Jimmy Garoppolo Going Full Top Gun in an F-16 is the Stuff Dreams are Made Of

Sunset Boulevard. Getty Images.

There are certain icons in our culture that are perfect representations of that hard-to-define but you-know-him-when-you-see-him archetype of The American Male. Fictional characters that embody everything we like to believe we stand for. The Mysterious Loner played by Clint Eastwood in all his Westerns. The Bandit as played by Burt Reynolds, a good old boy outwitting the law with his girl by his side and having a blast doing it. Paul Newman's Cool Hand Luke, playing by his own rules and refusing to let The Man break his spirit. Steve McQueen's Det. Lt. Frank Bullitt, putting his life on the line to get the bad guys. Or McQueen's Cooler King in The Great Escape, charming the Brits and driving the Nazis insane with his refusal to be kept in a cage. That's just off the top of my head. There are dozens of examples I could cite. And I haven't even gotten to Superman or Captain America.

But if you claimed the most iconic of these All-American icons is Tom Cruise's Maverick, you'll get no argument from me. He's everything we believe The American Male should be. Confident to the point of cockiness. Fearless. Disobeying authority. Arrogant but charming. Resourceful. Someone you can count on in a tough situation. Horny. Misunderstood by everyone but his best friend and his lady. A little bit troubled. And also a loner, but who learns the importance of teamwork. And who, not coincidentally, wears the shit out of his outfit of choice. 

Yup, if you want to make the case that no one represents the idealized image we all aspire to the way Tom Cruise does in those two legendary films, I've got your back. 

Or did. Until I saw Jimmy Garoppolo cosplaying Maverick:

TMZ - Better call him Jimmy 9 Gs now!!!

Jimmy Garoppolo took flight in a U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds F-16 Fighting Falcon recently to prep for his first season as a Raider … and his run in the jet was so intense -- he got up to speeds of 1,500 MPH!!

The new Las Vegas quarterback hit up Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada for the jaunt through the skies with the Thunderbirds … and the ultra-experienced pilots wasted no time making sure he was ready to be put through the ringer. …

Maj. Taylor "Flash" Wight … toured Vegas somewhat slowly with a few tricks … but then he hit the gas -- and put Jimmy into Mach 2, where 2,000 pounds of pressure were lurched onto the QB's frame.

Somehow, though, Garoppolo held his own.

"Let's go!" he yelled in the jet once they slowed back down. "That's nuts!"

Part of me wants to be angry that so much sex appeal can be assigned to just one man. I mean, isn't it enough that he's got the chiseled, matinee idol looks of a teen magazine cover model? He had to be made a quarterback too? Then sent to play in the most glamorous, exciting city in the country? America's playground of debauchery? Then the universe sees fit to put him in aviators, and a flight suit that he was just poured into? 

On the one hand, it's not fair. But on the other, Garoppolo's attributes are something we can all appreciate. Every guy in America can live vicariously through him. And every guy with a wife or girlfriend who sees this video is going to reap the rewards. Because that is baby-making stuff. Jimmy G pulling 9 G's is going to lead to a lot of ass being pulled from sea to shining sea. So congrats to all of you. You're about to ride into the sexual Danger Zone. 

And to think, Brandin Cooks got in trouble with Jerry Jones for taking a spin on a little prop plane:


Talk about life being unfair. Some guys just get to have it all.