If I see one more Visa or 1-800-COLLECT commercial with Emmitt Smith smugly warming the camera, I think I’ll puke. Too bad I have a craving with my Sweet tooth.
Dallas Cowboys running back Emmitt Smith needs only 93 yards against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday to surpass the legendary Walter Payton’s NFL career rushing record of 16,726 yards. With ex-Stanford dud Chad Hutchinson starting at QB for the Boys, Emmitt will likely have more chances to run with the ball than a rugrat has riding Space Mountain.
And what a shame.
I rue the day that the undeserving Smith will break Sweetness’ glorious record. And he will this week or next, unless Seahawk linebacker Chad Brown munches on Smith’s knee like a fish taco and Emmitt has to call it quits with a tear-jerker press conference, a fitting finale into the smoggy Dallas sunset.
The rushing record belongs to Walter. Since I was little, there was only one running back and one player who caught my attention – and only one record that belongs with the Chicago Bears’ hero. Sweetness was a kind, unselfish, ferocious, unrelenting, selfless, persevering and phenomenal football player. The running record is special. When critics think of running backs, the first thoughts that cross the mind are Payton plowing through and convulsing past defenders.
Sweetness defines the game of football and the excellence of the NFL.
Smith’s just a runt of the litter who took advantage of a titanic O-line and a precautionary running style that preserved his health. A pulled hammy here, a tight quad there, and Smith’s running circles where Sweetness lowers his shoulder for an extra two yards. Smith barely deserves a nod in the top five running backs of all time.
The way Emmitt has conducted himself off the field is equally as unsettling. “I want to do it at home very bad, very bad,” the grammatically challenged Smith said on Oct. 21. Emmitt’s got less class than six-year seniors see at school.
Even if the record was meant to be broken, Barry Sanders would have been riding high in the ’90s if he hadn’t quit in the midst of his prime. Remember him?
Emmitt’s running style is blander than Uncle Ben’s rice. He runs more like the rigid Nutcracker than the spontaneous Payton. Through seven games, Emmitt has one rushing TD. Smith hasn’t been a strong back in what seems like a decade.
Time to give up the ghost. Football needs a little more Sweetness than Emmitt, a player undeserving of a unique milestone. Good luck, Smith, and break a leg.