RUN, BULLET, RUN by Bob with Robert Pack Hayes


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The World's Fastest Human, Bullet Bob Hayes--Olympic champion, record-breaking receiver for the Dallas Cowboys--is now an alcoholic ex-con with arthritic knees. Unfortunately, this self-serving autobiography does little to resurrect his image. In October 1964, Hayes, a skinny kid from the Hell's Hole ghetto of Jacksonville, Florida, electrified the world at the Tokyo Olympics by racing to a 10.0 in the 100-meter dash. While doing a commendable job here of describing the race and setting the scene, he rather offhandedly notes that he accepted thousands from Adidas to wear their shoes. (He proves just as casual about sexual encounters, mentioning in passing illegitimate children for whom he assumes no responsibility.) Winning his two gold medals was his ""greatest thrill"" in sports, writes Hayes, equalled only by the Cowboys' 1971 Super Bowl victory. During a decade in the NFL, Hayes amassed impressive numbers that should be good enough for the Hall of Fame. He writes of those years with affection, often forgiving past slights by teammates and management. In a lengthy section, he discusses his teammates one by one, including Roger Staubach, Bob Lilly, Walt Garrison, Don Meredith, and Jethro Pugh. Some of this is amusing and interesting, but he frequently lapses into poor taste, even describing a player's bathroom habits. With his glory days behind him, Hayes became vice president of a Dallas computer company. He goes to great lengths to explain how a secretary's boyfriend set him up, conning him into selling two Quaaludes and arranging a small cocaine buy. He pled guilty, he says, only because of legal complications arising from a robbery conviction during his college days. He served 10 months; his conviction on the cocaine charge was later overturned. Rather crude. Excusing and explaining at every turn, Hayes--here writing with Pack, who coauthored Speaking Out with Larry Speakes--shows that he may have been a victim mostly of his own poor judgment.

Pub Date: Aug. 29th, 1990
Publisher: Harper & Row