Helio goes deep

Posted by Iannucci | 6/05/2008 | 1 comments »
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Now that he’s mastered some possible end-zone dance moves, Helio Castroneves has been working on scoring touchdowns.

IRVING, Texas - It's difficult to impress a guy who has won the Indianapolis 500 twice, but Helio Castroneves came away impressed by his visit to Valley Ranch - home of the Dallas Cowboys.

Castroneves, who gave (Cowboys owner Jerry) Jones a signed Texas Motor Speedway helmet, also met up with Pro Bowl quarterback Tony Romo and Pro Bowl defensive back Terence Newman to experience the NFL. Romo tossed a couple of passes to Castroneves, who beat Newman to make a catch on a "go" route, forcing Newman to give Castroneves a taste of NFL-style bump and run coverage.

"We had a little fun out there running some routes and throwing and catching the ball," Newman said. "(Helio) could be a good, little wide receiver. He has some wheels on him. I was jogging a little, but I didn't know he was going take it that seriously. He was moving a little bit to catch that ball."

(MORE from IndyCar.com)
Unfortunately the report does not indicate whether or not he climbed the goal post. Pity.

Along with Dan Wheldon’s similar scrimmage with the Dallas soccer team, all of this cross-sports talk reminds me of that show “The Superstars” where athletes from different sports would compete against each other in all kinds of events to determine who was the king of the hill. I don’t remember much, but I do remember Olympic Hurdler/Awful NFL Receiver Renaldo Nehemiah winning this show a bunch of times.

And after a quick search of the Wonderfully Wacky Web it turns out there was not only a World version of the superstars but that the 1981 World Superstar was (drumroll, please): Jody Scheckter. That’s right, the 1979 F1 Champion and father to the IRL’s own Tomas Scheckter. The unofficial records listed at this site show that not only was Jody proficient in rowing and swimming but that his real mastery was shown on the tennis court. And as we all know, Helio has played some tennis in his day.

So don’t ever tell let anyone tell you these drivers aren’t athletes, or so help me we’ll send Castroneves over with a tennis racquet or a football to show them a thing or two.


  1. Eric J. // June 06, 2008 7:25 AM  

    Watching Helio a few years ago at the RCA tennis Championships in Indy was amazing. The dude was a stud at tennis.