Shutdown Corner - NFL

The NFL is in a bit of a dead period right now, as the NFL draft isn't for a while yet and free agency is still a couple of weeks away. Other sports, many of them Olympic in nature, take the spotlight for a bit. What better way to bridge the gap than to combine the NFL with the Olympics by suggesting various Winter Olympic sports for NFL players? If different Olympic sports could draft NFL players to take up their sport, it might look like this.

Snowboarding selects:

Chad Ochocinco(notes), WR, Cincinnati Bengals.

Snowboarding is a young sport, and the only limit on the athletes appears to be their own imaginations. Enter the Ocho. If he feels like pulling off a backside 720 in which he also happens to do a quick mime routine while in the air, I don't think there's anything stopping him. I don't think there's a Roger Goodell of snowboarding, and if there is, he's probably a pretty laid-back guy.

Curling selects:

Peyton Manning(notes), QB, Indianapolis Colts.
Drew Brees(notes), QB, New Orleans Saints.
Philip Rivers(notes), QB, San Diego Chargers.
Brady Quinn(notes), QB, Cleveland Browns.

When I see the concentration and touch involved in a throw of a stone down the ice, it reminds me a bit of a quarterback throwing a touch pass over a shoulder into a tight window. Obviously, there are quite a few differences between football and curling, but I don't think the skill sets involved in throwing an accurate stone and throwing an accurate pass are totally dissimilar. The quarterbacks are the guys for the job.

Philip Rivers gets the nod because I think curling presents some incredible opportunities for trash-talking. You're in close contact with the other team, they need their focus, and if you can shake a guy's confidence, he's done for. I want Phil around for that.

Oh, and I want Brady Quinn to be one of the guys pushing the broom, because if he doesn't get better quickly, that's what he's going to be doing for a living anyway.

Alpine Skiing selects:

Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans.

Speed. In both a straight line, and from side-to-side, Chris Johnson has it. How speed on the feet translates to speed on skis, I haven't a clue, but it's about all I've got to go on here. In case you haven't picked up on this, I don't know anything about skiing. I figure if all else fails, Johnson can just break the skis off, run down hill, and at least beat a couple of the weaker eastern European skiiers.

Figure Skating (Men's) selects:

Terrell Owens(notes), WR, Buffalo Bills.

Honestly, is there anyone else even worth considering here? Is there anyone in the NFL easier to picture in spandex and sequins? It's an individual sport, it can be all about him, and he can have every last bit of the attention. Obviously, he's got tremendous physical ability, balance, grace and body control.

He's also a very sensitive and expressive guy. I really think Johnny Weir would make a great mentor for him. They may be the two most similar athletes in the world.

Figure Skating (Pairs) selects:

Ray Lewis(notes), LB, Baltimore Ravens.
Ed Reed(notes), S, Baltimore Ravens.

It's about trust. It's about chemistry. They're both 'U' guys, they both play for the Ravens, and I think they share a special bond that would transfer well to the ice.

Also, since I've seen "Blades of Glory" a few times, I'm kind of an expert on figure skating, and I know that two men skating together is perfectly legal. Those two supreme athletes would certainly have the strength to pull of the Iron Lotus. And if Ed Reed happens to get slices with a skate blade in the process, well, sometimes that's just the price you pay for hanging out with Ray Lewis.

And if it works, then Ray Lewis gets to be interviewed by Bob Costas, and like all great leaders, he can tell everyone what a great leader he is.

Luge selects:

Casey Hampton(notes), DT, Pittsburgh Steelers.

My physics might be a little off here, but couldn't we just strap a big fellow like Hampton to a sled and let gravity do the rest? Would that work? I don't know. I'm not really familiar with the inner workings of the luge.

Maybe it would be better to have a smaller, denser, more aerodynamically-shaped guy like Maurice Jones-Drew(notes). Either way, I'm willing to test the theory with a street luge run between Hampton and Jones-Drew. Tell me you wouldn't watch that on the NFL Network.

Ice Hockey selects:

Nobody! I was thinking about putting together a defensive/checking line of Patrick Willis(notes), Troy Polamalu(notes) and Darrelle Revis(notes), but after Sunday night, I think we're doing just fine!

However, Canada, if you need some help, though, we're not insensitive to that. You can have ... Shaun Suisham(notes). He's Canadian, and he can miss the net just as effectively as anyone else did Sunday night. BURN.

Biathlon selects:

Pacman Jones, CB, Free Agent.

We're going to need a couple of modifications here. First, Pacman's going to have to get himself back in shape. Once upon a time, he was a tremendous athlete. If it happened once, it can happen again. Maybe.

We're also going to need the IOC to change it from rifle shooting to something more handgun-oriented. That's probably a little more in Pacman's wheelhouse. I mean, the guy's handy with the steel, so he can probably go rifle if we need him to, but handgun probably works better for Pacman.

Short Track selects:

DeSean Jackson(notes), WR, Philadelphia Eagles.

Again, as with the alpine skiing, we're just going with pure speed here. Also, it seems to me that short-track speedskating also presents a ton of opportunities for subtle cheating. "Accidentally" bumping another competitor, perhaps a slight tug of another man's spandex. They skate so close together that I think, when the right opportunity presented itself, you could get away with it.

Jackson strikes me as the kind of fellow who has that sort of edge. What's the difference between that and getting away with a little shove that, by the book, constitutes offensive pass interference?

Bobsledding selects:

Calvin Johnson(notes), WR, Detroit Lions.
Vernon Davis(notes), TE, San Francisco 49ers.
Reggie Bush(notes), RB, New Orleans Saints.
Jared Allen(notes), DE, Minnesota Vikings.

I have no idea what makes someone a good bobsledder, so I'm just going to go with Megatron, Vernon Davis and Reggie Bush, since they all have some kind of freakish combination of size, speed, strength and athleticism. I can't imagine there's an athletic activity on earth those three couldn't conquer.

And I want Jared Allen to do the steering because he has so much experience driving drunk.

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