.2 40-yard dash? You tell me what his potential would be.
This “guy”, he’s never played organized football right?
Please read carefully. This isn't to say Bolt is guaranteed NFL success. But why aren't some of the wealthier owners known to take chances, like Jerry Jones, throwing cash at this guy?
Salary caps? They are busy paying attention to guys who actually play football, perhaps?
History might indeed be against Bolt succeeding on the NFL level. Track stars don't have a long NFL pedigree. So what? That doesn't mean Bolt can't do it.
Yeah – so what? Throw millions at him! That’ll fix that little bit of history!
It might not work.
Then why is the non-pursuit “the biggest joke in all of sports”??????????
But these five reasons explain why and how it could:
1. Bob Hayes. Bolt and Hayes have almost identical backgrounds. Hayes set world records at the 1964 Olympics and then was signed by the Cowboys with limited football experience. (Hayes should be in the Hall of Fame, but anti-Cowboys sentiment among voters has kept him out.)
Good point. Plus, professional football has hardly changed since the 1960’s!
Actually, wait, there’s another small difference….Bob Hayes played college football. Relevant, right? Also, there’s been a bunch of sprinters who failed.
This is from the SI Vault:
Hayes differed from the sprinters who would follow him into and out of the NFL, because he was not merely a sprinter who happened to play football. He was, as he liked to put it, "a football player first, then a runner." There were lots of fast guys on Jake Gaither's Florida A&M squad, and he'd shuffle them in and out, align them in different formations. Hayes was listed as a halfback, but he'd line up all over the place—on the wing, in the slot, wherever he was needed.
People have said that his college career was only so-so, but he was a starter at wide receiver in the 1965 College All-Star Game, and the quarterback who started that game for his team, Roger Staubach, would, in the years that followed, go on to launch many deep strikes to Hayesfor the Cowboys.
So that’s a pretty shitty example.
2. The biggest reason why Bolt wouldn't work is the NFL might not be able to afford him. Bolt will make a ridiculous amount of endorsement money in the coming months. (Bolt endorses Porsche, Bolt endorses Nike, Bolt makes a commercial for a speedy pregnancy test.)
Yeah, because track stars make way more than NFL players.
No, really….here’s SI’s “Fortunate 50” – please count the track stars and football players. Something tells me they could make that the “fortunate 500” before we see a track star on there. Admittedly, it's just US athletes, and maybe track stars make a ton of money overseas. But still, I would bet that the NFL brings more riches.
What a team says to Bolt is this: How much more money do you think you'd make if you were a two-sport star?
But what they should say first is….. "have you ever caught a football?”
Then they'd educate Bolt about Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson. Sanders played a nine-year, part-time MLB career while playing football. Why can't Bolt do something similar?
Ahhh Deion and Bo…..these are two athletes who were freakishly fast, but also had the athletic ability to hit a 95 MPH baseball and agility to maneuver through huge, fast athletes, in full pads, with ease.
So far we know that Bolt can run straight, on a track. Do you think it’s safe to assume Bolt has the variety of athletic skills that Deion Sanders and Bo Jackson had? I’d say not.
Play to his ego -- and if you don't think he has a fat ego, rewind the end of that gold medal race when he taunted fellow runners after activating the second stage of his Saturn V rocket boosters.
Bolt could race around the world, make his money, and then play in NFL games. They have these things called airplanes. Some have props, some have jets. He can hop on one.
That’s true, since the NFL is soooo easy. Plus he wouldn't be at all tired from sprinting against world class athletes. He wouldn’t need to practice or anything. Those off-season workouts that Jerry Rice put himself through? Waste of time.
3. His size. Remember, Bolt is a sturdy 6-5 and 190 pounds. This doesn't mean he's ready to take a hit from Bob Sanders (who the hell is?) but a team can slowly get Bolt accustomed to physical contact the way Dallas did with Hayes.
Also, the way Hayes got accustomed to physical contact when he was playing football in college.
4. Jerry Rice. Hire Rice as a consultant to work with Bolt. Or Michael Irvin or even Deion Sanders to teach him about the chess game defensive backs play with wideouts. Just make sure Rice doesn't teach Bolt how to dance or Irvin doesn't teach him about drug paraphernalia.
Ahar har har.
So after you dump millions and millions of dollars on Bolt, go hire some high price consultants so that he can learn a playbook.
WHY HASN’T THIS HAPPENED YET? IT’S BEEN 3 DAYS….THIS IS THE BIGGEST JOKE EVER!
5. This quote from Scouts Inc.'s Jeremy Green to ESPN says it all: "We all go to the combine every year to look at receivers who are 5-11 and run a 4.7 40. Why not this kid? I could see it."
It's definitely a long shot and tough sell to Bolt and it's likely Bolt might state he's not interested. He grew up in Jamaica and might care less about professional football.
He might be more focused on, I don’t know…sprinting?
You won't know until you give it a chance. If he says no way, ask again. If he says no after that, ask once more. Do what it takes to get him on a football field.
Okay, fine….you want to see Bolt play football. Me too….sort of. By why all the hyperbole? Why should anyone take Mike Freeman seriously when he writes garbage like this?