I'm just a simple country blogger, but I still want to take the time to congratulate one of the NFL's nicest guys on an honor he richly deserves. Let's start with the career retrospective.
Dunn played for Florida State University during his college years, racking up a school record 3,959 yards on the ground. His #28 was retired by the school because on the field, Warrick Dunn was a badass dude. The Tampa Bay Bucs saw his vast potential and picked him with the #12 selection in the first round, putting him to work immediately. He got 224 carries and made the most of them, racking up 978 yards and 4 TDs, good for a Pro Bowl berth (as useless a barometer as that is) and the AP Offensive Rookie of the Year award. He played with the Bucs for five seasons, twice getting over 1,000 yards.
After walking away from the Bucs, Dunn came to the greatest place in the entire world: Atlanta. I think everyone's familiar with Dunn's body of work in his six seasons with the Falcons, but just in case:
5844 yards, 29 TDs, 4.3 yards per carry, 1576 receiving yards, 6 receiving TDs.
That's pretty damn good. If numbers alone told the story of Dunn's time here, he'd still be worthy of all the praise. But it also helps that he's been a pretty extraordinary human being too, helping out single mothers with down payments on homes and just generally being a charitable, kind and giving guy. Does that make a difference in the product on the field? No.
What it does is cement his legacy as the kind of guy anybody would want on their team. Ten thousand yards rushing is an impressive number, and a guy who stands only 5'9" doesn't get there very often. Long after his playing career has wound down, I'll remember him as a terrific leader and example for the rest of the team, and I'll remember his work with those much less fortunate than him.
So long story short, I'm going to take this week to forget how things are going on the field for Warrick this year. Instead, I'm going to recall the things that have gone right over the last six years, and hopefully will go right in the future. Dunn's done (ha!) enough to earn a lot more honor than he gets.
There's at least 10,000 reasons to remember him, after all.