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Can an NFL star beat up a wolf? MN-based International Wolf Center weighs in

Arian Foster, left, and the mighty Gray Wolf

Arian Foster, left, and the mighty Gray Wolf AP

Supreme confidence helped ex-NFLer Arian Foster steamroll defenses this decade with the Houston Texans. But the Ely, Minnesota-based International Wolf Center thinks the former running back's confidence is misplaced in another arena: wolf-fighting. 

Sound random? It is random. The saga began Sunday with these tweets from Foster: 

From there, the 6-foot-1, 227-pound quirky bruiser spent hours handicapping his hypothetical wolf fight -- the human advantage of opposable thumbs, the wolf disadvantage of being illiterate, his advantage of having four Pro Bowl nods, etc. 

Foster, who retired last year after eight seasons, laid out the matchup with a serious wink; there are no Mike Vick concerns. The NFL's most interesting man, an atheist poet-philosopher, clearly has a sense of humor.

And so does the International Wolf Center, which seized on this rare internet meme moment for wolves. Foster is correct in stating his size advantage, according to a press release issued Monday by the IWC, though it may not give him an edge. At just 65 to 130 pounds, a single wolf can take down a half-ton bison or musk ox.

"But would a wolf engage Arian in a fight?" the IWC asks. Probably not. Apparently the magnificent beasts go to great lengths to avoid humans in the wild.

The wolf experts were willing to concede one point: Arian's insistence about his thumb advantage is accurate. "To Arian's point, wolves do not have thumbs, nor do they need them," IWC points out. Bone-crunching jaws and muscle-packed bodies make wolves plenty deadly, and their speed and fearlessness surpass even Foster's, IWC states. 

"All joking aside, wolves are a top predator in the wild," IWC's press release concludes. "We hope that Arian never comes in contact with a wild wolf, but if he does, we encourage him to admire its beauty and leave it alone for the safety of both himself, and the wolf. Just a sighting would give Arian a pretty terrific story to tell."

A truly teachable moment.