Usain Bolt runs a 4.22-second 40 at NFL Experience

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Every once in a while, a football player muses that he can beat Usain Bolt in a footrace. On Saturday, Bolt provided a clear answer to anyone who would be tempted to poke the fastest bear on the planet.

In far less than ideal and pristine track conditions, Bolt blazed the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds on Saturday at the NFL Experience in Atlanta.

It’s an unofficial number, and there’s no way of knowing whether the measured time (which didn’t look as fast as the number indicates) is accurate. The fact that the run was part of a promotional event for Gatorade invites skepticism as to whether the “start” and “stop” buttons were pressed precisely when the run started and stopped.

If the measurement is accurate, it matches Bengals receiver John Ross, who two years ago produced the fastest 40 in the history of the Scouting Combine.

Bolt’s name came up earlier this week, during a visit by Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson to PFT Live. Answering a fishbowl question regarding the Olympic event in which he’d like to excel, Wilson said he’d aim for Bolt.

Early in his stellar track career, some wondered aloud whether Bolt should switch to football. But he’s undoubtedly made much more money — and remained far healthier — by sticking with the concept of running in a straight line, with no one ever lunging for his head, neck, chest, stomach, hips, knees, or ankles.