Hey Kids, Here's Some Advice From NFL Running Backs: Don't Be A Running Back, Or Play Football At All
One of the long-term questions facing the NFL is whether there will be enough people to play it in 10, 20, 30 or more years. The more we learn about what football does to the brain and body, the less parents will be cool with letting their kids suit up and bash into each other. And if you're not playing as a kid, you're definitely not playing as an adult.
Running backs have arguably the toughest gig in football -- unlike their peers at other skill positions, they get hit nearly every play (either as a pass blocker or as a runner with the ball), and unlike their peers in the trenches, they're expected to be the fastest and craftiest players on the field. So what advice do Chris Johnson (currently of the Jets) and LenDale White (retired, but best known for his days as a Titan) have for future running backs?
Don't be a running back. Shit, don't even play football at all. Play baseball. Watch, via SI Now:
These guys have a point -- running backs are often cited as the most interchangeable (i.e., when a starting running back gets injured, the betting line doesn't move much, because people assume the backup should be able to run the same schemes behind the same blockers) and rarely get the kind of monetary love quaterbacks, cornerbacks, receivers and linemen do.
Adrian Peterson is the only running back on this list of the NFL's top 25 highest paid players for 2014, and his contract is generally viewed as terrible. Meanwhile, three RBs (Peterson, Marshawn Lynch and LeSean McCoy) are on the top-selling jersey list. So while the fans show their running backs love, NFL franchises do not. Stop being a running back now, before it's too late.
Photo via Getty