Here's what I love about Dippin Dots--and Marshall Faulk, to be inducted Saturday into football's Hall of Fame after an astounding career: They might not actually be the future of ice cream (or running backs, I suppose), but they constantly threaten to be, and they're good at their job anyway. (For Dippin Dots, that means they constantly take $6 from me at amusement parks and malls; for Faulk, that meant being an impossibly shifty double-threat out of a position best known for its bruisers.)â†µ
Every few years we're certain the traditional running back is about to be extinct, replaced by explosive pass-catching robots who average five yards a carry and avoid contact because there's no point to it, and while football is probably moving more inevitably in that direction than ice cream is toward round globules of banana flavor every few years the expiration date on bruisers is pushed back.â†µ
But Marshall Faulk is the ultimate fully-realized glimpse of that future. There's simply nothing he wasn't great at; when he ran the ball he led the league in yards per carry, and when he emerged from out of the backfield he was a vital cog in Kurt Warner's defense deconstruction set. He might not ever be the norm at running back, but football would be more fun to watch if he were.