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Watch My Smoke: Eric Dickerson & Dave Zirin in Conversation

Eric Dickerson is the record-holder for most rushing yards in a season, and his prime was the best of any running back in NFL history. Yet an aura of negativity trailed him his entire career.

Eric Dickerson is the greatest player in Los Angeles Rams history and the NFL’s single season record holder for most rushing yards. In 2019, Dickerson was named to the National Football League’s 100th Anniversary All-Time Team. With an elegant upright running style that produced some of football’s most-watched highlights, it was said he was so smooth you couldn’t hear his pads clack as he glided past you.

But during his Hall of Fame career, his greatness was often overshadowed by his contentious disputes with Rams management about his contract. In the pre-free agency era, tensions over his exploitative contract often overshadowed his accomplishments. What’s his problem? went the familiar refrain from the media. Can’t he just shut up and run?

It’s time to reexamine how Eric Dickerson was portrayed. For the first time, he’s telling his story. And he’s not holding anything back.

Get the book, Watch My Smoke, from Haymarket:


Eric Dickerson is a Hall of Fame NFL running back and the greatest player in Los Angeles Rams history. He owns the single season rushing yards record, football’s most hallowed mark, with 2,105 in 1984, and he accumulated 10,000 career rushing yards faster than any runner in league history. Born and raised in Sealy, Texas, Eric became the country’s top recruit as a high school senior and committed to Southern Methodist University, where he anchored the famous “Pony Express” backfield. He is currently an analyst for FS1 and joined the Rams front office as Vice President of Business Development. He lives in Los Angeles.

One of UTNE Reader’s “50 Visionaries Who Are Changing Our World,” Dave Zirin is a columnist for The NationSLAM Magazine, and The Progressive. His books include A People’s History of Sports in the United States: 250 Years of Politics, Protest, People, and PlayBad Sports: How Owners Are Ruining the Games We Love; Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down; and The Kaepernick Effect (all published by The New Press), as well as What’s My Name, Fool?Welcome to the Terrordome, and The John Carlos Story. He is the host of Sirius XM’s popular weekly show Edge of Sports Radio and a regular guest on ESPN’s Outside the Lines and on MSNBC. He lives near Washington, DC.

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