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Arian Foster and the Wolf: The Fight of the Century

It’s a classic match-up that’s been argued since time immemorial, and by “time immemorial,” I mean "since early Sunday or so."

Pterodactyl v. Wolf.  Who ya got?
Pterodactyl v. Wolf. Who ya got?
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

As you might expect with a lack of actual football to talk about, the mind tends to wander to all sorts of topics. Things like, "what would I do if I won the big Powerball jackpot," "why does the fairy godmother in Cinderella wait years and years before she pays the hero of the tale a call*," and the like.

On Sunday, former Texans running back Arian Foster mentioned on Twitter that he believed he could fight a wolf one-on-one and win.

And so on. Foster does go on other tangents about wolf combat which, if you have the time, are worth the read. But this got me and more than a few others thinking: could Arian Foster, a former NFL player still in really good physical condition, fistfight a wolf and win/not die?

The simple answer is: it depends. There are a lot of variables involved in determining whether the Pterodactyl could fight and win against a wolf.

So let’s take a quick look at some of these variables, because this is serious and this topic needs to be treated with the seriousness it deserves.

What Kind of Wolf?

I would assume that Foster would be referring to a species of wolf that currently exists, as opposed to, say, a direwolf from "Game of Thrones" or some species of super wolf that went extinct long ago. For the purpose of this discussion, let’s say he happens across a gray wolf. Gray wolves are the largest extant member of the wolf family and would probably offer the best match-up for a human looking to go toe-to-claw with a wild snarling people do.

Let’s go to the tale of the tape between Arian Foster and Greywind (because why not?):

Arian Foster:

Species: Homo Sapiens
Height: 6’1"
Weight: 227 lbs.
Fighting Style: Pterodactyl
Primary Weapon(s): Fists, Feet
Total Yardage: 6,527
Total Touchdowns: 54


Species: Canis Lupis
Height: 2.8 ft (on all fours)
Length: 5.2 ft
Weight: 180 lbs.
Fighting Style: Really angry wolf
Primary Weapon(s): Teeth, Claws
Total Yardage: 0
Total Touchdowns: 0
Total Teeth/Claws: A lot

Advantage: Hard to say. While Greywind would have a lot more sharp bits for Foster to worry about, Foster does, technically, have the size advantage over Greywind. Even reared up on his hind legs the wolf would still give up at least a foot of height and nearly 50 pounds to Foster. That said, Greywind is, in fact, a wolf. And wolves are built low to the ground, making it hard for Foster to land any solid blows on him unless Greywind jumps up toward him or for some reason winds up on his hind legs.


Based on Foster’s tweets, I would assume this would be a simple fistfight/teethfight between Foster and Greywind as opposed to the end of "The Grey" where Liam Neeson is strapping broken mini alcohol bottles to his fists to fight his wolf. Greywind, naturally, would use his claws and his teeth to try and rip Foster to ribbons.

So let’s say neither side has any special weapon that isn’t attached to them. A real mano-y-wolfo fight.

Advantage: It would be easy to give the benefit to Greywind here because he’s basically got sharp, pointy bits on every corner and right up front, making it hard to throw a good punch without taking some damage. That said, Foster has a decided reach advantage on Greywind, so he could take some damage to his arms if it means landing a solid blow to Greywind’s gut.

Fight Location

Where does this fight take place? In the Pay-Per-View event that is this fight, which I wish existed and doubtlessly nobody would watch if it did, this would be a steel cage death match between Foster and Greywind. But if we’re going to be realistic about this, and I can’t believe I actually suggested we be realistic about a fight between a former professional football player and a wolf, this fight would have to take place in some kind of foresty environment, preferably with a whole bunch of other beta wolves in a circle watching as Greywind enters the clearing with Foster staring him down. I’d like to think these wolves are chanting in a manner similar to that which occurred in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Hey, don’t look at me like that. It’s my fantasy, and if I want wolves chanting "kali ma shakti de," then I will have them!

Back to the real world, however, such as it is, the terrain this takes place in does matter. If the terrain is mostly flat, then this match probably goes more in Arian’s favor. If we’re talking about fighting on jagged rocks or near a cliff, I think Greywind would be favored, mainly because with the rocks, it helps to have four legs to balance on while trying to rip the throat out of a person who wants to punch you.


What kind of fatigue has set in for these two combatants? Have Greywind and his buddies been pursuing Foster throughout the forest to the point that Foster is worn down from constantly running away? Or are both of them entering an arena fresh and spoiling for a fight? I think the latter is more likely. Kind of like "Street Fighter," but with wolves.

Advantage: Draw. Since both would be fresh, neither would be more likely to slip up from being fatigued and thus getting eaten/beaten up.


Foster: Foster’s already mentioned what his primary strategy would be in trying to fight a wolf one-on-one. His strategy, in one word, is: thumbs.

Thumbs and film study. The plan is for Foster to get a hold of the wolf by the neck. Then he can pretty much do whatever he wants to him. Because from that point of leverage, Greywind can’t bite, and the claws can get to Foster but they wouldn’t cause as much damage as a good solid bite would. Plus he’s assuming Greywind would pull a David Carr and refuse to do film study on Foster.

Greywind: His plan would be an old one but a good one--taking hold of Foster with a hard bite and then tearing at his face until he stops fighting back, eventually allowing the wolf to finish the job. In order to enact this strategy, Greywind would open up his midsection to attack from Foster, including, potentially, a sick kick to Greywind’s onions. There’s plenty of opportunity for the wolf to win, but there’s a lot of risk in this strategy as well.

Advantage: As surreal as it may seem (and it all seems surreal), it’s entirely feasible that Foster could win a fight against Greywind. His strategy is pretty sound, as evidenced by this film clip. All it would really take is one good hit in the right spot and the fight would be over. The question is whether Foster get that punch in before Greywind causes too much damage. Foster has the speed, but Greywind has the power. It’s an interesting and pointless match-up that none of us will ever get to see.

Who would win this epic battle between man and nature? How much would you spend to watch Arian fight a wolf on Pay-Per-View? Did I really just spend 1,400 words writing about one of our beloved Texans theoretically fighting a fierce creature of the wild?

Also please feel free to chime in on our poll on who you've got in this fight.

*Credit to MDC for posing that question to the universe.


Who wins in a fight between a wolf and Arian Foster?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    Arian Foster, duh.
    (56 votes)
  • 18%
    Greywind. He's going to tear up whatever's left of Foster.
    (35 votes)
  • 4%
    Are we really discussing this?
    (9 votes)
  • 11%
    No, seriously, we're actually debating this?
    (21 votes)
  • 35%
    I'd totally watch this on Pay-Per-View.
    (68 votes)
189 votes total Vote Now