Was there a better time period for crackerjack monikers than among college football running backs in the late 1970s and early 1980s? In the name of Curtis Dickey, I say: Nay. In 1980, I watched Nebraska I-Back Jarvis Redwine uncork a bouquet of sweet-smelling option-based beatdowns on Penn State. Jarvis Redwine, of course, had the dubious task of following the legend of I.M. Hipp--whose reign comprises the apex of Carter-era sporting nomenclature--all of which led me, at the age of eight, to presume that Nebraska was much cooler than lily-white central Pennsylvania, that in fact Nebraska was the funkiest state in the union, full of grinning overall-clad corn farmers wearing oversized hats and grooving out on their John Deeres to Parliament records.
But Penn State was not devoid of alliterative running backs in 1980, either. For we had the one-man band known as Booker Moore, a tailback from Flint, Michigan, who, according to the Joe Paterno quote in the 1979 Penn State football media guide I hold in my hands*, "...only needs to learn how to use his speed more intelligently to become an outstanding back." Well, Booker must have learned something, because after rebounding from some early troubles at Penn State, he had a solid career; and then after failing to make an impression with the Buffalo Bills during a brief NFL career, he became a police officer. He died last Sunday, while watching football at home, at the age of 50. Rest in peace, Booker. Your name will not soon be forgotten. How could it be?
*That year, Penn State faced tailbacks named I.M. Hipp, Curtis Dickey (of Texas A&M), Billy Ray Vickers (N.C. State) and Rooster Jones (Pitt). In 2009, that is no doubt a murderers' row of college town funk-rock bands.