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Fittest Athlete In The World?

While this may be a little off topic, football and Ravens-wise, it does bring to mind the question of whether a football athlete can be up there as one of, if not THE fittest athlete in the world.

At Raven Passing Camp this week, word is that while rookie first round pick Michael Oher is not as up to speed as the veterans on blocking assignments, he is one of the most physically fit players on the team, at 6'4" and 309 pounds. According to DE Trevor Pryce, he looks a little like the Carolina Panthers' Julius Peppers, who is a physical specimen for a big guy.

On ESPN's First Take yesterday, host Dana Jacobson (yowser!) was leading the discussion as to who might be the world's most fittest athlete. There were three other guys on the panel, two of whom said Lebron James as they said he sprints up and down the court as well as anyone in the NBA and doing that in a 6'8" solid body requires great physical tools. One of the guys said Terrell Owens, and cited his interview doing situps, showing his six-pack abs in his driveway while suspended a few years ago as an example. Tennis star Rafael Nadal was also brought up, as he looks to be almost completely devoid of any fat on his athletic frame.

Now I don't want to be accused of writing a post on other men's bodies, but the discussion is one for thought. A few years ago, you'd have to have included seven time (?) Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong in the discussion and maybe even last year had eight Olympic gold medalist swimmer and Baltimore's own Michael Phelps at or near the top of that list.

However, while there could be a hockey player up there, but we rarely see their true physiques, there is no mention of a baseball player on that list, as we've seen a bunch of what appear to be overweight and out of shape players, especially pitchers in MLB. Then what football players other than TO could be considered among the world's fittest athletes?

Let the debate begin!