I’d never seen anything like it, but I was a 25-year-old reporter who might have been prone to gushing. I might have been, except that the four seasoned football men in the room were yelling and laughing the same way I was. (And they, I reminded myself, had to try to stop Herschel six nights hence.)
About that time, coach Fran Curci appeared at the door. This was unusual. Being a former quarterback and an offensive schemer, he pretty much left the defensive guys alone. This Sunday he had a request: “Show me this guy.”
Bailey reran the film. Curci oohed and aahed the way we had, and when the shoulder-pad moment arrived he shouted, “Look at that guy hanging there! That’s unbelievable!”
Georgia would beat Kentucky 27-0, but the Wildcats made Herschel work. He gained 131 yards on 31 carries, which by his standards was a pedestrian night. (For the record, Charlie Bailey was a splendid defensive coordinator.)
No longer 25, I’ve been hanging around the sport a while now. I’ve never seen grizzled football men go gaga the way those Kentucky coaches did. Yes, Herschel Walker is the greatest player in Georgia history. He’s also the greatest player in the history of college football.