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From ESPN.com:This is what happens when you're Usain Bolt. You smash your own world record in the 100-meter dash -- impressing onlookers by not deploying parachute airbrakes -- and for an encore you pull off the same feat in the 200-meter race. Next, won't-be-fooled-again American sports commentators wring their hands over the very, very sad yet very, very real possibility that you may be ingesting performance-enhancing drugs, a possibility seldom suggested about fellow too-good-to-be-true athletic marvels Michael Phelps and Lance Armstrong. After that, said American sports commentators get to the subject that really interests them.Namely, would Usain Bolt be any good at catching footballs?Never mind our inexplicable national obsession with the soon-to-be-prime-time, multinight NFL draft. Never mind the Dallas Cowboys' new megabucks stadium, a stately pleasure dome tricked out with a measureless-to-man HD JumboTron. If you want a perfect indicator of just how ready America is for football -- how squirmingly desperate we are for the smallest hint of what Roger Goodell is pushing -- look no further than Bolt. Again and again, the question is posed: Sure, 9.58 and 19.19, very impressive, but can he run a go route? And again and again, the same answer spouts forth, clich├ęd and dull, generally from serious-sounding football men: Speed is different in pads, football is physical, safeties will clean his clock, the first time Bolt gets hit he'll run back to track ... In essence, America's athletic-industrial complex (A) normalizes Bolt's historic, moon shot-impressive accomplishment by putting it into a speculative football context, and (B) demeans Bolt by noting how much HARDER and TOUGHER football is, and how wussy sprinters don't want ANY PART of a MANLY MAN'S game.When sports fans and commentators in other nations watch Bolt put one foot in front of the other faster than any human being ever, do they immediately ask what sort of soccer player he would make, and then dismiss the idea? Or are we just that insecure?

