Thursday, February 4, 2010

Reggie Bush's Show Is Bigger Than Life

Given the fortune of meeting the biggest stage in his lifetime, Reggie Bush’s time to shine is now. Of course, this week’s storyline circles around Peyton Manning’s legacy, neglecting Bush’s newborn career.

In reality, he’s on a quest, not only to win a Super Bowl, but to prove to skeptics that he’s the top-notch running back we anticipated since entering the NFL, where he hasn’t made much of a noticeable difference.

We revere Bush’s athleticism on the pro level, refusing to verify he’s a bust. I’ll argue he has potential, expecting him to create a breakout performance in the Super Bowl.

Bush defined greatness druing his sensational college career. Now, fans are hoping to witness some of the similarities he effectuated at USC, during the NFL's greatest game on Sunday.

In college there were many days optimists voted for Bush, not to rule the country, but to win the Heisman Trophy. He won the precious stiff-armed statue, proving to us that he was the electric tailback of college football. His accomplishments were unparalleled, includng an open field dash, where Bush lost his cleats, to complete a hair-raising touchdown.

During his time spent on campus, he became the centerpiece of USC, but since departing the school, he never made a scene on the pro level.

We’ve waited for Bush to break ankles, find the gaps, force miss tackles and elude the pressure of bulldozing defenses. Maybe he’ll finally shine in the most important game of his lifetime. Maybe he’ll flourish in Miami, where the world will have its eyes glued to the the game.

For now, he’s still noticed as the disappointing one. Since being selected at the No. 2 pick in the NFL draft four years ago, he’s still noticed as the overrated bust, but the way I see it, he’s not a bust.

He still has much potential and could blossom any time soon, including Sunday, when many hope he will produce and return to the valuable cornerstone player he once was.

“All I want to do is be the best player ever to play this game, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t feel that way,” said Bush. “If I didn’t feel that way when I step on the field, I’d be selling myself short.”

Of all people, the captivating residents of New Orleans are hopeful he’ll emerge as a stud, or even greater, as the Super Bowl MVP. Bush is not yet a celeb bust, but a tailback still angling to find himself and establish a righteous identity on the NFL level.

He’s respected and highly regarded by many, so people anticipated that he would make an impact straight out of college. But sometimes, it just takes a few seasons to adapt and transition.

Critics should give the guy a break. Although, maybe the criticism is good for Bush. There are players who feed off criticism. I’m sure Bush fathoms that critics are centering on his fortitude and heart of the game. I’m sure he grasps that critics are focusing heavily on statistics, rather than wins. I’m sure he understands that critics are concerned about the relationship between him and Kim.

“I’ve always been my biggest critic. I haven’t lived up to the expectations I set for myself,” said Bush. “Before I got to the NFL, I thought it would be the Super Bowl every year, make the Pro Bowl every year. You discover it’s hard. It’s hard to get to the Super Bowl. I’ve been in the league four years and just got here. There’s a lot of great players who never get to the Super Bowl. I haven’t lived up to the expectations, but I know it will come."

He’s equipped to be the best player in the game.

His speed is indescribable, but his lethargy at times is hurtful. The awareness is fine, but his lack of aplomb is a crisis. The athleticism is good, but not great, hindered at times by knee injuries.

He missed 12 of his last 48 regular-season games, rushing for only 1,940 yards in four years. Now, he has a chance to reach the highest goal by winning the Super Bowl. And now, he has a chance of proving he deserves high-regards.

The thrilled residents of New Orleans are hopeful that he’ll emerge. If so, he will be described as a savior and may even ascend upon the Saints legacy. There is no doubt that he’s an idol, folks on Bourbon Street love rooting him on, but they are waiting for Bush to break through...

No better place or time than the Super Bowl.