My Taki Article On White Running Backs


From my Wednesday column in Taki`s Magazine:

Let’s celebrate diversity! In Division 1-A college football, 19 of the top 20 players in rushing yards are—as sports fans expect—black. Yet, the #1 rusher is a white guy.

Toby Gerhart, Stanford’s 235-pound tailback, has piled up 650 yards on the ground to power lowly Stanford to a 4-1 overall record and a Pac-10 leading 3-0 conference mark..

…  Gerhart has been the most valuable running back in college football so far this season because Stanford doesn’t have much else going for it. Every defense knows Gerhart will be coming at them, but they haven’t stopped him yet.

Of course, there are many white running backs who shine in high school. . … Why are white starting tailbacks so rare in college football (at least, outside of the Mountain Time Zone)? … To help you understand

To help you understand where I’m coming from in thinking about race and running backs, allow me to indulge in a little nostalgia concerning the first college football game I ever saw. It was November 16, 1968, and I was nine. My dad had taken me to the museums in Exposition Park next to the University of Southern California. When we came out, a few minutes after one in the afternoon, the parking lot was full and the Coliseum next door roaring over the rematch between defending national champion USC and the only team to beat them the year before, Oregon State.

With the game already underway, a desperate scalper offered to sell us two tickets for whatever my father had in his pockets, which turned out to be $1.10.

As my dad and I trudged ever upward to our 55-cent seats in what turned out to be the 89th (and top) row in the end zone, I started to wonder if the scalper hadn’t gotten the best of the deal. Standing on my seat, I could peer over the back wall of the Coliseum and see our 1963 Pontiac down in the parking lot. Still, our Goodyear Blimpish view through the goal posts was ideal for watching the encounter of two All-American running backs.

Read the whole thing there and comment about it here.