Editorial: NFL on cusp of monumental year
September 30, 2016
This is the Year of the Other Guy.
On a football team, there are two kinds of quarterbacks. There are some who say, “I’m the quarterback for the Rams,” and then there are the guys who say, “I’m a quarterback for the Rams.”
The difference in these two quarterbacks is prominence and permanence.
One quarterback is the starter and plays the majority of every game in a season. The other quarterback is the backup who plays when the aforementioned quarterback gets hurt or when his team is winning by so much it’s not even funny.
This NFL season, the backups get a chance to shine.
At one point in their careers, the backups were the hotshots. To play at a Division I school, a quarterback has to be stellar in high school. Once at a Division I school, a quarterback must continue his stellar performance against the best college football players in the country.
Then this quarterback has to get drafted by an NFL team and impress teams enough during preseason to keep them from being cut.
After playing in the spotlight to get a roster spot, some guys win a starting spot and the others hold a clipboard on the sideline and watch a future Hall of Famer play.
All of a sudden, these clipboard holders are getting a new job title: starter.
These guys are getting starts because the starters are out.
For the New England Patriots, Tom Brady was suspended because he deflated Roger Goodell’s ego, and now there is a possibility for them to start three different quarterbacks in the first four games of a season.
Their backup was Jimmy Garoppolo, who hurt his shoulder. Then rookie Jacoby Brissett replaced him, Brissett tore a ligament in his right thumb, and the Patriots may be forced to sign TJ Yates to replace both of them.
The Cleveland Browns are on their third quarterback this season, the Cowboys are starting Dak Prescott while Tony Romo is hurt, the Bears are playing Brian Hoyer while Jay Cutler is hurt and are not promising Cutler his spot back.
In Seattle, Russell Wilson hurt his MCL, and the Seahawks may be short a starting quarterback this weekend. New York Jets quarterback, Ryan Fitzpatrick, threw six interceptions in one game, which could result in a backup getting starts.
Despite what ESPN says, every quirk in sports is not a historic event, but this year is going to be special for those guys that are used to holding clipboards and wear backward hats on the sidelines.
In 1968, pitchers dominated baseball across the board, and historically it is known as The Year of the Pitcher. This year is when those backup quarterbacks whose jerseys aren’t sold at Dick’s Sporting Goods, who don’t have a picture on Madden and have perfect hair after a game because they didn’t wear a helmet get to shine. This year is The Year of the Other Guy.