A new generation discovers Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker's legend spreads thanks to ESPN. (University of Georgia)

Herschel Walker's legend spreads thanks to ESPN. (University of Georgia)

My teenage daughter Olivia has probably always known who Herschel Walker is — she could hardly have grown up in our Bulldog household and not been aware of No. 34.

But until she sat down to watch ESPN’s documentary on Herschel Wednesday night, I don’t think she’d ever paid that much attention to the specifics of his story and just how amazing he really was. After all, his playing days at Georgia were over long before she was born.

She really got into watching the game footage from Herschel’s time at UGA and was amazed to learn he was only 6-feet-1. “He looks so big!”

Reliving those glory days was fun, even for someone who wasn’t around back then. She wanted to know where I watched the Sugar Bowl against Notre Dame and whether I was on my feet and yelling. (She pretty much already knew the answer to that latter part.)

And she particularly enjoyed the footage of 49-year-old Herschel putting the current Bulldogs through a grueling workout recently — and showing up most of them.

By the end of the program, Olivia was on the iPad, scouring the Internet for more on Herschel Walker. She was, she told her mother, reading about “one of the greatest football players ever.”

The greatest, honey. Ever.

“Storied: Herschel Walker” repeats tonight at midnight on ESPNU. It’s definitely worth your time. And your children’s.

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111 comments Add your comment

jwdawg

September 8th, 2011
10:36 am

First? I wish we could get another back with the same type of dedication that Herschel had! Go dawgs!

DawginLex

September 8th, 2011
10:39 am

I watched it with one of my children too. She was amazed at his speed and size. She is pretty knowledgeable about football.

she asked “Why don’t we pitch the ball and run like that anymore?”

Coach Richt?
coach Bobo

Buehler???

Teasley51

September 8th, 2011
10:42 am

The story was awesome! Someone should make a full length movie of his life story. I have read his book and it is good also. Gave me “chill bumps”…Sure wish we had another player just like him!

GABULLDAWG47

September 8th, 2011
10:47 am

They should offer Herschel the Strength and Conditioning job at UGA. He should also be considered for the running backs coach.

Dave

September 8th, 2011
10:54 am

I love the red and black, bleed red and black and love all things red and black. I have given Bobo as much slack as I can, defended him from some of my cohorts, but the play calling in the Boise State game was as awful as I can imagine. I don’t have a leg to stand on any more. I wouldn’t give the ball to Richard Samuel another time and we need to have sweeps from the “I”, screens, just get our speed out in space. We kept running between the tackles and when it wasn’t working, we ran it between the tackles again. I know Boise is a great football team and ranked number 5, but we were FAR inferior on the field and I have a feeling that SC might just splatter us on our home field. I hope I am wrong. Any thoughts?

OLD DAWG 60

September 8th, 2011
10:56 am

They should make the entire team watch the show together before this weeks game and maybe before each game the rest of the year. Let the team see his dedication and let the coaches see UGA pounding the ball down some throats. Together they can hear Herschel reminding them we are GEORGIA. Play and be physical.

VALDOSTADAWG

September 8th, 2011
10:57 am

I sure hope Bobo was watching the Hershel Walker special. He could take a few notes on how to play good ole fashion smash mouth ball. You would think if the offense was not getting it they would go back to simple football like uhhh the I formation? other than that great film and everyone who is a fan of Hershel should read his book!

Danny Ford

September 8th, 2011
11:00 am

Herschel never scored on Clemson! Did ya know that?????

Danny Ford

September 8th, 2011
11:01 am

Nor Did George Rogers of SC. Did ya know that????

Barbie Doolies

September 8th, 2011
11:01 am

My Gawd a freshmen!

DawginLex

September 8th, 2011
11:08 am

In all seriousness, I wonder if Herschel would accept a position on the staff.

Dirty Dawg

September 8th, 2011
11:09 am

OK, I’m gonna use this to ‘re-state’ an initiative that I believe is worth the ‘trying’. I believe that players that, for whatever reason, left school prior to completing their eligibility, should be allowed to petition the NCAA for reinstatement. Sure there’s the ‘pro thing’, but that can be overcome with a ’statute of limitations’ and/or an ‘age’ thing. Let’s say that once a ‘player’ has been out of professional ball, in this case football, for X-number of years…and reached the age of 40 or 45ish…he should be allowed to return to ‘finish the job’ – in Herschel’s case it would be to become the all-time rushing yards leader – not to mention what it would do for UGA and College football…and it should be ‘fast-tracked’ so we can get him eligible before October or something. Whatayasay?

