Could he help it if the team thought they had to resort to the forward pass? "I'm not down, I'm not going to go home and hang my head!" protested Eric. Did the fan animosity get to him? Surprise him? Eric grinned. "They just love to hate me," he admitted. "I guess they feel like I abandoned them."
Whatever he did, you have to understand one of the Eric Dickerson's stated priorities in life is a Super Bowl ring. "I just got to have one," he insists.
It's a long season but, on the basis of Sunday's game, you would have to conclude the Rams may be closer to one of those rings than Dickerson's team. Of course, if you've been paying attention, you are all familiar with Murray's Law of Diminishing Returns. It is this: Running backs do not put you in the Super Bowl. Quarterbacks do. If Earl Campbell couldn't put anybody in the Super bowl, nobody running with the football can. O.J. couldn't do it. Even Bo probably can't do it.
Obviously, the coaches Sunday understood this very well. They put the ball in the air nearly 70 times.
Eric unwittingly seemed to understand it himself. "I've got all the yards, all the trophies, all the averages, all the attempts, I've gotten everything along that line but a Super Bowl."
That probably should tell him something. Eric wasn't beaten Sunday by the runner who replaced him, Greg Bell had 68 yards in 22 carries, Dickerson had 116 yards in 21 carries. Bell had five receptions for 13 yards, Dickerson had five for 45 yards.
Dickerson and the Colts were beaten by the--a little bullfight music, professor!--ever-lovin' forward pass. Henry Ellard beat Dickerson's team Sunday with 12 catches for 230 yards and three touchdowns. It should come as no surprise to those who have been paying attention. It was ever thus.
And the author may have had it slightly wrong. It's not, You Can't Go Home Again. It's You Shouldn't.