OT: What is the easiest to do from this list?

1) Kick a 40 yard field goal
2) Run a 4 minute mile
3) Hit a baseball 400 ft.

This was a question on local radio here in Philly. They said a 4 minute mile would be easiest to accomplish because you could train to do so. My answer is the field goal by a long shot.

I rank them easiest to hardest:

1) 40 yd. Field Goal
2) Hit a baseball 400 ft.
3) 4 minute mile

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Comments

Agree on the 40 yd field goal big time. I know very small people, who are excellent runners that are way, WAY more likely to be able to run a 4 minute mile than ever hit a baseball 400 ft.

Difficulty the mile might require more training, but I think more people have the potential. Some people just can't swing a bat, or don't have the power.

I agree I think the field goal is the easiest. I think the other two depend on who is trying to accomplish the goal.

A baseball player who is in good shape but has to get into excellent shape to try to run a 4 minute mile? Or Mo Vaughn?

A cross country runner who was a solid high school baseball player? Or a cross country runner who has never hit a baseball in his life?

It would be impossible for Mo Vaughn to ever run a mile in under 4 minutes. It would be impossible for someone who has never played baseball to swing as hard as they can, run into one and get lucky with a 400 foot home run (unless they're built like The Rock).

I think people are underestimating how difficult it is to hit a baseball 400 ft. I also think people are underestimating how difficult it is to run a 4 minute mile. 40 yard field goal isn't even close to the same difficulty of the other two.

I don't think I can do any of them.

What's
Important
Now

Not with that attitude you can't.

I can hit a baseball 400 feet, easily. Might take a few hits to get it there, but it'll get there.

Now finish up them taters; I'm gonna go fondle my sweaters.

My rankings and reasonings:

Easiest to hardest-

Hit a baseball 400 ft. - using an aluminum bat and batting practice pitching, you could train to do that fairly easily. Hitting amateur to professional leveling pitching makes this exponentially harder.

Kicking a field goal 40 yards. Without pressure, you could practice this and get lucky eventually. Maybe take more time.

Run a 4 minute mile. This is hard to do. It would take a lot of training to get down to 3:59.59

You have to have a lot of bat speed to hit a baseball 400 feet, aluminum bat or not, in BP. It would actually help to have a pitcher throwing pretty hard to provide some of the power. But then you'd have to hit it in the first place.

Also you would have to juice up to get strong enough to do so.

What's
Important
Now

Id say hands and hips are more important than being juiced up.

4 minute mile, as in 3:59, is incredibly hard. I ran track for a high school that was above average and competed at the state level routinely and we didn't have a guy on the team that could get sub 4. A mile under 5 as in 4:59, not as bad, I did this routinely my senior year of HS.

How many people on a HS baseball team do you think could hit it 400 feet? Ten? All this takes is luck. Let me step into a pitching machine throwing 90 mph fastballs and swing a bat as fast as I can, eventually when I make contact it will probably go 400 ft. Same with the 40 FG, just run up and kick the ball as hard as you can and eventually one will get through. The mile would take years of training and still few people would do it.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

You'd have to have some power, but if you're strong enough you can get lucky on a field goal or a baseball hit.

I'd say the four minute mile is the most difficult for the people who actually have the ability to do these things. There's no luck in involved. Just ability and consistent, hard training.

Edit:

So in order of difficulty:

1. 40 yard Field Goal
2. 400 yard hit
3. sub-4 minute mile

I really disagree with their logic. Not just anyone can train to get a sub 4 minute mile. There has to be some level of freakish athleticism plus the hard training to get that fast. There's a tiny of subset of people in the world who have ever achieved this.

I'm not a baseball guy, so IDK know too much about that part. However, kicking a 40 year yard field goal definitely requires a lower level of athleticism then running a sub 4 minute mile. The fact that nearly every FBS college seems to find some 18-22 year old kid who can do it tells me it's not as hard to do.

Think I read an article lately about how athletes are getting bigger, stronger, faster and one of the stats was the # of runners who could run a sub 4 minute mile 100 years ago was like a handful and now it's only a few hundred. Easily seems like the 4 minute mile is the most difficult. Most random ppl can get lucky and kick a FG eventually from 40 or hit a baseball on the sweet spot, but you can't luck into a 4 minute mile.

1. FG by a long shot
2. Baseball
3. 4-min mile

There are a total of 19 recorded instances of someone running a sub-4:00 mile, and some of those were the same person doing it multiple times (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mile_run_world_record_progression). No way you can simply train to do that. You've got to be a physical freak to come anywhere close.

The baseball? That's a confluence of bat speed, direction, and perfect timing. A moderately strong person could train to do it and accomplish it.

The FG also requires training and strength, but since the ball is stationary, it is easier to do than hit the baseball.

Seems like the field goal would be the easiest for most people. I tried a 25-yarder in college and made it on my first try with no training. (not even youth soccer) It seems that making a 40-yarder, assuming that you're talking about practice conditions, not game conditions, where there are 11 angry men trying to kill you, would be very doable with a moderate amount of training and practice.

“You got one guy going boom, one guy going whack, and one guy not getting in the endzone.”
― John Madden (describing VT's offense?)

I think you need to take into account whether or not the 400 ft. baseball hit comes off a tee, against the pitching machine, against batting practice pitching, or against major league pitching talent. Hitting a baseball consistently is one of the harder things to do. A 4-min mile is tough for very athletic people to do. I can remember when this was an olympic-level accomplishment. A decent high-school soccer player can nail a 40 yarder. So, my idea of easiest to hardest would be field-goal, 400-ft hit, 4 min mile.

Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in bad humor.

