JEFF PEARLMAN

Coming October 2022: "The Last Folk Hero: The Life and Myth of Bo Jackson"

Willie Gault vs. Jet

So yesterday I received the following e-mail from someone named Lydia. The subject line read: Former Superbowl (sic) champ Willie Gault races airplane …

•••

Willie Gault, former Superbowl Champ who is considered to be the fastest athlete of all time, “raced” XOJET’s Challenger 300 airplane as a part of the private aviation company’s upcoming ad campaign.  Needless to say, the airplane, which is one of the fastest civilian aircrafts, beat the former NFL wide receiver.  (images attached)

XOJET has just introduced a new Coast2Coast frequent flier program as well that is well embraced by sports athletes.

Please let me know if you can make a fit!

Thanks in advance,

•••

Now call me odd, call my silly, call me lame—but this strikes me as a tad desperate. Willie Gault, former Bear and championship sprinter, is still awfully fast. But he’s no longer one of the, oh, 500 fastest men in the world. Which actually doesn’t matter, because even the fastest man in the world can’t outrun a jet. Like, it’s not possible. Factually. Impossible. Can’t happen. So why have Willie Gault, a man in his 50s, race the damn thing?

Back in the day, this sorta stuff flew. Jesse Owens vs. horse. Bob Hayes vs. car. Fine. Dandy. But in 2011, who has the attention or interest to see Gault get his butt kicked by a plane? All in the name of PR, no less?

Well, I guess I do. Because I just blogged about it.

Sigh.