For the 19th straight year, the University of Georgia will have a former player participating in the Super Bowl. Mecole Hardman will have an opportunity to win a ring when the Kansas City Chiefs line up against the San Francisco 49ers for the upcoming championship game in Miami.
With this, the final National Football League outing of the season, it should be an interesting and exciting contest with two teams showcasing outstanding quarterbacks and having the capability to score quickly and to score often.
The play of Mecole, another of those athletes whose first name is all you need for an I.D. and a former Bulldog with adroit speed and quickness, has made him a favored virtuoso in Kansas City. Friends in KC rave about his widespread appeal in the “Heart of America.”
Timing is everything in life, and Mecole has the good fortune to be playing with a man, considered by many as the best quarterback in professional football —Patrick Mahomes. The future for both headliners can be said to be, “rosy.”
Mahomes, functioning with a golden arm, also has remarkable running ability as he has shown throughout the playoffs. He has gifted instincts as to when he should utilize his feet which makes him a very dangerous quarterback, one of the most productive in the game. He seems to have a sixth sense that enables him to avoid tacklers, reminiscent of the man who brought about the mobile concept of NFL quarterbacks, former Bulldog, Fran Tarkenton. It was Tarkenton who invented scrambling, which Mahomes is good at, but the KC quarterback is more of a runner who can go long distances with his skilled running style.
A versatile player, Mecole made it big between the hedges and has elevated his game wherever he is anchored. With his gifted ability, he is a quick learner with a seasoned competitor’s heart.
Mecole represents the enviable golden opportunity that comes when you excel at the professional game. Stories such as Mecole’s often warm the heart. There likely are more staff employees at Arrowhead stadium than the population of Mecole’s hometown of Bowman, located in Elbert County. The latest census claims that the total number of residents in Bowman is 862. When Mecole returns home for a long weekend, the residential tally rises to 863.
Bowman is the home of Jim’s restaurant, run by Chris White and his parents, all of whom are button popping proud that Mecole has brought their community widespread attention. Here’s to small town America. Small towns often produce big time players in big league cities across this great country.
Herschel Walker from, as he often says, “Little Wrightsville, Georgia.” Bo Jackson, Bessemer, Alabama; Larry Bird, French Lick, Indiana; Red Grange, Wheaton, Illinois; Jim Brown, St. Simons Island, Ga.; Jackie Robinson, Cairo, Ga.; Bear Bryant, Fordyce, Ark.; Barry Switzer, Crossett, Ark.; Archie Manning, Drew, Miss.; Jim Thorpe, Prague, Okla. and Charley Trippi, Pittston, Pa.
There are times when small town folk cannot handle the big time, the bright lights, the celebrity; and the fortune which comes their way. Those who are well grounded, however, seem to manage. Herschel is one who has. He never lost his humility. He has never forgotten his University. He returns to campus and his home state frequently every year.
Herschel will patiently stand and sign autographs no matter how long the queue stretches down the street. He is always in good humor, smiling and enjoying life, never espousing a discouraging word. He doesn’t criticize, he doesn’t carp and he doesn’t complain.
“Humble Hershel,” was one of his nicknames from the time he set foot on campus. He remains the same today. How refreshing!
The view here is that Mecole Hardman will be a carbon copy of No. 34, for sure off the field.