I have hit quite a few balls over 400ft in my day (brushs dirt of muh shoulder)...not easily done with BP speeds, but that being said it's not easy being done in game either (hitting is the hardest thing in sports for my money). Fastest mile I ever ran was like 5:30 when I was like 16 before the heavy beer drinking days and I genuinely thought I was going to die (spoiler alert, I didn't). A 40yd field goal (under no pressure) is pretty doable if you have any kind of athletic background...NFL goalposts though would be damn hard.

Easiest to hardest (for me)
1. 400ft
2. FG
3. 4min mile

Gobble gobble, gobble gobble.

4 min mile is the hardest by a mile. I thought I was good runner, although my HS didn't have track, so the only real idea of my ability was 2.5 miles in just under 13 minutes in a Corps of Cadets run at my peak physical state.

FG probably the easiest for the average Joe. Stationary ball and what not.

I never played organized baseball. But in my early 20's all 5'8" 150# of me went with some friends to field armed only with the secret of turning over my arm and hitting "down" on the ball (topspin makes a ball go farther), and regularly putting a slow pitched ball well over the 300' fence with a wooden bat at significantly less than full power (my full power swings I lost my form and hit grounders) . So to me, a 400 footer would probably be the easiest with a little practice and enough tries.

Well, to 20 something year old me.

1) 40 yd. Field Goal
2) Hit a baseball 400 ft.
3) 4 minute mile

FG - Give me 50 tries a day and I'd likely hit at least one within a week.
400 footer - An hour a day with a pro pitching machine cranked up to 90? I figure I could hit something that distance within a few weeks worth of sessions by swinging as hard as possible and getting lucky. I know 15 year olds on my son's travel team that have hit ones approaching 400 feet.
4:00 mile - I could train for years and never be able to do that.

FG - it can be trained
Baseball - it can be trained
Mile - it can't be trained. Only 4518 men have ever run a sub 4 mile, and even then only 17 seconds have been shaved off since Bannister's 1954 run. No woman has come closer than 4:12

FG is the easiest, assuming you just have to kick it - no snap, no rush, no one in front. The timing of the operation and need to get it high (over the defenders) is where that gets tricky. But just kicking one is not that tough. In HS the coach would pick lineman to kick 37 yarders at the end of practice to see if we had to run. 50/50 chance typically.

How have we gone this long without an appearance by uncle Rico?

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

Let's Go

HOKIES

Hardest to easiest

1 - 4 minute mile - You'd have to be in peak shape to even have a chance
2 - 40 yard FG - You need a strong leg. If you're talking about doing it without having to kick over a line, its even easier.
3 - I personally did it in high school, and I wasn't the strongest person by any means, it just had more to do with making solid contact with a power fastball pitcher. Its the easiest to accomplish of the 3 because it can happen with the least skill.

Don't let this comment take away from the fact that Arkansas blew a 24 point 2nd half lead in the Belk Bowl.
Don't let the Belk Bowl take away from the fact that Matt Ryan blew a 25 point 2nd half lead in the Super Bowl.

It takes much more skill to hit a baseball than to kick a football

Tim Settle runs 4 minute miles.

@VTimHokie85

Only because the ground is scared and rushes to meet him halfway.

Heck, I can do 4 minutes more than twice in a mile.

I admit this is nit-picky, but a 4 min mile is virtually impossible. I'd be surprised if there's 20 people in Virginia who can do it, and all of those people are world class athletes training 5 days a week (probably on VT, UVA and other college track teams). Before 1954, no one in the world had EVER run a 4 min mile.

Say we change this to a sub 5 minute mile? What does everyone think? My list stays the same:

1. 40 yd field goal
2. 400 ft. Baseball
3. Sub 5 mile, takes a lot of training and it has to be consistent training or you will slip.

Come to Blacksburg and see what the Hokie Pokie is really all about

I agree. The order stays the same, just the gap between #2 and #3 closes.

Why did they pick such a pedestrian distance for the field goal? A 400 foot home run is an absolute monster shot, and a sub-4 minute mile is world class. I'd imagine there's a 40 yard field goal kicked in the majority of Div 1 football games. They should have made it 50 yards. At least that's challenging at the NFL level.

"And then the real chess match began." - Justin Fuente

probably because everything else had a '4' in it

for consistency. But the competition is rendered laughable as a result. Kicking a 40 yard field goal is far easier to accomplish than the other two

If a tree falls in Scott Stadium does it make a sound?

Only way I could run a mile in less than 4 minutes would be if flailing during skydiving counted...

Warning: this post occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).

After 35, all become impossible, unless you are an elite athlete.

I'd say that if you had the right bat and could bulk up, probably the hitting a ball 400 feet (with a very generous roll).

Field goal.

Then Mile.

The Dude Abides

I'd say:

1) Baseball 400 ft
2) Field Goal 40 yards
3) 4 min mile
4) Posting a topic on TKP that is tangentially related to politics and the thread not getting deleted

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“When life knocks you down plan to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up, if you fall flat on your face it can kill your spirit” David Wilson

Put "create a perpetual motion machine" between 3 and 4.

"And then the real chess match began." - Justin Fuente

History suggests easiest to hardest:
1. 40yd FG
2. 400ft HR
3. 4' Mile

The first man to acheive a 4-minute mile was Roger Bannister in 1954. 400-foot homeruns were made famous by Babe Ruth (1920s), but I'm sure others hit a few before him. I'm guessing 40yd field goals were common in 19th century (but no data to back this up, but they were worth 5 points, so I'm sure they were tried and several went through).

Thus, despite running being a sport since Ancient Greece, the 4-minute mile was the hardest achievement. The other two were likely commonplace near their respective sport's infancy.