Dacula Dawg

September 8th, 2011
11:13 am

Didn’t have to score against Clem or his son. In ‘80, “Clemson had all the yards but GA had Scott Woerner” (to quote Munson). In ‘81, UGA turned the ball over about 50 times, or so it seemed – Clem deserved to be Nat’l Champ. And in ‘82, Herschel was a good enough decoy though even with his hand bandaged up. So, Dawgs were 2-1 against Clem in HW’s day….seems a bit more important than the # of TD’s.

Dawgs

September 8th, 2011
11:22 am

It’s second and 8 – guess what Bobo is going to call – Carlton Thomas up the middle for a one yard gain.

ATLnative

September 8th, 2011
11:24 am

I was in Athens 82-85 and was lucky to see him play in person. I just turned 50 and he is an inspiration to me and my workout routine! thank you HW and fight well! http://mmavalor.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/herschel-walker-MMA.jpg

Nick Saban

September 8th, 2011
11:34 am

I will take 7 million a year and fix your program

dawgstyle

September 8th, 2011
11:36 am

I played high school football against Hershel ! I played for ECI and he was at Johnson Co. in 1980. I really enjoy the ESPN show, it was great seeing some of the high school films and all those great Georgia highlights ! He will always be the greatest college athlete !!!

dawgstyle

September 8th, 2011
11:39 am

Hey ole Danny ! All that really matters is the final score…. right !

Gainesville Gator

September 8th, 2011
11:40 am

That’s right Bill, if you can’t say anything about your pathetic program in the present, live in the past.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
11:41 am

I was in school at the same time Herschel was there . . . back when students could attend attend games for a dollar. You never wanted to take your eyes off the game when the offense was on the field because every time Herschel touched the ball he was a threat to go all the way. “My God . . . just a freshman!” I was at the 1980 Georgia/South Carolina game when Herschel outrushed eventual Heisman winner George Rogers and led the Bulldogs to a 13-10 victory. In my book one of the greatest Georgia/South Carolina games in history.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
11:44 am

DawginLex . . . Don’t know if he can coach but he would be a bonanza for our recruiting.

Inlet Dawg

September 8th, 2011
11:44 am

Wish I had ESPN U

roughrider

September 8th, 2011
11:45 am

UGA needs to get Herschel involved in recruiting and possibly on the coaching staff.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
11:45 am

BTW I forgot to watch last night. Anybody know when it will be shown again?

just a fan

September 8th, 2011
11:53 am

it will be rebroadcast on espnU at midnight tonight or tomorrow

boots

September 8th, 2011
12:01 pm

Herschel got robbed of the Heisman in ‘80. Rogers was a great back, but there is – and will ever be – only one Herschel Walker. He set the standard for class, courage, and character as a college athlete, a Pro, an Olympian, a fighter and as a man. I am honored that he wore the red & black, and he changed the Dawg Nation forever. Even our school’s enemies must grant us that he is the definition of a college player and a man.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
12:14 pm

boots . . . I totally agree! There’s always been a bias toward underclassmen even though, at that time, Archie Griffin had won it twice. I don’t remember if Herschel gained more yards for the season than Rogers but I remember thinking he should have won it in 1980. I know Bo was good too, and yes I’m biased, but there will never be another back as big and strong and fast as Herschel. As Bill Bates can attest, you didn’t want to get between him and the goal line.

CHDawg

September 8th, 2011
12:14 pm

Dave, I agree, and I think CMB is a smart coach who does a fine job with the QBs. IMO, most teams plan on ~80-90% of our plays generating from tackle to tackle, so they plan on having 7-9 defenders right there in the box for stopping the run and pressuring the QB. That is why we have so many long pass plays, imo–they will get burned doing that all of the time. Basically, they are saying to CMB, if you are going to beat us you will have to do it somewhere else. Plays that very, very quickly attack other parts of the field might be a great option. But, if the line doesn’t block well, everything may look bad. I hope he can figure out a way to minimize our blocking problems, but Ellis J. is a smart DC. Will be interesting to watch. I hope CMB comes up with a great plan. Go Dawgs.

Still@theBAR

September 8th, 2011
12:14 pm

Did they talk about UGA giving his sister a track Scholarship to get him to come? Did they mention the Black Smokey & the Bandit Trans AM Herschel was given to come to UGA? Did they cover the real ETHICAL dealings and Issues that were going on at UGA until Jan Kemp Blew the Whistle?
AND NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY.

Dawg

September 8th, 2011
12:18 pm

Still@theBar……are you walking on water???

