What happened to our little boy scout?
What happened to our little boy scout?
The frost was working out of the ground, and out of the air, too, and it was getting closer and closer onto barefoot time every day; and next it would be marble time, and next mumbletypeg, and next tops and hoops, and next kites, and then right away it would be summer and going in a-swimming.
It just makes a boy homesick to look ahead like that and see how far off summer is. Yes, and it sets him to sighing and saddening around, and there’s something the matter with him, he don’t know what. But anyway, he gets out by himself and mopes and thinks; and mostly he hunts for a lonesome place high up on the hill in the edge of the woods and sets there and looks away off on the big Mississippi down there a-reaching miles and miles around the points where the timber looks smoky and dim it’s so far off and still, and everything’s so solemn it seems like everybody you’ve loved is dead and gone, and you ‘most wish you was dead and gone too, and done with it all.
Don’t you know what that is? It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want — oh, you don’t quite know what it is you DO want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! It seems to you that mainly what you want is to get away; get away from the same old tedious things you’re so used to seeing and so tired of, and set something new.
That is the idea; you want to go and be a wanderer; you want to go wandering far away to strange countries where everything is mysterious and wonderful and romantic. And if you can’t do that, you’ll put up with considerable less; you’ll go anywhere you CAN go, just so as to get away, and be thankful of the chance, too.
Well, me and Tom Sawyer had the spring fever, and had it bad, too…
– Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer, Detective by Mark Twain
Modern college football was not even a twinkle in America’s eye when Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer rambled around fictional St. Petersburg, Missouri, near the banks of the Mighty Mississippi.
We tripped over an EDSBS post Wednesday reflecting on the curious connection between sickingly talented running backs and their penchants for bizarre, disturbing, or just plain illegal, activities. The post begins,
Cecil Collins, oh, for the things you could have been had you not decided to break into apartments and strange women sleep.
Collins smashed bones to pieces for one hot streak of games in 1997 before breaking his leg, and then deciding the best thing to do with his spare time was entering apartments not belonging to him and cuddling with women.
He wasn’t a molester; no, we prefer the term “cuddle bandit,” instead, as it sounds so much more jaunty.
Reference to the former LSU tailback reminded us of a time when we were terrified of but three things in this world:
(1) Skeet Ulrich;
(2) forgetting to return a book to the public library for several years, causing an accumulation of overdue fines exceeding a million dollars; and
(3) Cecil “The Diesel” Collins.
Beside having the baddest-ass nickname in the history of people, every time he stepped onto the field he evoked that melancholic flood of hot fear-blood in the stomachs of opposing players, coaches, and fans – and probably even his own teammates.
We remember watching The Diesel absolutely run roughshod over folks in the ’97 LSU-Auburn game down in Death Valley. He was like a cyclonic bulldozer every time he carried the ball, and it was clear that after a couple of his runs, instead of attempting to stop him, Auburn defenders were trying to get out of his way.
Because he hurt. Hurt bad.
It was a game in which it seemed like every time LSU ran the ball, the Tigahs either scored or sent somebody to the hospital – or both. Collins finished that game with 232 yards, but LSU’s own defense couldn’t contain AU quarterback Dameyune Craig, and the visitors eked out a 31-28 win over coach Gerry DiNardo‘s squad.
In 1995, Collins’s senior season at Leesville High School, he wrecked the fields for over 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. The performance led to his coronation as Louisiana’s first Mr. Football as well as his second straight player-of-the-year award in 4A, Leesville’s classification. When his high school career was over, he had compiled over 7,800 yards, good for second-best all-time in state history, and 99 touchdowns.
The Diesel only played in three full D1 college football games, however. After missing his first year at LSU due to grades, he stepped in alongside second-string RB Rondell Mealey against Mississippi State to cover for injured starter Kevin Faulk in the second game of the season. LSU’s scary rushing attack did not skip a beat without Faulk, as Collins and Mealey tore into Bulldog coordinator Joe Lee Dunn‘s defense for 257 combined yards (Collins had 172). The next week he had his way with Auburn. Following that, he rumbled over poor Akron for 179 yards.
Note that he lost a shoe at the line of scrimmage and was angry he only got to run over one defender.
In Collins’s fourth outing in an LSU uniform, against Vanderbilt, he broke his leg early in the contest. Somebody important must’ve been praying for Vandy. In just over three college football games, The Diesel had gained nearly 600 yards and caused more cranial contusions than Mike Tyson.
After his injury, Collins was arrested for breaking into a girl’s home and “cuddling” with her. He claimed to have been sleepwalking when the incident occurred, and LSU bought it. But then it happened again, and this time he was dropped from the football team and the university.
Let’s be clear about something – if Cecil “The Diesel” Collins entered our home in the middle of the night and attempted to “cuddle,” caress, or even make us watch Romy and Michelle’s High School Reunion with him, we would oblige and offer to make him panna cotta. Then we would request that he allow us to remove our mud-colored underwear and slip into a sheer satin teddy. We’d do all this not because we’re into dudes (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but because he is the most terrifying individual on Earth.
But now The Diesel is in prison. Not long after signing with the Miami Dolphins and actually playing in some NFL games in ’99, he broke into a married woman’s house for more creepy breathing and cuddling. The woman’s husband was home.
Guess they didn’t have any panna cotta ingredients in the pantry.
Brett Favre is retiring from the Jets and football forever, huh? Brett, we have one request. Don’t become a broadcaster or analyst like so many other former NFL stars. Be an actor. We know you’ve got it in you.
In fact, Favre was in town to play the Dolphins for his final game on Dec. 28th. But it was in New Jersey…not Miami.
His real name is Vincent. Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson. Being from Alabama, he loves hunting, especially for deer. That shows in the description he gives of himself in a recent article in the Baltimore Sun. “God blessed me with speed like a spooked deer,” Jackson says, “He blessed me with an arm as if somebody tied a rifle to my shoulder.”
Anyone who has ever read his autobiography, Bo Knows Bo, which combines the funniest and scariest stories of growing up poor in Bessemer, Ala., knows Bo isn’t afraid to talk about his physical ability. But in his older age, he has also gained some “perspective.”
Sports has made life so easy for me now. It has helped me get my feet into doors in business to where I’m comfortable…I am a poor black boy from Alabama, raised in a house that I could fit into my living room…
I have business deals thrown my way on almost a weekly basis. That’s what sports has done for me.
I was good for sports, but sports was great to Bo Jackson.
According to the article, Auburn’s 1985 Heisman Trophy winner now lives in Chicago and has his hand in many different baskets. He owns a bank, an indoor sports facility, and a food manufacturer that ranks in the top-10 of companies providing food for the military. That enterprise may stem from his true passion, gourmet cooking, which is “one thing that I do better than sports,” Jackson says.
“..[O]f course I specialize in Southern cooking, but I also dibble and dabble in Italian, Asian, and a little French cuisine.”
In 1991, after several seasons splitting time with professional baseball and football (and splitting time with Marcus Allen in the Oakland Raiders backfield), his football career was terminated.
The details are fuzzy, but basically Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Kevin Walker shoved a rusty dagger in the running back’s side during a tackle, and the weapon pierced Jackson’s hip bone. That’s the gist of it anyway. But his baseball career lasted a few more years. In the article Bo mentions that he “got spoiled” during Major League Baseball’s ’95 strike when he was able to spend quality time with his family.
“It wasn’t a case of, I couldn’t play anymore. I didn’t want to play anymore.”
We understand, Vincent. Baseball was never meant for one as beautiful as you.