For years, football fans have marveled at the sheer speed of Titans running back Chris Johnson and Bears wide receiver Devin Hester. But how would they size up against the fastest animal to roam the land? It’s an interesting question, and National Geographic is willing to provide the stage.
This November, Johnson and Hester will compete against a cheetah as the opening act for Nat Geo Wild’s “Big Cat Week”, according to Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean. The unique competition will look to test the athletic skills of two of the fastest humans on Earth and pit them against some stiff competition. Johnson seems more than ready to get the challenge started.
“This is most incredible challenge I’ve ever faced,” Johnson told The Wrap, an entertainment web site. “I wanted to go up against the fastest in the world and test myself, and this was it!”
Hester echoed much of Johnson’s sentiment, as he is enticed by this unique opportunity.
“The whole idea of racing next to a cheetah for Nat Geo Wild was a very unusual proposition,” Hester said. “But it was something I was ready to take on to see if I could get an edge on.”
Casey Anderson, host of “America The Wild”, and wildlife biologist Luke Dollar will host the segment, dubbed “Man vs. Cheetah”. The representatives from Nat Geo Wild seem just as excited as the players to be a part of this spectacle.
“We loved the idea of a face-off like no other between supreme athletes and an alpha predator,” Geoff Daniels, executive vice president and general manager of Nat Geo Wild, said. “This isn’t sports, it’s amazing science. … And we are thrilled that Johnson and Hester — two record-setting NFL pros — are helping to kick off this unprecedented experiment during our network’s biggest week of the year.”
The cheetah’s maximum speed tops out at approximately 60 miles per hour. I’m going to take a blind guess and say that Johnson and Hester don’t have that kind of top speed. Still, it will certainly be a fantastic competition to watch.
Joe has been writing for the Sports-Kings since July 2012, covering football and hockey. You can follow him on Twitter @jpray_SK.