A little bit of ego can be a very dangerous thing. As much as Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill would love to be the man who can say he beat the world’s fastest man, he’s walking – or sprinting – into a dangerous game.
You’ve had your fun talking about beating Usain Bolt, Tyreek. But let it go before he takes you up on the challenge.
Kansas City Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill might be the NFL’s fastest man
Saying that Hill is fast is even more obvious than saying water is wet. The man who uses @Cheetah as his Twitter handle has shown there isn’t a defensive back in football who can stay with him. That explains his 15.6 yards per catch and 41 receiving touchdowns over the past four seasons in an impressive display of sustained excellence.
Throw in the three first-team All-Pro honors, and that’s quite the track record. Speaking of track, Hill does possess the credentials of a legitimate sprinter. As an 18-year-old in 2012, Hill recorded a clocking of 20.14 seconds in the 200-meter dash. While not in Usain Bolt territory, that sort of speed would have earned Hill a lane in the finals of the recent U.S. Olympic trials.
Obviously, 200 meters is not a distance that interests NFL scouts. The measuring stick in football has long been the 40-yard dash, and Hill clocked :04.29 at his West Alabama pro day in 2016.
The football star and the track legend have been chirping at each other
Where were Hill and Bolt when we really needed them in the spring of 2020? With the country locked down by the pandemic and almost no live sports to watch, a match race between the football star and the Olympic great would have broken the tedium.
But it’s only been in the past two weeks that the chatter has been heating up, with the sprinter talking about a Hill vs. Bolt showdown during an appearance on the Pat MacAfee Show. There, Bolt downplayed the idea that Hill could outrun him.
“We were talking,” Bolt recalled. “He was like how he could take me, and he was talking, ‘Blah blah blah.’ But then I went to the combine one year, and if you go on the internet right now, I ran a :04.22 in my sweats and some shoes. I told Tyreek, ‘You got no chance!’”
That clocking actually came during the Super Bowl weekend in 2019.
Hill responded on Twitter by issuing a challenge in a 40-yard dash, then doubled down while meeting with reporters the next day. (See the tweet above.)
Tyreek Hill has a huge reason to reject the showdown with Usain Bolt
Dan Patrick re-energized the possible Hill vs. Bolt match race Thursday during an interview with the eight-time Olympic champion. Since Hill is an NFL speed demon at 40 yards and Bolt is a multi-time champion at 100 meters, Patrick proposed a 70-meter showdown.
“I’m good at 70 meters,” Bolt said of the compromise distance, conveniently forgetting to mention that he typically starts hitting full speed at around 30 meters and then powers straight through to the finish line.
And then he threw a shot Hill’s way: “I still don’t think he can take me 40 meters. Even if he gets there, it’s going to be really close.”
That sounds like a challenge fired at Hill, and the Chiefs receiver needs to resist taking the bait based on Patrick’s second suggestion. Instead of racing for money, he wants Hill to put up his Super Bowl ring against one of Bolt’s gold medals.
And therein lies the problem. Hill has one NFL championship ring. Between injuries and free agency, football can be a very fickle sport, so that could be the last Super Bowl ring Hill ever earns. Meanwhile, Bolt has more gold medals than most families have china settings. He can use them as coasters on his coffee table.
Bottom line: Hill has a lot more to lose than Bolt does.
All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference.