By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
BRIDGES: Georgia anxiously awaits Herschel’s decision
Chris Bridges
Chris Bridges

This is an opinion.

Back during his famous football carrying days at the University of Georgia, Herschel Walker became a household word by being one of the fastest and strongest players in collegiate history. 

Walker could take it to the house on any given play which made you never leave the television or more often the radio back in those days when every game was not televised.

Almost as quick as lightning, Walker would be off to the endzone for another six points.

“Suddenly!” beloved UGA radio announcer Larry Munson would exclaim. “Herschel’s gone. There goes Herschel all the way.”

We have now been waiting for Herschel to decide his political aspirations. Some political followers say it is a done deal that he will run for the U.S. Senate in 2022. Others are not so sure having doubt creep into their minds during the delay which continues to drag on.

Certainly, Herschel has some advantages if he decided to run for the Republican nomination. First and foremost, his name recognition is out the roof.

Even though it has been almost 40 years since he played for the University of Georgia, Walker remains a household name in these parts. He guided the Bulldogs to the national title in 1980 and should have won the Heisman Trophy that season. The only problem was voters would not give the Heisman to a freshman even though he was, without a doubt, the best player that season.

Second, Walker would have the backing of former President Trump who remains extremely popular in Georgia. Once upon a time, Trump owned the New Jersey Generals of the USFL. Walker played for New Jersey and has been friends with the billionaire since.

Third, many Georgia Republicans believe that with Walker being an African-American, it would offset some of the advantage for Democratic incumbent Raphael Warnock. It was just last year that Warnock made state history by becoming the first African-American U.S. Senator in state history.

There are some disadvantages for Walker. First, he has lived out-of-state for years. Is he tuned into what is going on in his home state? Some would contend that doesn’t matter but shouldn’t a senator live in the state he or she wants to represent?

Second, Walker has openly dealt with some mental health issues. On one hand, it is commendable that the one-time Heisman Trophy winner has been open about these issues, but there have also been some disturbing reports (that he does not deny) about altercations with his ex-wife including a history of stalking.

Third, would non-football fans in Georgia vote for someone who has never been elected to any office? It’s not that former athletes or coaches have not held office. Former college football coach Tommy Tuberville currently represents Alabama in the U.S. Senate. Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura was elected governor of Minnesota in the 1990s.

Even legendary UGA football coach Vince Dooley thought about running for statewide office in the late 1980s. His popularity was also an asset although he eventually decided against jumping into politics.

Finally, the GOP primary would not be a cakewalk for the football great. Several candidates have already announced their intentions including popular current state agriculture commissioner Gary Black who has been on the campaign trail for months.

The nomination is not going to be handed to Walker and I think he knows that although some potential candidates have said they will not run if the former football great enters the race.

Plus, the national political spotlight is different than the spotlight of football. With the country so evenly divided there is a great deal riding on the outcome of the Senate contest.

A bumper sticker seen recently declared “Run Herschel Run!” 

Whether the man who once held a state record for most touchdowns in a high school season actually runs for Washington, D.C. is still anyone’s guess. The clock is ticking, however. It is now at least third down. A decision needs to be reached soon before Walker’s political game clock runs out.

Chris Bridges is a former sports editor of The Walton Tribune and The News. You can email him at