Peyton Hillis has been one of the biggest stars of the 2010 NFL season.
His hard running, come-from-nowhere appeal and tremendous production have helped contribute to his notoriety.
But so has one other factor: his skin color.
For whatever reason, white running backs have been few and far between in recent years. And for whatever reason, there have been three relatively big-name white running backs in the NFL this season: Hillis, Minnesota Viking Toby Gerhart and New England Patriot Danny Woodhead.
Yahoo!Sports addressed the issue of Gerhart and the absence of white running backs before April's draft.
"One longtime NFL scout insisted that Gerhart’s skin color will likely prevent the Pac-10’s offensive player of the year from being drafted in Thursday’s first round.
"'He’ll be a great second-round pickup for somebody, but I guarantee you if he was the exact same guy–but he was black–he’d go in the first round for sure,' the scout said. 'You could make a case that he’s a Steven Jackson type–doesn’t have blazing speed, but he’s strong and powerful and versatile.'"
Two years earlier, ESPN.com's Jemele Hill wrote about the same issue in her piece: "Whatever happened to the white tailback?"
The more complex issues of this debate are for another time.
But the topic of the white running back got us thinking about other great white running backs in recent NFL history.
A few qualifications:
1) They have to played at some point in the Super Bowl era: 1966 and beyond.
2) Fullbacks are allowed.