Tonight, a new movie debuts in ESPN's 30 for 30 series, 30 sports documentaries that have by and large been really, really, really good (if you haven't seen The U yet, you're missing an awesome movie). It's the story of Marcus Dupree.
If you're not from the South (capital letter, please), and you don't follow college football, you can be excused for not recognizing the name. But he's one of the players that motivated me to start looking at college players more closely as an NFL fan, because his name came up over and over again as the best player that never made it.
When I was young, I would often talk to older football fans in north Texas or Louisiana about the best players they've ever seen coming out of high school. There tended to be plenty of argument about who was the best. But every adult I talked to as a kid had the same answer as the best they saw that never made it past college: Marcus Dupree.
He was the absolutely perfect running back: size, speed, acceleration, agility, jukes, power, strength, grace... I could add a hundred other adjectives here and they all fit. He was perfect, and everyone knew it. But his body couldn't handle the talent.
Marcus Dupree has nothing to do with the Rams. He has nothing to do with the NFL. And he has nothing to do with Turf Show Times. Except that I know TST, and TST knows me.
If you don't know the story of a man who achieves greatness only to see it all fade away, you have a chance. Check it out. The Best There Never Was premieres tonight; check that link for the schedule of re-airings. It takes a decent amount of luck to get to the NFL, and Marcus Dupree lived an unlucky life.