Herschel Walker, 48, Poses Nude in ESPN The Magazine

Stan SillimanCorrespondent IIOctober 12, 2010

12 Nov 1989:  Running back Herschel Walker of the Minnesota Vikings runs with the ball during a game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Tampa Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  The Vikings won the game 24-10. Mandatory Credit: Scott Halleran  /Allsport
Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Herschel Walker posed nude in the Oct. 8 issue of ESPN The Magazine

At the age of 48, nude. Make that "NUDE!" In their "Body Issue." At 48.

I don't blame him. If I looked like that at the age of 48, I'd be there, too.

And not just in the sports magazines. I'd be all over the newsstand. You pick up an issue of Hardware Digest and I, Stan Silliman, would be there posing next to the hammers.

...If I looked like that at the age of 48.

Which reminds me, Walker, who may be the most fit man ever at his age, has once again proved me wrong. 

Walker got into MMA fighting and I, like many, asked why.

I even remember the Silliman on Sports article I wrote in 2009 questioning his venture.

He answered that by beating an opponent half his age.

Must Read: See Photos of Herschel Walker and Other Athletes in ESPN the Body Issue

But just to torture myself, to kick myself in the nads for questioning Mr. Walker, I'm posting an excerpt from the article below so everyone can see how wrong I was. I'm posting this so strangers will come to me and say, "Don't ever doubt Herschel Walker again!"

When you think of Walker, you think of one of the greatest college running backs of all time, more powerful than a mack truck and twice as fast.

You think of one of the hardest trainers of all time, the 1,500-per-day pushups and 1,000-per-day setups guy.

The guy who did karate and tae kwon do training in water.

The guy with a sixth-degree tae kwon do black belt. The guy who, while in the Ft. Worth ballet, could lift a ballerina with one hand while on point.

The Olympic bobsledder who also happened to be one of the most polite athletes of all time.

Ballet? Bobsledding? Polite athlete? Do any of those words fit with mixed martial arts?

MMA is legalized street fighting, thuggery with uniforms, where you can wrestle someone to the ground and then slug him or kick him when he’s down. Why even need a referee?

MMA is so far out in the left field of sport, it’s on SPIKE TV, if that tells you anything. Here are some other words not fitting with MMA: 47 years old.

Some say Walker is disrespecting the sport by even thinking he can be competitive. Some say he got hit by too many 260-pound linebackers and if he persists he could end up like Ali. Some think he ought to start with a Toughman Competition and leave MMA to the big boys. Others point to Randy Couture, who is 46 and very competitive.


We have it on good authority Herschel is full into this project. After discussing it with himself, he hired the best trainers by working out at the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California. This is the same camp producing many UFC and Strikeforce standouts.

We have to ask, how many of them won a Heisman or competed in the Olympics or played in two Pro Bowls or won American Superstars? For that matter, who danced The Nutcracker or got to the eighth round of Celebrity Apprentice? Hmmm?

Don’t count a guy out just because of age. Kirk Douglas just did a play at 92. Larry King has fathered kids at the age of 105. Don’t be surprised if Walker surprises.

On the other hand, he could listen to us: Use your brains and…run!

Stan Silliman is a comedian/author/sports columnist located in Norman, Oklahoma.