Redskins running back Alfred Morris had a historic rookie season, putting up numbers never before seen in the franchise’s 80 year history.
Were it not for fellow rookie Robert Griffin III, Morris would have been the toast of the town and the face of the franchise in Washington.
But don’t expect jealousy from Morris, who was born without a diva bone in his body. All he needs is the respect of his teammates, his coaches, and maybe one of the greatest running backs of all time.
Enter Earl Campbell.
Campbell was drafted with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1978 draft and rumbled for more than 9,400 yards and 74 touchdowns in his eight-year career.
He was known as ‘the one-man demolition team,’ playing in the golden age of power backs like John Riggins and Eric Dickerson.
Although he retired before Alfred Morris was even born, Campbell was an inspiration for Morris, who models his game similarly, and has watched film of Campbell’s signature runs.
After Morris’s impressive rookie season in the NFL, Campbell reached out to the Washington Redskins with a signed jersey for Morris.
His only favor asked in return? If Alfred could sign a jersey for him as well.
Alfred picked up the No. 34 Houston Oilers jersey earlier this afternoon at Redskins Park:
“Man, this is huge. I’m really excited,” Morris said, holding the jersey up reverently. “He would plow right over people. Nobody could tackle him. Man..this is awesome.”
It’s a long-standing tradition in some sports, like soccer, to swap jerseys with a respected opponent on the other team. As a result, some of the most priceless sports memorabilia collections in the world are owned by players.
This story is founded on the same concept of mutual respect, but unique because it reaches across several NFL generations. It ends up being a classy gesture by both parties.
Morris was unable to reach Earl Campbell by phone, but said he would call again later to say thank you and put a signed No. 46 Redskins jersey in the mail.
“To: Earl…Alfred Morris”
Morris may need to track down the jersey in 15 years or so to put his own Hall Of Fame class underneath the autograph. I’m just saying, it could happen.
Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »