How much can King Kong lift? Would he even be good at football? How high can he jump? These are three of the roughly 3,729 questions my son asked me while we watched Godzilla vs. Kong this past weekend, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t indulge them all. We even got into a heated discussion about how much Kong could bench (I came up with an exact number that I’ll share below), and our running banter during the movie lead to this final hypothetical:
Which titan would perform better at a fictional MonsterVerse NFL Combine? And with the NFL Draft quickly approaching on April 29, we tried to break down which gridiron-challenged giant should be drafted first — King Kong or Godzilla.
First, a few guidelines: As our discussion evolved, we realized that we didn’t care about ALL the combine events. Godzilla in a three-cone drill? He’d trample the cones even if we changed the cones to three skyscrapers. And neither ‘Zilla nor Kong are stopping on a dime, so we threw that one out. We also ditched the 20-yard dash, since both monsters would wear Air Jordans that were at least the size of your local McDonald’s. Likewise, we have enough tape for the position-specific drills (namely, demolishing cities and clobbering other titans), so we got rid of those. And we didn’t even bother attempting to predict the hot-headed Godzilla’s score on the Wunderlic test.
That leaves us with:
- Bench Press
- 40-yard dash (which we adjusted to the 400-yard dash)
- Vertical Jump
- Broad Jump
NOTE: Kong and Godzilla have both been different sizes over the course of their movie careers, so we’re going with the heights and weights of the most recent versions. Godzilla clocks in at 393-feet tall and 90,000 metric tons (198,000,000 pounds). King Kong stands at an “undersized” 335-feet tall and weighs somewhere between half and two-thirds of Godzilla, depending on the source, so we’ll call it an even 60,000 tons.
Let’s get to it.
According to wildgorillassafaris.com, a fully-grown silverback male gorilla is as strong as 20 average men and can put up 4,000 pounds on a bench press.
Now, let’s do some math:
A silverback gorilla is 500 pounds, which means he can lift eight times his body weight. If we extrapolate that for Kong, the numbers are staggering: 60,000 tons multiplied by eight equals 480,000 tons, which comes out to a whopping 960,000,000 pounds. If we throw in some added adrenaline to go along with Kong’s famous temper tantrums, let’s say Kong could easily max out at a clean ONE BILLION POUNDS on the bench!
Godzilla, on the other hand, has notoriously short, T-Rex-like arms. While he uses them to push Kong around a little bit in their final battle, there’s simply no way he could compete with him on a flat bench under NFL Combine conditions.
This one is a little bit unfair to the notoriously lumbering-on-land Godzilla. ‘Zilla is a sea creature at heart and as we learn in the movie, he’s essentially unstoppable in the water. He’s the size of an aircraft carrier but maneuvers and dives and glides like an adult seal. On solid ground things are a little different. His massive tail, while infinitely powerful as a weapon, slows him down. And his posture and squat legs don’t allow for much acceleration. Popular Mechanics took a stab at guessing Godzilla’s top speed and they put it at 18 mph. Weak.
Kong, on the other hand, is able to either sprint on two legs or, as we see in his time on Hollow Earth, gallop on all fours at spaceship-level speeds.
Throughout the King Kong movies, we’ve seen him leap off the ground to attack planes and helicopters and all manner of military flying vehicles that are attacking him. He easily soars hundreds of feet in the air to swat at Tomahawks and F-14s. He also leaps up onto buildings in cities and seemingly reaches the tops of hills in a single bound.
Godzilla isn’t much of a jumper but that’s mainly because he doesn’t have to jump. Whereas Kong needs to be able to generate a decent vertical to attack enemies in the air, Godzilla is able to summon his atomic breath and inflict even more damage, all while staying on the ground. He’s like the old wily man on the racquetball court who stands in the middle hitting corner shots while the younger player wears himself out running all over the place. Godzilla doesn’t lose anything in a battle with King Ghidora or King Kong by not jumping well, but at the NFL Combine, these things matter.
There’s one scene in Godzilla vs. Kong that almost seems as if it was filmed specifically to show what a badass broad jumper Kong is. It takes place in the middle of the ocean, and in order to fight Godzilla, Kong hopscotches across several navy carriers and destroyers to meet his nemesis. How far apart are the ships? They look to be at least a few football fields apart, so split the difference and say that from a standstill, on a wobbly boat in the ocean, Kong can jump 150 yards. That puts him at 200 yards on dry land easily.
Godzilla is hampered by his relatively stumpy hind legs and poor center of gravity. We don’t know exactly how far he can broad jump, but let’s just say if he’s on the 50-yard line, he’s not making it into the end zone.
THE SCOUTING REPORT
Clearly, the NFL Combine favors primates over reptiles. There are no events utilizing scaly skin or mega-powerful tails or spikes on your back. If both monsters competed in a combine in a fictional MonsterVerse where titans played football, Kong would likely be drafted as a Gronk-like tight end on offense or a Lawrence Taylor-styled linebacker on defense. Although, judging from the tight spiral he threw when launching trees at the start of the film, maybe he’d get some snaps in at quarterback as well.
In a surprise twist, Godzilla, while getting swept by Kong at the combine, might actually be drafted higher. Why? Because Godzilla is the ideal offensive lineman to protect a quarterback’s blindside. With his enormous frame, his punishing tail and his wide-set, mountain-sized legs, ‘Zilla would be all but immovable on the line. He could protect a QBs pocket for eternity, which in the end, is more valuable than either five catches or eight tackles a game.
While Kong would dominate the combine battle, Godzilla ultimately wins the draft war.
Follow Jon Finkel on Twitter at: @Jon_Finkel