Now that summer season is upon us, and sports withdrawals are kicking in (we miss you NFL, NBA, and NHL), we’ve found ourselves thinking about sharks a lot. And we’ve realized that all of sportsdom is kind of like an ocean. Each sport has its own body of water, complete with its own ecosystem. Like any ecosystem, there will be minnows and then there will be mightier beasts. Like sharks. We wondered, if the world’s greatest athletes could magically be transformed into sharks, which ones would they be? Here are our picks.
1. Tom Brady: Hammerhead Shark
Okay, yes, the Hammerhead Shark has a giant blind spot since its eyes are affixed to the sides of its irregular shaped head. The New England Patriots quarterback clearly doesn’t have a blind spot (or an irregular shaped head). But, Hammerheads are distinct for having unparalleled 360-degree vision, which gives them a keen oversight of their immediate surroundings. What Brady does have is an uncanny ability to see the football field and find passing targets. Hammerhead Sharks are also known for their ability to make sudden turns, something Brady does when making a run on his own or navigating into a better position for a throw.
2. Lionel Messi: Blacktip Reef Shark
The Blacktip Reef Shark is small (usually growing to about 5’2”), but don’t let its size fool you into thinking it’s meek. This shark is incredibly fast, energetic, as well as athletic and is known for its acrobatic somersaults out of the water. FC Barcelona’s Lionel Messi isn’t only prone to the odd somersault. He’d make a perfect Blacktip Reef Shark because he too is small (5’5”), fast (top speed approx. 32.5km/hr), energetic and prone to stunning feats of athleticism.
3. J.J. Watt: Whitetip Reef Shark
One of the chief characteristics of the Whitetip Reef Shark is its impressive ability to squeeze and squirm through tight spaces, finding and seizing its prey. J. J. Watt is no different. The Houston Texans defensive end has a knack for weaving between players, finding and taking down quarterbacks. Watt uses his whole body to wiggle towards his target, something he shares with the Whitetip Reef Shark, which swims using its whole body, creating a weaving motion.
4. Roger Federer: Tiger Shark
Tiger Sharks are ravenous beasts, known especially for eating whatever they can get – including garbage. Now, Roger Federer may not eat garbage, but in the same way Tiger Sharks won’t let something be wasted, the No. 2 ranked player in the world will go for shots other tennis players would abandon. While Federer seems like a nice guy, there’s no denying that when he’s in his element he is an aggressive force to be reckoned with. Tiger Sharks are equally as notorious and aggressive in their domain. Like his shark counterpart, Federer will seize any opportunity with all his might.
5. LeBron James: Great White Shark
There’s no doubt that the NBA’s greatest player would be a Great White Shark. It’s not that the Great White prowls the ocean like LeBron’s bulky, muscular frame prowls the basketball court. It’s that this shark is known for its efficiency and power and its body is honed for physical might and speed. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better description of LeBron James. And it’s one we know the self-proclaimed greatest player in the world would agree with.