Seahawks receiver D.K. Metcalf finished ninth in his heat in the 100 meters at the USA Track and Field Golden Games in California this weekend. His official time was 10.37 seconds. He finished 15th out of 17 athletes who competed in the event.
And I can’t ever remember being more excited about a third-to-last finish – and more excited for the upcoming football season.
So I’ll happily say it was one of the best 15th place finishes in sports history.
You had a 6-foot-4 inch, 230-pound behemoth of a man who hadn’t run track since high school, who didn’t even compete in the 100 meters back then. He raced against some of the fastest sprinters in this country who have been training for this their entire lives. And not only did he not embarrass himself, he surprised a number of experts.
Remember: Metcalf didn’t initiate this challenge – he responded to it.
This wasn’t Metcalf saying, "Hey, look at me." This was him saying, "Bring it on."
After his memorable chasing down of Budda Baker last October, USA Track and Field was the one that tweeted out that NFL players are welcome to come test their speed against real speed at the Olympic Trials. Metcalf responded with a simple "See you there."
So anyone calling this some sideshow circus act is missing the point. Sticking with the mantra "Always Compete," Metcalf was more than willing to meet this challenge head on.
He represented himself well. And he earned an even bigger respect from his NFL brethren and those in the track world as well.
And respect is a big part of this as well. Blame the media for the national coverage that centered around Metcalf and not the winners of the event. But don’t blame Metcalf, who has been nothing but respectful to the process and appreciative to have the opportunity to test his speed against some of the best.
If you’re Pete Carroll or a Seahawks fan right now, you have to be thrilled. He didn’t get injured – and now one of your biggest targets with blazing speed could be even faster, thanks to a few months of training like this. No slacking off or taking it easy. Just another way to build toward a better overall package for Priority Number One – the season ahead.
So no, we likely won’t see Metcalf at the Olympic Trials this summer. And no, the Olympic games are a distant fantasy as well. But it was not only a pleasure to see him race today, but fired me up for the season to come.
To D.K. Metcalf: We know you’ll keep doing you. And for that – and your performance this weekend – take a bow.
You deserve all the kudos coming your way.
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