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When sports fans and commentators in other nations watch Bolt put one foot in front of the other faster than any human being ever, do they immediately ask what sort of soccer player he would make, and then dismiss the idea? Or are we just that insecure?
It's probably quite natural to imagine someone who has his immense speed doing another sport. American Football is the most obvious one, because you have someone who runs really fast to catch the ball don't you? (I know absolutely nothing about American Football, as you might be able to tell)For us, it'd be rugby. It wouldn't be football (soccer), because while speed is important it really means nothing if you can't control a football. Actually, I think if he played rugby he would be pretty good... as long as he can catch a ball, put him out on the wing and watch him fly.Another reason Americans probably think of this kind of thing more, is that I only found out recently that Americans really don't give a shit about track and field unless one of their own is participating. Even then, I don't think it's that popular right? That probably explains why the money isn't that good actually... if America took more interest, they'd be more money involved, quite simply. So, much of America don't care for what he's done by winning 100m races faster than anyone, but they do appreciate his speed, so want to 'Americanize' him by associating him with one of your sports. That's my theory to that, anywho.
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It's probably quite natural to imagine someone who has his immense speed doing another sport. American Football is the most obvious one, because you have someone who runs really fast to catch the ball don't you? (I know absolutely nothing about American Football, as you might be able to tell)For us, it'd be rugby. It wouldn't be football (soccer), because while speed is important it really means nothing if you can't control a football. Actually, I think if he played rugby he would be pretty good... as long as he can catch a ball, put him out on the wing and watch him fly.Another reason Americans probably think of this kind of thing more, is that I only found out recently that Americans really don't give a shit about track and field unless one of their own is participating. Even then, I don't think it's that popular right? That probably explains why the money isn't that good actually... if America took more interest, they'd be more money involved, quite simply. So, much of America don't care for what he's done by winning 100m races faster than anyone, but they do appreciate his speed, so want to 'Americanize' him by associating him with one of your sports. That's my theory to that, anywho.
america cares about track during the olympics. pretty much no other time. which is def a bummer. also a lot of american sports commentators dont understand that a sport does not just have to be repeated physical contact over and over, as there is minimal appreciation for the pure speed of track, or the movement in soccer, or the skill in cricket. cuz if it ain't american, it can't be manly, since we invented both man and manliness.
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It's probably quite natural to imagine someone who has his immense speed doing another sport. American Football is the most obvious one, because you have someone who runs really fast to catch the ball don't you? (I know absolutely nothing about American Football, as you might be able to tell)For us, it'd be rugby. It wouldn't be football (soccer), because while speed is important it really means nothing if you can't control a football. Actually, I think if he played rugby he would be pretty good... as long as he can catch a ball, put him out on the wing and watch him fly.Another reason Americans probably think of this kind of thing more, is that I only found out recently that Americans really don't give a shit about track and field unless one of their own is participating. Even then, I don't think it's that popular right? That probably explains why the money isn't that good actually... if America took more interest, they'd be more money involved, quite simply. So, much of America don't care for what he's done by winning 100m races faster than anyone, but they do appreciate his speed, so want to 'Americanize' him by associating him with one of your sports. That's my theory to that, anywho.
For me I have always been amazed by track and field. the thing is as time has gone on it seems that so many of the big named stars test positive for something. I know you can say this has happened in baseball but I think the big difference for me personally is baseball has been my number one love from small kid time and I just love to watch it. I found it amazing when you said you really have no idea about american football cause I thought the exact same thing when you mentioned rugby. Amazing how something can be so big in another country and in your country be just a footnote.
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When sports fans and commentators in other nations watch Bolt put one foot in front of the other faster than any human being ever, do they immediately ask what sort of soccer player he would make, and then dismiss the idea? Or are we just that insecure?
People do the same thing with Lebron James (imagining him as a TE or WR) or with Shaq (DE/DL) in regard to imagining them on the football field. I think it's more our fascination with Football than anything.
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It's probably quite natural to imagine someone who has his immense speed doing another sport. American Football is the most obvious one, because you have someone who runs really fast to catch the ball don't you? (I know absolutely nothing about American Football, as you might be able to tell)For us, it'd be rugby. It wouldn't be football (soccer), because while speed is important it really means nothing if you can't control a football. Actually, I think if he played rugby he would be pretty good... as long as he can catch a ball, put him out on the wing and watch him fly.Another reason Americans probably think of this kind of thing more, is that I only found out recently that Americans really don't give a shit about track and field unless one of their own is participating. Even then, I don't think it's that popular right? That probably explains why the money isn't that good actually... if America took more interest, they'd be more money involved, quite simply. So, much of America don't care for what he's done by winning 100m races faster than anyone, but they do appreciate his speed, so want to 'Americanize' him by associating him with one of your sports. That's my theory to that, anywho.
Yea it would be rugby but to answer the question; I don't think any other commentators would do that.
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I think it's more our fascination with Football than anything.
This. At some point, the NFL became the undisputed king of sports in America. I think it is precisely because it is all ours (America's) and unlike baseball or basketball nobody else seems to care to play too. (NFL Europe was incredibly unpopular except in Germany.....Canada seems to like it well enough....I read somewhere that a Canadian university will actually be playing DII football this year....but that's about it.)And because football is awesome. The NFL is much more financially successful than the other major sports leagues and seems to be recession proof. As an added bonus, it is virtually impossible to have a competitive advantage purely due to monetary reasons (a huge knock on baseball and the Premier League). Buffalo, Pittsburgh and KC can compete just as well as New York, Chicago, DC, etc.There is tons of ancillary evidence too. Steroids in baseball, PEDs in track/cycling.....that is a huge story. Steroids in football? yawn. High profile stars keep going to jail? Interesting but it wont stop us from watching for one second. Whereas the NBA is still shaking off player behavior issues even though most of the NBA's stars recently are very very well behaved. The NFL is a goliath that shrugs off everything and makes money.So, to try and boost interest in track and field, American journalists are playing the could Usain Bolt be a WR game. This idea is not that new.....ever since the Cowboys turned Bob Hayes into a hall of famer people have been obsessed with turning sprinters into wide outs. Other coaches have brought up the idea of converting sumo wrestlers (with their combo of tremendous girth and surprising agility) into offensive lineman (which never happened because sumo wrestlers make huge money in Japan). This is pretty par for the course.....though it would be nice if we could just savor watching the fastest guy who ever lived.
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This. At some point, the NFL became the undisputed king of sports in America. I think it is precisely because it is all ours (America's) and unlike baseball or basketball nobody else seems to care to play too. (NFL Europe was incredibly unpopular except in Germany.....Canada seems to like it well enough....I read somewhere that a Canadian university will actually be playing DII football this year....but that's about it.)
Since Canadians have been playing football for as long or longer than Americans have the fact that Canadians like football shouldn't be surprising.
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In an effort to put his performance in the 100 in to a context that everyone can appreciate, ESPN's track and field guy said they performed some analysis that concluded if he were to run the 40 at the NFL combine he would finish in 3.8. I also read that there is somewhat of a consensus that it is plausible that he is clean because he has been totally dominant relative to his age group for years, as evidenced by the fact that he apparently began running the 200 under 20 consistently when he was 17. And also he might have a vast financial incentive to break world records as frequently as possible as opposed to really focusing on running the perfect race.
I read a quote from a Canadian track coach who saw Bolt when he was about 16 or 17 that Bolt was killing his age group but had horrible technique at that time so he knew that he would be a beast when his technique caught up to his natural skills.
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Total random fact.Last Friday night I ran into Ben Johnson who was sitting on a patio having dinner in downtown Toronto.

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I did not see this. I am aghast right now. I remember when 10 secs was an accomplishment, that was just over a decade ago..02 is a big difference at this length of race, .11 is almost not competitive.EDIT: JJJ I bet he gets faster in the 2nd part of the 100. Breaking 19 is possible for him. He is long and lanky, so he is not good out of the block. He probably hits his top speed around 60 meters which he could keep up for another 100-120 meters.
Not the case, no sprinter is moving faster over the last say quarter of the race the ones pulling away are just slowing down less.And when they compare splits for a 200 metre its deceiving because the 2nd 100m they are beginning at stride.
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  • 3 weeks later...
Not the case, no sprinter is moving faster over the last say quarter of the race the ones pulling away are just slowing down less.And when they compare splits for a 200 metre its deceiving because the 2nd 100m they are beginning at stride.
That was my whole point.
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It was a truly incredible performance. I wonder when they would start insinuating that he intakes the clear or something else undetectable.If I were him I'd be very wary of whatever I eat or drink, and have multiple people testing out my food and beverages.

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It was a truly incredible performance. I wonder when they would start insinuating that he intakes the clear or something else undetectable.If I were him I'd be very wary of whatever I eat or drink, and have multiple people testing out my food and beverages.
He is a freak of nature, so I don't think he'll get the drug accusations like some of the others have received. He is super young, and his tall lean physique makes him a very unique athlete. TBH, with all of the crap that track and field has received in the last 8 years, I bet they don't want to find anything nor will they be looking all that hard.
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