Could the NFL’s Chris Johnson make Usain Bolt look slow?

Chris Johnson of the Titans says he can beat Usain Bolt in the 40 yard dash. Let’s take a quick look at this claim

  • Usain Bolt ran the 100m in 9.58 seconds – a rate of 10.44 meters a second
  • Chris Johnson ran the 40 yard dash at 4.24 seconds – a rate of 8.63 meters a second

At those rates here’s how a 40 yard dash would shake out:

  • Bolt crosses the finish line at 3.51 seconds
  • Johnson crosses the finish line at 4.24 seconds

Or as Dave Berri aptly pointed out – Bolt would be almost 6 yards in front of Johnson when he was done.

Now, it’s possible that Johnson could train to beat Bolt. However, in a land where runners are fighting over hundredths of a second for the honor of being best in the world, is it likely that Johnson could shave almost a full second off his time? It’s possible. It’s also possible that to become a pro-athlete have big egos and like to talk smack. I’ll you decide which is more likely.

-DJ and Dre

UPDATE: Judging from the comments tonight, apparently Dre doesn’t know anything about analyzing sprinters (wait… is that my name on this post? :)

Here is something from CBSportline that was linked to in the comments that says the story is different if you just look at how Bolt and Johnson run 40 yards.  And this story says we should focus more on basketball.

Okay, here is something I do know (that I actually was hoping to write about when I suggested this post to Dre this afternoon).   And it is also about running at the Olympics.

Cameron Levins – of Southern Utah University — was the NCAA champion in 2011 in the 5,000 meter and 10,000 meter race.   He is also competing in both events for Canada at the Olympics.  In the 10,000 meter race he managed to finish in the lead group (although out of the medals).   He has already qualified for the 5,000 meter final on Saturday.  So although we obviously root for Team USA at the Olympics, on Saturday the SUU community will – for at least a few minutes – be rooting for Canada (or at least, Cam Levins).

– DJ


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