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Caleb King, Liam Gallagher And The Tragedy Of Being The Next Big Thing.

Many of us navigate through life by making a series of totally rational decisions. We consider the consequences of a given course of action and either think "I don't want that" or "Yes, that please." We may find that we didn't get what we thought we would out of a particular decision, and we may find that what we wanted was not what we should have wanted. But the dots can be connected such that our expectations make sense in hindsight. We get where we're going because we did the things we should have to get there.

Others of us however ricochet through the game of life dick first and drunk, oblivious to the consequences of our actions, or the perception others may have of those actions, and avoiding at all cost any action that could be considered part of "a plan." And while dick first, drunk and without a plan is a poor choice for the vast majority of us (doubly so for neurosurgeons and bomb defusers), if you're the frontman for 1 of approximately 3426 British rock bands unfortunaty dubbed "the next Beatles" by the popular press it's actually probably the way to go. All of which was just the intro I needed for this Oasis video, which sets the mood nicely for what's to come:

"Liam Gallagher" is actually British slang for drunk and pretentious, but it sounds great with ocean waves and strings and a fuzzy Epiphone guitar played by your more talented brother. Oasis just broke up again for the 25th time, by the way. I have no idea if that's true, but with the band's history at any given moment the odds of it being true are soundly in my favor.

But what does all this have to do with Caleb King you ask? More than you might think. Because when you get right down to it, Caleb King and Liam Gallagher have a bit in common. Gallagher emerged as the lead singer of a band hailed far and wide as the saviours of British rock, despite the fact that (at least according to his more talented   brother Noel) he didn't even begin singing until his late teens and was never a particularly good musician. He didn't write any of his band's major hits. And to top it off, his emotional fragility and penchant for booze-fueled mayhem made every tour an adventure in dysfunctional logistics. In other words, no man has ever been less prepared to lead a music revolution than Liam Gallagher, except for the fact that he believes he is a superstar and through force of will and fortunate timing managed to convince the rest of the world to name him so by sheer acclamation.

Caleb King was, once upon a time, a five star, can't miss, blue chip tailback prospect. Anyone who saw him on a football field during his junior season at Parkview High School knew this. He was proclaimed the best tailback in the state of Georgia, and perhaps the best tailback the state had produced in years. He chose to sign with Georgia over dozens of other offers, and in the process earned the mantle of "next great Georgia tailback." Some even whispered the H word.

But he was never quite the same after suffering a broken leg during his senior season at Greater Atlanta Christian. He only barely qualified academically, and seems to have been constantly on the edge of scholastic peril ever since. And when it comes to making dumb off field decisions, Caleb King has been a leader on a football team noted for being full of guys making dumb off field decisions.

In other words, Caleb King may have been acclaimed over the years as having the potential to be an All-SEC tailback, but he's never demonstrated that he possessed all the component parts required for that gig. In this respect Caleb King is the Liam Gallagher of Bulldog running backs. He is what he is. Or was what he was, if the rumors are to be believed.  

While some of the offensive lines he ran behind were a bit suspect, let's be honest, save for one night in November, Caleb King's was a pedestrian career. Relatively speaking, losing King is a problem, simply because of the lack of scholarship toting warm bodies to fill his shoes. But he's no Knowshon. He's no Verron Haynes. He missed five games in 2010 to injuries and suspensions on the way to averaging 33 rushing yards per game. Given an appropriate number of carries, I think Carlton Thomas is good for 33 per contest, don't you? I don't want to kick a guy while he's down, and I wish Caleb King the best, but I sincerely doubt that Isaiah Crowell will be more unreliable than Caleb King was.  

King has simply never demonstrated the ability to be that bell cow who leads us to victory, despite a thousand voices urging that he could be. Perhaps it was never reasonable to expect Caleb King to be an All-American. It's probably not fair to expect that of any high school football player, because college football is a messy crapshoot in which there are far more opportunities to sidetrack a promising career than to safeguard one. But just as any reasonable observer could look at Liam Gallagher and see that he was not going to be the next John Lennon, anyone watching Caleb King over the past 2 seasons could see that he was not going to be the next Herschel Walker. I'm not looking back on those years with any anger, but I am looking forward to being able to simply look forward, and I'd urge you to join me. The Boo Malcome/Isaiah Crowell era begins now. Until later . . . 

Go 'Dawgs!!!