Please Explain: Reggie Bush

Much was discussed about how the Houston Texans made a collossal mistake when they passed up Reggie Bush with the first pick in the 2006 NFL Draft. While I agreed that they messed up by not taking hometown hero, Vince Young, I’ve never thought Bush was anywhere close to the hype thrown his way.

Now, let me begin by writing that Bush is an explosive talent. What he is not is an every down running back. At USC, he ran behind a world-class offensive line and had the ball delivered to him by a Heisman Trophy QB (Matt Leinhart). With all these advantages, the guy who led the team in carries was teammate LenDale White. The same thing has gone on in New Orleans, with Deuce McAllister the focal point of majority of the Saints offensive plays. If you don’t have a strong back to pair with Bush, who can run between the tackles, your team is just not going to be very successful.

On a personal level, Bush is kind of a mixed bag. He is somewhat personable, but he also is the same person who taunted Brian Urlacher while scoring a touchdown in the NFC Championship game. He has done some great charity work, especially for the city of New Orleans, but when he was at USC, he was receiving plenty of illegal charity work by Trojan boosters, which could result in sanctions against the school. Look, it’s not like Bush has a rap sheet like Pac Man Jones, but his track record is a lot spottier than Peyton Manning.

Now very frew want to be held to the Peyton Manning standard, as the Colts signalcaller is funny, likeable, and has been at the top of the list of athletes who give back to their communities, but considering how many different corporate clients Bush is connected with, the Manning standard has to be used. So here we go.

  • Manning is the best player in the game, while Bush isn’t even one of the best 2 players on his team.
  • Manning has some acting chops, with excellent comic timing. Bush, uh not so much.
  • Manning has a squeaky clean image, while Bush’s personal behavior has some defects.

Since Manning finally won a Super Bowl last season, the biggest complaint that can be delivered at him is that he is overexposed. What I can’t understand is why Reggie Bush is put in the same ads with Manning. On the talent and actual accomplishment scale, it is almost like having a commercial with Peyton and Eli…

I saw Bush’s Men Fitness cover, so I understand the guy has sex appeal. I also realize he is a flashy player, who was fortunate enough to play in the Hollywood spotlight which is USC. These things have definitely played a big part in his high profile. I just can’t get past that the guy is a vastly ovverated NFL talent. He is not one of the 50 best players in the league, but he has been exalted like he is one of the Top 5. He is the ultimate example of style over substance. What am I missing here? Please Explain Reggie Bush.

11 thoughts on “Please Explain: Reggie Bush

  1. 1.  Interesting question. I think there are a couple things going on there. On the one hand if you look at total yardage gained he was pretty impressive. He wasn’t that impressive as a back, but he was an athlete. When he is in the groove he makes you giddy to watch him. In that way he is kind of like so of the track stars on the Cal team or Noel Devine . On that note he is kind of Barry Sanders-esque. My dad was never too into sports so it is something I came into on my own. I got into football because of two people Sanders and Warren Moon. Neither won shit (in the US), but I loved watching them play.

    On the other hand, Reggie Bush is clearly the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL. It’s not that he’s untalented, but at this point he is marketable because he’s Reggie Bush (the product) and not because he’s Reggie Bush (the player). Btw if you want to read something about this that will make you absolutely wish for Armeggedon check out the profile of Rachel Zoe in the NY Times Sunday Magazine from last week.

  2. 2.  Interesting question. I think there are a couple things going on there. On the one hand if you look at total yardage gained he was pretty impressive. He wasn’t that impressive as a back, but he was an athlete. When he is in the groove he makes you giddy to watch him. In that way he is kind of like so of the track stars on the Cal team or Noel Devine . On that note he is kind of Barry Sanders-esque. My dad was never too into sports so it is something I came into on my own. I got into football because of two people Sanders and Warren Moon. Neither won shit (in the US), but I loved watching them play.

    On the other hand, Reggie Bush is clearly the Lindsay Lohan of the NFL. It’s not that he’s untalented, but at this point he is marketable because he’s Reggie Bush (the product) and not because he’s Reggie Bush (the player). Btw if you want to read something about this that will make you absolutely wish for Armeggedon check out the profile of Rachel Zoe in the NY Times Sunday Magazine from last week.

  3. 4.  This is easy…be it Reggie Bush, Tomlinson et al: the measuring stick for all future NFL running backs is Barry Sanders:

    1) Sanders was one of only two NFL running backs in history (Jim Brown) who were good enough to affect the outcome of a given game largely independent of the average talent around them.

    2) For example, he recorded 1000+ yards in the first few seasons with the Lions when they ran the run and shoot offense…no tight end, no fullback, and the only running play was a draw….Put him in Emmitt Smith’s career with the Cowboys. Sanders would have 20k+ career rushing yards.

    3) Bush has about 85% of Sanders’s pure playmaking ability.

    4) Bo Jackson, you say? He was the last person who could have entered Jim Brown’s class, no one in history has been that fast at that size (4.2 40 at 230 lbs) but he unfortunately rolled the dice with football when he should have selected baseball…he would be DHing for the Yankees now with 700+ HRs

  4. 5.  I would add to 4 that Walter Payton was no slouch. He was the only good player on a very, very bad team. Emmitt is completely overrated.

  5. 6.  Re: VY and Houston. I was just as disappointed that that didn’t happen. He would have sold out the season tix in, oh about, ten minutes. Butts in the seats, man!
    My conspiracy theory is that the guy who had all the influence (don’t remember his name or title) on the draft pick WANTED Reggie to go to the Saints BECAUSE (drumroll) the Saints will eventually move to LA. And Reggie is a local LA boy. By the way, that guy that pulled the trigger on Mario? He now works at NFL headquarters. It’s all backroom skullduggery, methinks… aaarrrgghhh (one more day of pirate-talk. C’MON!)

  6. 8.  Even back when he was at USC, Bush reminded me a lot of Kobe Bryant. He’s got all the potential in the world, and a personality that is almost good enough to be a big star, just missing that one element – likability?

    Anyway, my point is that there was a time when people thought Kobe was an overrated, overtalented prince. The problem with both of them is that they try to do to much and they’re too confident to just surrender their game like anyone else would. Every time Bush should just take the ball into traffic for a 3 yard gain and instead bounces to the outside for a 5 yard loss, I think of a teenage Kobe jacking up airball three’s in game 5 against Utah.

    His career hasn’t matched the hype, no doubt. But I’d give him more time, he has a chance to be a truly unique player.

  7. 9.  Given the state of the world, at this point I can’t like anyone named Bush. Can’t even use the word as a term for you know what, and I still like that.

  8. 11.  reggie bush = napolean Kaufman with more hype
    he’s the second coming of every other scat back thats been around the league. He’s not that special.

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