Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Best That Never Was: The Story of Running Back Marcus Dupree



I don't like to use the word phenomenon very often, otherwise someone whose a phenomenon wouldn't be that special. Its like saying everything that you like is awesome or calling everything awesome, once everything becomes something, then the word loses its meaning. I wasn't very familiar with Marcus Dupree growing up, I started watching football around 1982 and most of the football I saw in those first few years. Had something to do with the Washington Redskins, it was probably around 1986 that I expanded my football viewing and started watching other NFL clubs and got into College Football as well. And Marcus Dupree was out of football all together by 1984 or 85, so I didn't really see him play at all growing up but everything I've seen about him since on TV and film. About his talent as a Running Back, was that he was phenomenal as a Running Back, there aren't many Running Backs I would describe as phenomenal, that they are so great that they have to be in this very limited club of greatness. I think of guys like Jim Brown who would be at the top of my list and the President of this Club, Walter Payton would be another member, Eric Dickerson would be another, Marcus Allen would be another one, Bo Jackson would be another one and Marcus Dupree would also be in this club as well.

The guys that I mentioned except for Jim Brown the Greatest Running Back of All Time, followed by Walter Payton. Not exactly in that order and I'm not talking about great careers, because Marcus Dupree certainly didn't have a great career and I'll get into that later. And you can make a similar case about Bo Jackson as well but this club is about the greatest talents that ever played Running Back and Marcus Dupree has to be on that list or the list isn't worth much. If you want to use the word awesome, then these guys would qualify and the reason why Dupree is in this club. You are talking about a guy 6'1-6'2, 225-230 pounds, a big tall man that could run a 4.3 in the forty yard dash, that could also bench press 450 pounds. If you watch Dupree's highlights, you see big strong man bounce off of him as they are trying to tackle him. And smaller fast guys looking as slow as school bus's compared with Dupree, trying to run him down and not even getting close enough to throw something at him.

But for anyone who doesn't understand sports, you have to have more then talent to be successful, football perfect example of that. You have to have a certain level of knowledge and intelligence to be successful in football, you not only have to be able to learn what you are being taught. But you have to want to learn, learn about football from people who frankly have forgotten more about the sport then you currently know about it. And that was Marcus Dupree's downfall, he was never much of a student, probably should've never went to Oklahoma, which is a real university where you are expected to do the work to be able to stay and finish. And Dupree was out of College Football by 1984 and was given an opportunity in the USFL, got hurt and was never the same.