Cincinnati Bengals rookie wide receiver John Ross thinks he can beat Usain Bolt in a 40-yard dash, but the eight-time Olympic gold medalist brushed off the claim.
Ross based his belief off an episode of ESPN’s Sport Science in April that broke down the record-breaking speed of the former Washington wide receiver that led to a 4.22 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.
"[Sport Science] said I have faster foot contact than him; he has longer strides," Ross said, via NFL.com. "I think it would definitely be a good race. In the 40-yard dash, I think I would get Usain Bolt. Usain Bolt, I know I can get you in the 40. Whenever you want to meet me up, we can do it."
Bolt, 30, isn’t buying it.
In an interview with ESPN’s Jesse Washington, the Jamaican sprinter dismissed the challenge with a laugh:
"Zero. Absolutely none," Bolt says in the video of the Bengals receiver’s chances. "I think over the years, people always aim to the top. I've learned something through the ranks, that there is a ladder, but nobody wants to climb the ladder. They just want to get to the top of the ladder. They always want to beat me, but no. No chance."
As American Olympian Christian Coleman showed, Bolt is probably right. While Coleman’s record in the 100-meter dash is 9.95 seconds — well behind Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds — Coleman still blew away Ross with a 4.12 40-yard dash.
Bolt isn’t known for bursting out to top speed in a hurry, but it still doesn’t look like much of a race.
A more competitive duel may be between Ross and Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton, who wants to race the new Bengals receiver for charity.
“I think we could do 40 (yards) and I think it'd be a good race for the city and for me and him to get our names out there,” Hamilton told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “It's something we could look forward to looking into; our agents (could talk) and see how it goes.”
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis shut down the idea of that race, though:
Marvin Lewis on the Billy Hamilton vs. John Ross race: "John is not a circus act."— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) May 5, 2017
It doesn’t look like we’ll be seeing Ross racing any other speedsters anytime soon, although Bolt didn’t look too entertained by the idea, anyway.