Thursday, December 15, 2005

Behind The Scoreboard
By Claude Vinson

That ‘thang’

This column this week is all about names and “thangs.”

All of you know that the overworked phrase “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” is attributed to the great bard Shakespeare. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know to whom “thang” is attributed. Oh, we know that is borne out of the slang genre and intermingled liberally with today’s jargon.

The first name we are going to address today is the Doak Walker Award. This award is given annually to the very best running back in the business. The next name is Heisman. It needs no further introduction.

Another name, Reggie Bush, garnered both of these awards. Bush plays for a big name school. One of the biggest. Period. USC of the powerful PAC Ten. Please don’t think that this writer is trying to take anything from a running back who has stepped up on a plateau with other names, like Gale Sayers, Tony Dorsett, Barry Sanders and Marshall Faulk.

And the “thang.” Well, the “thang” is DeAngelo Williams of the University of Memphis was not even invited. Williams is the number four rusher in NCAA history. Imagine that. Heretofore, there have always been four players invited to the most prestigious award in collegiate sports. The “thang?” Why were there just three this year? The name.

The University of Memphis. Suppose Williams had this reputation at University of Michigan, University of Ohio or Notre Dame. Need I go on?

Williams was invited as one of the finalists for the Doak Walker Award. Don’t have time or space to expound upon the exploits of Doak, but this award is for running backs, only. All American Williams was one of the finalists. But again, Reggie Bush was tapped.

Williams, depending upon his performance in the Motor City Bowl, could very well end his career still as the leading rusher this season. So why didn’t he get the Walker award? That “thang”!

More names for you. Would you believe that the SEC has six teams in post season bowls? Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Florida, LSU and Auburn. Georgia plays in one of the richest (Sugar Bowl).

Still more names. Some childhood friends were in town over the weekend to attend a funeral and stated that they are avid readers of this column.

Rose Shuford and sister Charlene (sorry for calling you Camille!) reside in Chicago and the D.C area, respectively. It is always such a pleasure to see and do the auld lang syne “thang.”

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