Johnnyvet

September 8th, 2011
12:19 pm

IN the 1980’s, there were three running back that let the NCAA in rushing. Their names were: George Rodgers, born 8 Dec 1958, Duluth, Ga. Herschel Walker, Johnson County high school, Ga, Stump Mitchell, born 3-15, 1959,Kingland, Ga. I would have been nice to have had these three at one time,,

Johnnyvet

September 8th, 2011
12:21 pm

led instead of let and it instead of I

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 8th, 2011
12:22 pm

The Bill Bates run was great but to me the 80 yd run against SC or the run against KY where he blowed everyone away who even had the angle on him is much better and shows what made him different and great

Wished they would play that during the pre game video UGA highlights

Just Sayin'

September 8th, 2011
12:23 pm

You mutts sure like to live in the past, don’t you?

BigTimeTechFan

September 8th, 2011
12:25 pm

Yet people today love the passing game. Makes no sense to me, I would rather football go back to the days of Glory RB’s carrying the team like:
Herschel
Dorsett
Bo Jackson
M Dupree
E Campell
Billy Sims
C White

Football was better to watch back then
Why I like CPJ so much, he loves to run the ball

BigTimeTechFan

September 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

I forgot Robert Levette

Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville

September 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

Still@theBAR

I know we agree on things but I sure hope you dont think that kind of stuff doesnt just go on at UGA. It goes on at every major college program.

Just listen to what Colt Mccoy’s girlfriend said about Texas

BigTimeTechFan

September 8th, 2011
12:27 pm

@Flat Tire on I-95 in Jacksonville:

Agree, Auburn does that with Bo Jackson and the crowd goes nuts

Advocati

September 8th, 2011
12:28 pm

Just Sayin’ –

Why do you spend your time reading the UGA page? While we like to reminisce about the greatest football player of all time, we certainly don’t waste our weekdays reading articles about other shool’s players. Get a life, loser.

The Ghost of Wally Butts

September 8th, 2011
12:29 pm

Here are a FEW things that Herschel NEVER FELT THE NEED TO DO…

1. Celebrate after a touchdown – he simply handed the ball to the ref – his play spoke for itself.

2. Grow long hair and braid it.

3. Beat his chest after each play.

4. Insult opposing coaches by any means (even if twitter had existed back then).

5. Trash talk.

6. Throw a big media event to annouce which college he was attending.

7. Dance on the sideline.

8. Break the law.

9. Break team rules.

10. Get a tatoo.

I could go on, but you get the point – compared with today’s “Power Ranger” Dawgs, their dreadlocks and attitudes. No wonder we are losing games, respect and patience.

Still@theBAR

September 8th, 2011
12:31 pm

Didn’t hear what Colt’s bullet catcher said. I must have missed that, but yes STUFF goes on and I would bet it is worse now with how much HUGE money is now at stake.

Beast from the East

September 8th, 2011
12:34 pm

As a Gator, I was glad to see him leave UGA for the USFL. He was an absolute BEAST!!!! He was the greatest college running back I’ve ever seen. He was like a man playing against boys in those days. The only other running back that even came close to his physical domination was Earl Campbell, in my opinion.

Still@theBAR

September 8th, 2011
12:39 pm

BigTimeTechFan
September 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

I forgot Robert Levette
you forgot William Bell too
Advocati
well if you read the Tech page plenty of your UGA fans don’t do as you do.

The Thing about Herschel was was as big as the linebackers back in his day. There are not that many RB’s today that are that big and fast compared the the LB’s.
Josh Nesbitt was 6′-1″ and 212lbs. He is just about the size Herschel was during his playing days. I think Herschel was playing at 220lbs.

JaxDawg05

September 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

Gainesville Gator
September 8th, 2011
11:40 am

That’s right Bill, if you can’t say anything about your pathetic program in the present, live in the past.

Typical Gator fan. Florida Gators football, the tradition of Wake Forest and the arrogance of Notre Dame. Yes, football WAS played before 1990, contrary to belief in Hogtown.

chickenman

September 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

grew up listening to stories about the best back to ever do it…It was a good look into the turmoil that made him the beast of the east…. Never will there be a tailback with that kind of ability..His drive was and is something of a Epic.

59bulldawg

September 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

Advocati . . . He didn’t do much reading today . . . else he would have noticed the topic of today’s blog. Too much of a hurry to stick it us Georgia fans I guess!

Chicharito

September 8th, 2011
12:42 pm

Thanks again Bill.

Bling and Blang

September 8th, 2011
12:42 pm

@ ghostofwally……… you forgot to list ear bling….

dawgfan

September 8th, 2011
12:44 pm

Yes Still@theBar, everyone cheats. More specifically, everyone who has ever beaten Georgia Tech (and that’s a mighty long list) is a big fat cheater. Feel better clown? Good. I’m sorry that ESPN won’t be doing any documentaries on Georgia Tech players. You’d have better luck finding that on Comedy Central.

UGA81

September 8th, 2011
12:52 pm

I really don’t see how we continue to worship Herschel. If you remember he was paid for four years and only stayed three.