Originally posted on Buffalo Wins  |  Last updated 8/7/13
I wouldn't exactly say I'm old enough that I feel like my best days are behind me, but if you know an older person or two, they might mention how they wish they could be young again. It starts out with something simple like not being able to get out of bed like you used to or not being able to lift as much or going to bed before you even make it to Jay Leno.  It is a process that you do not even notice from one night to the next. It is something that will just build..slowly, like an unnoticed gray hair that becomes 10 within a few years. Aging is a natural process of life. We all know it is bound to happen just from looking at our parents, but strangely enough, younger people live under the illusion that we will never become old. So when old age arrives, we are often unprepared. You'd give anything to recapture youth or to at least not get tired so easily. However, sometimes, you can turn the page back. You can be the man you remember yourself being in your youth. It is not just about recapturing your better days because it was so much fun,  but it is about seeing if you still got it. Sure, you know it is going to hurt the next day and maybe it is one and done for your life, but the hell with it, you wanna see if you can hang with the boys. That pretty much describes the end of a football player's career. The pain they go through now in knowing the end is near is something they will rarely acknowledge, but they know it is there. Creeping up, especially for those who don't have as long of a shelf-life. Like a running back. Like Fred Jackson. Everyone who reads my scribbles knows that I'm a big Fred fan and I took it hard when people were writing him off last year for CJ, even though the time had probably come to pass the torch. We know the narrative by now when it comes to the love Fred gets from me. Underdog, good guy, a hell of a back. The underdog role is what always draws me in. It isn't just because he's practically a walk-on player. Hell, we have Stevie Johnson for that. But it is the fact that he has to constantly fight to get the respect he deserves. Face facts...As much as I love CJ, the Bills really didn't need to draft him when they had someone like Fred. Yet it seems like Fred is always fighting to start. Whether it was behind Lynch or CJ or fighting for a new contract, the fight never seems to die for Fred...but sooner or later, the fighter gets old.  When age starts creeping up, the mind is still fighting it, but the body is slowly trying to get off the canvas. The Fred we saw last year who was mired in injuries and losing his spot to a young upstart in Spiller, is at that age where he probably can't do it like he used to. Frankly, I don't think Fred will be here next year because of his salary, age, and CJ's impact. Them are the facts. But to quote some guy who was chasing Indiana Jones in The Last Crusade, "You lost today kid, but it doesn't mean you have to like it." And that's where Fred is at. He can play the good Samaritan, being a teacher for CJ and a change of pace back or used in short yardage situations, but someone like him will let the "you don't have to like it" part be his motivation. And more importantly, maybe he can be like that old person who for just one night or day, can recapture what he had 20 years earlier. I want Fred Jackson to have one more great game. We know the sands of his hour glass are running out, and because of that, I want to at least cherish one last great game from #22. I think every player who has played at a high level deserves it when they are going on their farewell tour. And while everyone is looking at CJ as the focal point of the offense, the guy that young kids want to be like, maybe Fred's best revenge against those who didn't believe in him will happen if he has one last great game and he can shove the smugness of youth in their faces because the young will be old someday, too!
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