Often times the term "class act" gets thrown around too much. I think that with all of the shady characters and poor examples of sportsmanship in athletics today, Americans are desperately looking for positive role models to lead today's youth.
There is nothing cliche, however, about calling Deuce McAllister a class act.
Deuce has been a model of respect and dignity since before he was drafted 23rd overall by the New Orleans Saints.
As a senior at Ole Miss in 2000, he was projected by many experts to be a top-five pick in the spring draft. Deuce, however, suffered injuries and was labeled as injury prone.
Despite falling deep into the bottom half of the first round and being drafted by a team who already had a young, talented running back, Deuce never complained.
When his teammate, Albert Connell, stole more than $4,000 from him during his rookie season, Deuce didn't raise heck. He forgave Connell, so that he wouldn't cause a rift among his teammates.
When Deuce blew out his knee in 2007 for the second time in his career, he never complained.
When Deuce's role was reduced to that of a third-string back in 2008, he never complained.
At his final Saints press conference he never complained about being cut. Instead, he mentioned how lucky he felt to play in the league for eight seasons.
Deuce McAllister was not just a class act. He was a fantastic player.
During his first three seasons as a starter in the NFL, he was one of the best running backs in the league. He rolled up more than 4,000 yards and 34 total touchdowns from 2002-04.
Throughout his first five seasons in the league, he experienced just one winning seasons As a member of the New Orleans Saints he endured disasters such as hurricanes, torn ACLs, and Aaron Brooks.
In 2006, Deuce participated in his first playoff game. The Saints rode his back on their way to the team's first NFC Championship Game. Deuce had 143 yards rushing, two touchdowns, and several third down conversions.
Unfortunately, that was the last great game of Deuce's career. He seriously injured his knee in the third game of the 2007 season and was never the same.
Deuce has always represented New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region well. His Catch-22 Foundation was established in 2002 to help under-privileged youth in Jackson, MS and New Orleans.
In today's me-first-society and players pounding their chest after every first down, you will never see Deuce promoting himself over the team. He was very talented and yet he never lobbied publicly for more carries.
These are among the many reasons why Deuuuuuuuucccce is my favorite New Orleans Saints of all-time.