We need to appreciate Chris Polk more. I mean why the hell not, right? Dude deserves as much love as he can get these days.
Before the start of the season we had no idea what to expect from Polk. The redshirt freshman was injured early in 2008 and never got a chance to show us the player he was. All we knew about the blue-chip recruit was that he decommitted from USC to run the ball on Montlake. Like decommitting from the Playboy mansion, or something.
Polk’s injury, along with a relative lack of production in his only full game against Oregon last season left for a huge question mark entering 2009.
Now five weeks into the season, all our questions about the Redlands, Calif. native have been answered.
The man is a beast. A holy terror. A juggernaut wrapped up in a 19-year-old’s body. When it comes to running backs, Chris Polk is a manchild that is, quite simply, worth the price of admission.
He has a knack for rattling off five- and six-yard runs with remarkable efficiency. He drags defenders on his back, turns routine halfback gut plays into first downs, fights for the end zone like the fate of the free world depends on his scoring a touchdown, and has no problem sticking a hand in a defender’s face.
Sure, he catches his share of passes, and jukes and finesses his way down the sideline when he needs to. But the foundation for Polk’s game is old-school, gritty, soulful, straight-from-the-heart running back play. His goal is to score. His motive is to win. His task his to run at you, through you, and by you. He will hit you. He will pull you. He will carry you. He will pass you. He will beat you.
There is one other aspect of Polk’s game that bears mentioning: his mouth. The dude can talk, and you gotta respect his lip. He speaks with the passion of a winner, the recklessness of a teenager, and the honesty of boy scout.
“They [Notre Dame] didn’t beat us; the refs beat us in a sense,” Polk quipped following Washington’s loss to the Fighting Irish on Saturday. Asked to assess two controversial plays that ultimately played a role in the Huskies’ loss, Polk responded to his interrogators with a frank opinion that likely won’t sit well with some fans.
But come on. We know that Chris Polk was telling it like it is, and whether we agree with his stance or not, we need to appreciate his willingness to shoot from the hip on all things under the sun.
The fact of the matter is, Polk is just as fun to watch off the field as he is on. When he isn’t plowing through defensive secondaries, the man is wowing reporters with his candor, blunt as it may be. There are enough sports personalities (or lack thereof) who bore us with their template answers to questions and scripted post-game diatribes. The world needs more Chris Polks, guys who won’t shy from reality when giving their take on unscripted events of moments gone by.
He’s number one in your program, and if you’re a Husky fan, quickly working his way up to number one in your heart. Yes, that’s about as cheesy a phrase as there is, but you get my drift.
He grinds out yardage on the gridiron, then gabs about it after the game. He goes all out, all the time, unafraid to dodge defenders or touchy subjects.
He’s Chris Polk, and he’s the man.