Quin: So far as I know, the University of Texas is synonymous with the state, a state that was once synonymous with primacy in football. Thanks to Vince Young, a native of the Republic of Texas, not only did he for all intents single-handedly and in the most brilliant fashion win the national championship for his Longhorns — but in so doing he returned Texas football to heights not seen since its glory days under Coach Darrell K. Royal many decades ago. So how could the savior and liberator of Texas football possibly be allowed to end up serving the football interests of some other state?
Let’s say he’s drafted by the Saints. Surely he’d be more likely to build on his legend if he were based in San Antonio rather than in New Orleans, no?
But so long as we’re speaking of glory days, I’ve always tended to regard Gale Sayers as beyond comparison. O.J. Simpson was superb, and despite almost spindly legs, amazingly tough and durable. At USC he carried the ball 35-40 times a game, it seemed, and always broke a long gain late in the game right after crawling back to the huddle from the previous play. He looked mighty stylish when he ran. So did USC’s Marcus Allen a decade later, though he was never quite as strong and fast. Yet for my money, no one has ever matched Sayers for sheer artistic brilliance, a talent that combined speed, quickness, elusiveness, unpredictability, originality, creativity and fearlessness in way that made the world seem new. And as always when we see perfection, it couldn’t last.
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