Back in the mid '80s, if you were a fan of the WWF, you fondly remember the golden age of Hulk Hogan. He was our comic book superhero, the musclebound beast with the heart of gold who would save us from the revolving door of newly minted villains, usually a different one every couple of months.
Roddy Piper begat King Kong Bundy. Bundy begat Paul Orndorff. Orndorff begat Andre the Giant. Andre begat Randy Savage. And so it went. This was the gauntlet Hogan ran for his first four years as WWF champion. The formula was repetitive, but it worked. The thing was, all those Hogan foes, physically at least, were inferior in some way to the Hulkster. Piper, Orndorff and Savage were smaller than Hogan. Bundy was obese. Andre had the mobility of a corpse. Ultimately, in our fantasy world of scripted athletics, Hogan was able to take advantage of those flaws in his opponents.
Then, in 1989, along came Zeus.
Zeus was the first Hogan nemesis to be introduced where, physically at least, fans were like "HOLY SHIT." Zeus was bigger than Hogan, he was more musclebound, he was really frightening, and he seemed clinically insane. (He also happened to be Hogan's costar in the movie No Holds Barred, which was being released around that same time. Convenient!)
Basically, Zeus made little children cry.
I think it's fair to say that for NFL fans, especially those of us in Houston, J.J. Watt is our Hulk Hogan. He is our beacon of good, he is our shining light, he will vanquish all that is evil. We train, say our prayers and eat our vitamins because of J.J. Freaking Watt! And thus far in his four years in the NFL, no foe has come along to make us waver in our belief in Watt-a-mania!
Hogan's go-to finishing maneuver was his big leg drop. If Watt has a finishing maneuver, something he's universally (and virally) known for, it's his big box jump. 61 inches, I believe, is his latest personal record...
Now along comes Baylor's super-freak of a defensive end Shawn Oakman, the Zeus to Watt's Hogan. You all remember this guy from the Cotton Bowl earlier this year, right?
Ref: Heads or tails? Shawn Oakman: We'll take the ball Ref: Yes sir pic.twitter.com/VPpSOWrvrz— Steve Stifler (@SteveStiffIer) May 4, 2015
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
Well, how do you top Watt's 61-inch vertical box jump? How about box-jumping 40 inches….with 70 pound dumbbells in your hands?!? Because that's what Oakman, who is a Zeus-like 6-foot-9, 280 pounds, just did in this workout video that's making its way around the internet:
If we are searching for the athlete who is finally a bigger physical freak than J.J. Watt, he may be coming to an NFL stadium near you in 2016. However, for Oakman's sake, I hope it works out better for him than it did for Zeus, who was out of the WWF within five months after his debut.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on SportsRadio 610 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanTPendergast.