FanDuel - WFBC

November 29, 2006

Texans take a look at Gatlin: The Houston Texans had an interesting guest in camp on Tuesday -- disgraced sprinter Justin Gatlin. The man who won the gold medal at the 2004 Olympics and owns the record in the 100 metres could sign a contract late next month despite not having played football since 10th grade.

posted by wfrazerjr to football at 05:17 PM - 20 comments

The Dallas Cowboys tried the "Worlds Fastest Man" route very sucessfully in 1966 when they signed "Bullet" Bob Hayes. The Cowboys also drafted Carl Lewis in 1984 but Lewis never became a Cowboy. At the wide reciever posistion - Speed does Kill!

posted by Termite at 06:06 PM on November 29

And then you have Renaldo Nehemiah. Sometimes speed is just speed.

posted by justgary at 06:10 PM on November 29

"'It was positive,' Kubiak said of the workout" Was he talking about the workout or his testosterone test? As a cyclist, who has seen our sport marred my drug test positives and allegations the past several years, I am in support of banning athletes from competition in any sport once they've tested positive. I am sure the NFL doesn't really scoff at that blemish on his record because of his speed. He was probably seeking a place where he could continue to use steroids without scrutiny.

posted by Jimbloomberg at 06:25 PM on November 29

Well, he has plenty of spare time on his hands now. I take it the NFL is not signed up to the WADA anti-doping code? I wonder what Dick Pound has to say about it.

posted by afx237vi at 07:23 AM on November 30

In 1984 Nehemiah had 18 catches for 357 yards 19.8 avg and 2tds. Granted that's not good but was that in mop up duty for Super Bowl team. I'm not sticking up for him but he gave it a shot he heard the footsteps and never became a good reciever. Speed is speed Willie Gault did it of course he played at Tennessee they at least should take a look at him. If not some other team might be stupid enough or smart enough to sign him of course he has to get off the steroids or whatever he tested positive for. I wish him good luck in his endeavors.

posted by luther70 at 07:59 AM on November 30

I stand corrected about the doping or steroids I thought the NFL was more strict!

posted by luther70 at 08:03 AM on November 30

I could've sworn Gatlin was also a KR for the Volunteers for one year.

posted by p&g at 08:15 AM on November 30

My favorite line from the 1991 classic Necessary Roughness, "Don't throw it to stone hands!" Or how about Orlando Jones' character from The Replacements with all that speed but couldn't catch the Twinkie...yeah, I see this going that well.

posted by timdawg at 09:03 AM on November 30

I wonder what Dick Pound has to say about it I know. He would've said, "WTF is up with my name dammit!!"

posted by BornIcon at 09:07 AM on November 30

well one thing I learned in college is "an athlete is an athlete", and that usually transcends other sports. The guys I played football with would go play a pickup game against our college basketball team and compete even though they hadn't picked up a basketball in years. Several were also on the track team and would win meets even though they didn't focus on it 24/7 like the other track guys. A few also played baseball. We'd go out on Sunday's and goof around with the girls volleyball team on the court and guys would be setting/spiking like they had been doing it all their lives. What I'm getting at is that a major track star is bound to be "athletic". That *usually* means more than he can just run in one direction real fast. He most likely can jump high, dart around quick, and yes even have excellent hand/eye coordination needed to catch a ball. Those are just attributes in-born to those highly-athletic guys. So to rule the guy out, just because he's focused on one sport isn't exactly wise.

posted by bdaddy at 09:14 AM on November 30

I take it the NFL is not signed up to the WADA anti-doping code? I wonder what Dick Pound has to say about it. I'm sure he's got plenty to say; he's not known for being reticent and can speak just fine around that foot that's perpetually in his mouth. Nobody cares, though. WADA isn't the boss of the NFL unless and until the NFL lies down and says, "You're my daddy," and they're morons if they do that, given how WADA has fucked up in the past. Furthermore, for the most part, WADA is used to a dynamic where athletes are not employees. Employees, including NFL players, have various legal protections, and some are represented by unions in collective bargaining. Dick Pound much prefers a situation where the athlete's only right is the right to quit the sport altogether. He's an unstoppable force, but then, so was the Titanic.

