American football isn’t likely to become an Olympic event anytime soon, but the WSJ wondered what would NFL players excel in if they did participate in the Olympics. Meet Tim Tebow in judo and Michael Vick in javelin throw:
Javelin: Michael Vick, QB, Philadelphia Eagles.Vick’s combination of linear speed and arm strength makes him one of the NFL athletes that track and field coaches dream about. “We would always wonder how far Michael Vick would throw the Javelin if he were a track athlete,” said Rob Lasorsa of the National Throws Coaches Association. The real question is how much farther the Philadelphia quarterback could throw than NFL Hall-of-Famer Terry Bradshaw, a former high school javelin record holder.
Springboard Diving: Ray Rice, RB, Baltimore Ravens. Good divers are usually somewhere between 5-foot-5 and 5-foot-10 so Rice, a 5-foot-8 running back, fits the bill. He also makes adjustments at the line of scrimmage better than almost any other NFL running back. He excels in a role that requires explosiveness and extreme body control—all executed within the space of less than two seconds, said USA Diving’s Steve Foley.
Judo: Tim Tebow, QB, New York Jets. The most logical place one might see backup quarterback Tim Tebow strike his now-famous “Tebowing” pose is the middle of a Judo mat. Jiu Jitsu is the predecessor of Judo. This off-season, Tebow practiced a version of the sport with the famous Gracie Family, the founders of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. While Jiu Jitsu relies more on upright grappling and maneuvers than Judo, Tebow does seem to have one thing down: the mental side. “First you need to be a fighter in your mind,” said former French national judo competitor Sauveur Soriano, “and you need to be able to control yourself.”