“‘Self control!’ repeated Tom incredulousy. ‘I suppose the latest thing is to sit back and let Mr. Nobody from Nowhere make love to your wife. Well, if that’s the idea you can count me out…. Nowadays people begin by sneering at family life and family institutions and next they’ll throw everything overboard and have intermarriage between black and white.’
“Flushed with his impassioned gibberish he saw himself standing alone on the last barrier of civilization.
“‘We’re all white here,’ murmured Jordan.”
–F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Running for 100 yards in back-to-back games is not much of an accomplishment in the NFL, even in these passing times. As such, running for 100 yards twice in a season is pretty commonplace. Since 2002, there have been 244 different individual seasons in which a running back has had at least two 100-yard games. Until last week, though, there was something uniform about that list.
None of those running backs were white.
That’s right. With his second consecutive 100-yard game on Sunday, Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis became the first white running back to eclipse the 100-yard mark twice in the same season since Mike Alstott in 2001. The issue, though, goes back further. Alstott was the first to do it since at least 1990, which is when I started getting tired going back through Pro-Football-Reference’s Play Index. That’s 20+ years and 500+ seasons of at least two 100-yard games. A full two are now by white guys.*
*Note: People often cite Nick Goings as a white running back who had five 100-yard running games in 2004. Goings, though, is mixed race — just like Barack Obama.