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DOG Days
Rick Reilly
December 04, 1989
Eric Dickerson could become the greatest runner in history—unless he quits the game in frustration first
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December 04, 1989

Dog Days

Eric Dickerson could become the greatest runner in history—unless he quits the game in frustration first

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All this unhappy talk is either 1) a pose designed to inflate his next contract even further, 2) a new way to cope with losing, 3) a reaction to his first real injury since his freshman year in college, or 4) the real thing. One of Dickerson's friends, Lewis Coleman, thinks it's No. 4. "The first time I heard him talk about retiring was a couple of weeks ago," he says. "He never used to talk about 'after football' before."

Then again, it could be 5) a way to rile his coworkers. The Colts are 6-6, and Dickerson still gets that Gary Cooper look on his face every time he talks about them. "If we want to be 7-9 or 8-8, that's fine," he says, "but I don't want to be a part of that kind of team.

"I think about how unhappy I am. I know I am a very unhappy person. Sometimes people say, 'How can a guy take a gun and blow his own brains out?' Now I can see how someone can do it. Maybe this life wasn't for me, football."

With that, Dickerson drags his Louis Vuitton carryon full of troubles down the jetway and back into a life he would just as soon forget. It's funny. A guy can run 10,000 yards and it's still not far enough.

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