20 animal-human matchups we’d like to see besides Michael Phelps vs. a shark

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Michael Phelps is battling a shark for Shark Week, and we decided to take a look at some other possible human-animal matchups that could happen.

Even when the Olympics aren’t anywhere in sight, Michael Phelps is still showing up in headlines for crazy swimming news. This time, however, it’s not because of a gold medal or any win in the pool.

News broke a while back that Phelps would be racing a shark in August for Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, and the internet went crazy. Obviously, Phelps will need a bit of a competitive boost to have a chance against a legitimate shark, and they’ll be separated in the race, but the idea is still there for him to actually race a real shark.

While everyone was flipping out about the news, some began to wonder about what other human-animal matchups that could go down after Phelps gets his shark race out of his system. There are plenty of comparisons between athletes and animals, and some even have nicknames related to animals they admire or perform like.

To help out whoever runs the show when it comes to matchmaking for this sort of thing, we made things easy and compiled 20 potential human-animal battles that should happen next. Some are a bit more realistic than others, but all of them should be considered if these people want to make some serious money with their stardom.

20. Cam Newton vs. a panther

The Carolina Panthers are in a bit of a rough patch with their team at the moment, as they fell off hard in the NFC South after an appearance in Super Bowl 50 and an almost-perfect regular season.

Most of that success had to do with Cam Newton, and they need him to find that same intensity again. For a crazy but possibly effective idea, we may have a way to spark that same fire that was missing in the 2016-2017 season that brought the Panthers a 6-10 record.

Newton needs to regain his swagger, and one way to have him do that is to get him in a terrifying environment to build some faith in himself. One way to do it is to throw him in a competition with a literal panther.

There’s a ton, and I mean a ton, of ways to do this one. Newton has an incredible frame for an NFL quarterback, and could probably go up against a panther in a one-on-one setting on the field in the red-zone. Or, to maybe make things a little safer for Newton, who we know doesn’t like to put himself in harm’s way, we could just have the two race.

Panthers can get some serious speed, mostly around 35 MPH, so Newton would literally have a better chance racing against a car. However, maybe we could get Newton some more speed if we have the panther chase him and get some adrenaline pumping. It still probably won’t get the former MVP to 35 MPH, but it’s worth a shot.