Walker – 47 -- has announced he’ll be engaging in professional Mixed
Martial Arts by signing with Strikeforce. Everyone I know, including
one of his trainers, says “Bad idea.”
When you think of Herschel Walker, you think of one
of the greatest college running backs of all time, more powerful than a
Mack truck and twice as fast. You think of one of the hardest trainers
of all time, the 1500 per day pushups and 1000 per day setups guy, the
guy who did karate and tae kwon do training in water, the guy with a
6th degree tae kwon do black belt. The guy who, while in
the Ft. Worth ballet, could lift a ballerina with one hand while on
point, the Olympic bobsledder who also happened to be one of the
most polite athletes of all time.
Ballet? Bobsledding? Polite athlete? Do any of those words fit with Mixed Martial Arts?
MMA is legalized street fighting, thuggery with uniforms, where you can
wrestle someone to the ground and then slug him or kick him when he’s
down. Why even need a referee? MMA is so far out in the left field of
sport, it’s on SPIKE TV, if that tells you anything. Here are some
other words not fitting with MMA: 47 years old!
Some say Walker is disrespecting the sport by even
thinking he can be competitive. Some say he got hit by too many 260#
linebackers and if he persists he could end up like Ali. Some think he
ought to start with a Toughman Competition and leave MMA to the big
boys. Others point to Randy Couture, who is 46 and very competitive.
One trainer, Dan Solloway, who worked out Walker on
underwater Hydrotone strength training during Walker’s time with the
Dallas Cowboys, says Walker doesn’t belong in MMA. “He’s too smart.
He’s a successful businessman, a former 4-point student who ought to
know not to chance it in the octagon,” says Solloway, now a broadcaster
on a health oriented radio show. “Maybe one of Herschel’s other
personalities is pursuing this mid-life activity. Ummm, don’t tell
Herschel I mentioned that.”
Oh yeah, the multiple-personality thing. Don’t
worry, Dan, Herschel wrote a book, he’s in the open about his disorder.
In fact he speaks to groups on the subject. And even when he’s
rehearsing his speech… he’s still speaking to groups. Sorry, Herschel,
don’t roundhouse kick me.
Other football players have transitioned into the
MMA – Marcus Jones, Michael Westbrook and Johnnie Morton. Morton didn’t
do so well while the others held their own although both are much
younger than Walker. However, neither Jones nor Westbrook have as many
personalities as Walker. What if one of Walker’s personalities was that
of a Texas Ranger? Would that send roundhouse kick fear throughout the
We have it on good authority Herschel is full into
this project. After discussing it with himselves, he hired the best
trainers by working out at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose,
California. This is the same camp producing many UFC and Strikeforce
standouts. We have to ask how many of them won a Heisman or competed in
the Olympics or played in two Pro Bowls or won American Superstars two
years in a row or danced the Nutcracker or got to the 8th round of
Celebrity Apprentice? Hmmm? Don’t count a guy out just because of age.
Kirk Douglas just did a play at 92. Larry King has fathered kids at the
age of 105. Don’t be surprised if Herschel surprises. On the other hand
he could listen to us: Use your brains and… Run!