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Reds’ Billy Hamilton looking forward to racing Bengals’ John Ross for charity

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It sounds like two of the fastest men in their respective sports will duke it out for a good cause.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals-John Ross Press Conference Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

A race to uncover the fastest man in Cincinnati might be taking place in the near future. Cincinnati Reds outfielder Billy Hamilton recently threw out the idea of racing speedy Bengals receiver John Ross for charity after a recent game with the Pirates. Both are seen as the fastest men in their respective sports.

The idea has floated around on Twitter ever since Ross was selected by the Bengals in Round 1 of the 2017 NFL Draft.

“It's something I look forward to. I'm a competitor, if something happens with him, it happens,” Hamilton said, via C. Trent Rosecrans of The Cincinnati Enquirer. “We'll do it for a charity event. I'm willing to do it.”

Since his arrival in the majors back in 2013, Hamilton has been a terror on the base paths for the opposition, racking up 199 career steals, while also showing great range in center field. Though Ross has yet to suit up in a Bengals uniform, the reputation of his speed precedes him. The former Washington Husky set the NFL Combine record in the 40-yard dash with a blazing 4.22-second time.

The story of John Ross III and his unprecedented speed

Great story on John Ross and his incredible speed!

Posted by Cincy Jungle on Saturday, April 15, 2017

Apparently, once Hamilton heard the news of Ross being selected by the Bengals at No. 9 overall in the draft, he reached out to the rookie with some text messages. In the week since, the idea of the two speedsters going against each other in a fun race has been gaining steam.

“I think we could do 40 (yards) and I think it'd be a good race for the city and for me and him to get our names out there,” Hamilton continued. “It's something we could look forward to looking into, our agents (could talk) and see how it goes.”

Rosecrans noted that Hamilton hasn’t run a timed 40-yard dash since he was a freshman in high school, where he supposedly ran a 4.5-second time. One is inclined to think he’d improve off of that time today.

From a competition standpoint, Hamilton (6’0”) is an inch taller than Ross (5’11”) and is 28 pounds lighter than the receiver—Ross is 188 pounds and Hamilton is listed at 160. Also, the distance between bases in professional baseball are 90 feet (30 yards), which is obviously a shorter distance than what Ross has been used to sprinting in pre-draft workouts.

If this race occurs, which it sounds like it will, it wouldn’t be the first time a high-profile Bengals receiver engaged in a fun race. Back in June of 2007, Chad Johnson raced a horse on a track for charity. “Ochocinco” won the race.

Regardless, this would be a very fun event for the city and fans of both teams. It’s also a great way for Ross, the new guy in town, to endear himself to the community by doing a charity event.


UPDATE: It looks like this race will not be happening, if Marvin Lewis has his way.