Give Herschel the ball, y'all. And tell him to stuff it.

A year after I started my newspaper career at the Atlanta Constitution in 1979 – first, as the coffee-fetchingest copy boy you’ve ever seen and later, after being promoted, as the obit writingest obit writer – Herschel Walker began what would be a legendary career down the road a piece at the University of Georgia.

I mean, everybody in Georgia loved that dude, and why wouldn’t they? He won a Heisman Trophy and brought renown and riches to the school.

How venerated was Herschel Walker in Georgia from 1980 to 1982?

In a recent tribute to my dear, late friend and colleague Dennis Rogers, I mentioned a caller who criticized him for writing too often in his columns about his beloved barbecue.

We – co-workers – made the same observation about Atlanta Constitution columnist Lewis Grizzard, because I swear, it seemed that half of his columns were about Herschel’s gridiron exploits.

There was even a popular song called Give Herschel Walker the Ball, Y’all or something like that.

Aside from his ability to run with a football, part of Herschel’s appeal was that he ran away from contro