Yesterday morning, Brian Baldinger ate an unusually large portion of overreaction omelets doused in hyperbole sauce when he, Brian Westbrook, and Ray Didinger watched film of Bryce Brown’s Monday night performance against the Panthers. In an article written by the great Ray Didinger for CSN Philly, Baldinger compared Brown to Bo freaking Jackson:
Baldinger, who controls the remote during the weekly tape review at NFL Films in Mt. Laurel, N.J., ran the play back and forth several times. Each time he marveled at Brown’s acceleration as he left the Panthers’ secondary in the dust.
“That’s Bo Jackson-like,” the NFL Network analyst said.
“I’m not putting him in that class, not after one [NFL] start,” Baldinger said. “I’m just saying that kind of speed is rare. Not many running backs can do this.”
OK, so what you have here from Baldinger is the classic “He’s like (fill in the player that is a major stretch for a comparison),” then back off it a bit, but reiterate that you really mean to make the comparison. It’s like saying, “Nick Foles is kind of like a combination of Superman and Spiderman. Now I’m not saying he’s in the same class as Superman/Spiderman in that he can’t swing from skyscraper to skyscraper using webs he shoots from his wrists, nor can he shoot lasers out of his eyes, but he has two arms and two legs, which can also be said of Superman and Spiderman.”
Brown had an awesome starting debut (as a runner, not as a non-fumbler), but in no way, shape, or form is he anything close to what Bo Jackson was in the 80’s when Bo was doing stuff like this (take note of Bo’s power on the run at the 0:35 mark, and his ridiculous speed on the run at the 1:35 mark)…
Not to mention… this:
I know that Baldinger backpedaled a tad by saying “I’m not putting him in (the same class as Bo Jackson)”, but I’d prefer if we just didn’t even mention Bryce Brown and Bo Jackson in the same sentence, please. For now at least, anyway. Can we let the kid get a few games under his belt before setting up the fan base for a colossal disappointment?
Baldinger, of course, had Jamar Chaney in the Hall of Fame after one start a couple years ago, and said that Dimitri Patterson and Asante Samuel were the best CB tandem in the NFL.
OK, so whatever, that’s Baldinger being Baldinger. My disappointment here lies with Didinger. At least Baldinger, in this case, didn’t print this nonsense. Didinger did, and did so as if Baldinger’s comments were actually credible.
But here’s the best part. In watching various Bo Jackson highlights just to make sure I wasn’t crazy in remembering him as some kind of athletic marvel, I’m listening to a familiar voice saying the following:
“He was 6’1. He was 230 pounds, chiseled marble, incredible speed, breathtaking speed. There were clockings of him running the 40 yard dash in 4.12 seconds. You’re talking about a once in a generation player.”
Who was that voice? None other than the great Ray Diddy (first 18 seconds of the video):
The second Baldinger got one syllable deep in mentioning Bo Jackson’s name, Diddy should have immediately slapped some sense into him, a la Billy Crystal and Robert DeNiro:
Instead, he went, “Meh, screw it. I’ll just print it instead.”