posted by lil_brown_bat at 09:23 AM on November 30

If Nehemiah is the example of a failure of a track athlete to make it in the NFL, well, that's not much of a failure. He may not have translated into a pro bowl wideout, but with Dwight Clark, Freddie Solomon and Roger Craig as the other options, he didn't have to be.

posted by chicobangs at 10:48 AM on November 30

Holy shit! Luther70 was using punctuation (well, sometimes). We knew you could do it! It's a fine day in SpoFi land. (just messin' with you luther70!;)

posted by Desert Dog at 11:31 AM on November 30

He was probably seeking a place where he could continue to use steroids without scrutiny. You don't call a 4 game supsension scrutiny? (sarcasm) Anybody can catch a football. The hard part is catching it while knowing in the back of your mind that your about to get creamed by a 250+ lb steriod charged linebacker. If he can take a hit, he will be an asset to some team. If he runs a fly route you have to commit a safety to help, which leave the slant or box route open in the middle of the field. Or it leaves a linebacker on a WR. Either way, advantage offense. He would probably be best served on a team that has a QB with a strong arm.

posted by yay-yo at 11:59 AM on November 30

If Nehemiah is the example of a failure of a track athlete to make it in the NFL, well, that's not much of a failure. Three years, 43 passes, 754 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Sure, they had a lot of talent, but in no way is that a successful line. If it was only not getting a chance, other teams would have been after him. He just wasn't a good football player. Gatlin may be better, but he could be completely mediocre like Nehemiah. Speed doesn't promise anything.

posted by justgary at 02:29 PM on November 30

From the article -- 2006: Runs 9.76-second 100 meters in Doha, Qatar, to shave 0.01 off Jamaican Asafa Powell's world record, but later has to share record because of timing error. Gatlin is (for the moment) the co-world record holder at 9.77 seconds. There was no "timing error." He never ran 9.76 seconds. We discussed this before. That time should be erased, anyway, because he ran it in May -- after his positive test. I suspect that he will cease to be co-world record holder once his appeals have been exhausted.

posted by Amateur at 02:44 PM on November 30

Three years, 43 passes, 754 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Compare this: Three years, 36 receptions, 440 yards, and 4 touchdowns. Charles Rogers, college All-American, second pick in the NFL draft. While track success might not translate to football success, sometimes prior football success does not translate to football success either.

posted by graymatters at 03:27 PM on November 30

good point graymatters. And to disagree with justgary "He just wasn't a good football player" There are thousands of "good" football players that have never played a down in the NFL, so for him to have 43 catches and 4TDs in the best league in the world indicate he was a pretty good football player (maybe not AS good as some of the other guys playing at the time)

posted by bdaddy at 04:59 PM on November 30

While track success might not translate to football success, sometimes prior football success does not translate to football success either. Well, sure. I'm not sure what you're point is though. What statement are you disagreeing with? If you mean everyone is a risk, sure. But I was responding to a comment that speed kills. If I had a choice between a guy who was amazingly fast and a guy with a proven track record, I'd put my money on the second. And to disagree with justgary "He just wasn't a good football player" There are thousands of "good" football players that have never played a down in the NFL, so for him to have 43 catches and 4TDs in the best league in the world indicate he was a pretty good football player (maybe not AS good as some of the other guys playing at the time) Apples and oranges (and a nonsensical argument, but since you brought it up). You compare the player to the other's at his level. By your definition every player in the NFL is a good player, which, while true, is meaningless to a discussion about NFL players. Ryan Leaf was a good football player. He actually played quarterback in the NFL, something 99.999 percent of the public could never do. But he was a sorry NFL quarter back. Measured next to his peers, he was far below average. If I say Leaf was a bust, that's in comparison to other NFL quarterbacks. That should be obvious. Compared to his peers Nehemiah was a below average player with an unimpressive career.

posted by justgary at 05:09 PM on November 30

I can only see him returning kicks. He probaby has average hands, but how much does he know about playing wr? and can he take a hit?

posted by Clevelander32 at 06:39 PM on December 01

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