Herschel Walker is a legend.
As an NFL player he had 8,225 rushing yards, 4,859 receiving yards, and 5,084 kick-return yards in 12 seasons. He is currently ranked eight on the NFL’s all-time leaders in total yardage list.
He is one of only a handful of players to exceed 60 touchdowns on the ground and 20 touchdowns receiving, and keep in mind he spent his first three years out of college in the USFL.
Speaking of college, Walker was a three-time All-American and won the Heisman Trophy in 1982.
Apparently, Herschel Walker is not impressed by his current level of greatness though, so into the cage he went!
Walker made his professional MMA debut on Jan. 20, 2010, and has since KO’d his way to a 2-0 record. There is a ton to be learned by Walker's pursuit of greatness, and his constant thirst to succeed.
Here’s a list of 10 athletes and the lessons they could learn from the ageless fighter:
You’ve got to be tough to be able to put yourself in the ring, and you have to be even tougher to not only take punches from your opponent, but to deliver a knockout blow to them.
It’s a battle, and only the strong will survive.
Matthew Stafford was taken No. 1 overall by the Detroit Lions, yet he has spent most of his career on the IR with injuries.
Being the No. 1 pick carries a lot of pressure, and a team like Detroit is going to need Stafford to really step up, tough up, and stay healthy.
He’s got to learn how to take a punch!
Lesson: Anything is possible.
Okay, so maybe Kevin Garnett could have explained this to Hamilton, but I think learning it from Herschel Walker would be much more valuable.
In order to even dream about becoming a fighter at his age, Walker had to know that he can do anything he set his mind to.
Josh Hamilton has made a ton of mistakes in his life, and they have been well documented.
His fall from baseball and battle with drugs and addiction certainly could have kept him down, but he fought back, got clean, and had a chance to win the World Series, and did win the 2010 AL MVP.
Hamilton has done the unthinkable, but in order to keep going, he has to remember that anything is possible.
Lesson: You’ve got to be able to hear the bell.
Herschel Walker knows the toll a fight can take on your body, and how stupid it would be to keep fighting after the bell has rung.
Brett Favre’s problems facing retirement have been well documented for the past 100 years, at least.
Favre decided to come back for one more go-around with the Vikings this year, but he ended up spending most of the time on his back, concussed or on his cell phone.
Brett Favre was a hero in Green Bay, and in the NFL.
Now he’s just a creepy old man.
You’ve got to hear the bell, Brett; the fight's over!
Lesson: It’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock 'n' roll.
Herschel Walker obviously has a hunger to be the best, and he knows that it’s a long road to the very top.
I know soccer is strange in the fact that you can be playing on a club team, and then you get scooped up to a national squad.
Let’s focus on the national Donovan.
It seems like Landon Donovan has been playing for the U.S. for ages now, and he has not gotten much back in return.
Soccer has not caught on over here like many people expected it to, and even Team USA’s recent run in the World Cup could not stir a lasting passion.
Donovan has played a big part in USA soccer, and I hope for his sake that one day all his hard work will pay off.
Herschel Walker may personify it, but AC/DC said it best.
Lesson: Patience is a virtue.
Any good fighter knows that you can’t just run at your opponent swinging. For Walker to be a great fighter, he has to know the art of patience, and understand that it takes time to set up your shots.
Alexander Ovechkin is considered to be one of the best hockey players in the world.
There is just one thing that is standing in his way: Sidney Crosby.
You could say that Crosby and Ovechkin are bitter rivals on the ice, and if Ovechkin wants to be the best he’s going to do something that Crosby already has done, and that’s win the Stanley Cup.
Winning takes time, though, and Ovechkin needs to learn that in order to be the best, he is going to have to be patient to set up his strike.
Lesson: Perfect your knockout punch.
A good fighter knows the best way to win a fight is to literally knock your opponent out, and undoubtedly Herschel Walker has been practicing his KO.
James Harrison has come under fire as of late because of the new helmet-to-helmet rules in the NFL.
Harrison has been the target of many fines, criticism, and has even challenged the commissioner himself over the rulings.
Harrison is a great player, but even he has to play within the rules. He needs to learn how to perfect his KO!
Lesson: Don’t stop ‘til you get enough.
Michael Jackson may have sung it, but once again Herschel Walker has personified it. He is considered to be one of the best, but he wants more.
Kobe Bryant can be put into that same category. I don’t think there are many people who would dispute the fact that he is the best player in the world, and is nearing the best of all time.
Bryant is an absolute warrior when it comes to the game of basketball, and his desire to win is unmatched.
The only person standing in his way for the “best ever” title is the great Michael Jordan.
Kobe’s almost there as far as rings are concerned, but he’s got to take a page out of Herschel and both the Mike’s books and don’t stop until he gets enough.
Lesson: You’ve got to earn The Belt.
Every fighter is looking to obtain one thing: The Championship Belt.
I don’t doubt that Herschel Walker is dreaming of it, and I know that Aaron Rodgers is the same. He’s just in a different kind of fight.
Rodgers has put himself in position to be known as one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and he has put the Packers in position to win the Super Bowl.
Rodgers is known for his deadly accuracy and poise in the pocket, but he is also getting lots of attention for his new celebration move affectionately known as: The Belt.
Rodgers is chasing a Title just like Walker is, and he’s got to learn that they just don’t hand those bad boys out.
You’ve got to earn The Belt.
Lesson: When you’re down…get back up.
Herschel Walker knows that whenever he is knocked down in the ring, he has got to get up really fast, or he is going to be toast.
Jay Cutler has taken much heat for his performance, or lack thereof, in this year’s NFC Championship game, and frankly I think he deserves it.
Cutler got nicked up pretty bad and it was later revealed that he did indeed hurt his knee, but that being said, his countenance on the sideline was that of someone who had been knocked down and beaten, and now he is paying the price.
He needs to learn that when he gets knocked down, he has to get up, or you’ll end up losing the fight.
Lesson: Once you’re in, you can’t leave the ring.
Herschel Walker knows that once he has committed himself to a fight, there is no backing down. You either win, or you get knocked out.
LeBron James made a commitment to the city of Cleveland, and he has not yet delivered them a NBA Title.
James got in the ring with Cleveland, but instead of fighting he decided it was in his best interest to exit the arena.
He is with Miami now and their chances look good, but even with a trophy in his hand, he can never have the heart of a Champion.
You’ve got to fight, and you can’t leave until it’s over.