December 28, 2011
Look: LaMichael James is a tough dude. He's averaged more than 20 carries per game over the last three years, racking up more rushing yards than any other active player in college football and more touchdowns than any player in Oregon history. After he dislocated his elbow in grisly fashion in the Ducks' Oct. 7 win over Cal, he showed up at the postgame press conference to joke with reporters about popping it back into place himself on the field, and pledged to return within a few weeks. Which he did, at full speed.
But there's football speed, and then there's Disney speed, the latter of which clearly does not sit as well with James' sense of personal well-being as the prospect of facing Pac-12 defenses. We know that thanks to his backfield mate, Kenjon Barner, who tweeted this photo of he and James on "Space Mountain" Tuesday during the team's pre-Rose Bowl trip to Disneyland. Kenjon (front right) remained composed here despite the same heightened state of alert that put his fear on vivid display elsewhere. LaMichael's life is flashing before his eyes.
For the record, the maximum speed at Space Mountain is only 32 miles per hour. But even that is a matter of perspective. That face James is making? That's the face you'd be making if you were staring down a 240-pound linebacker who runs like a grizzly bear. And who'd be laughing then?