(Photo by Deadspin.com)
Since the game of football has been played, one stat that has always been applied to quarterbacks, whether historically or presently, is winning. It seems to make sense as quarterbacks are in lead positions like head coaches and, therefore, deserve all the credit for the team’s victories. Except, when they do not play defense or special teams like late Hall of Famers center/linebacker Chuck Bednarik or quarterback/kicker George Blanda and other players can score the game-winning points during something that quarterbacks are credited with, game-winning drives, awarding team victories to quarterbacks is becoming more senseless than ever. Most importantly, when some quarterbacks with better winning-records are not favored highly in comparison to their peers with worse records, to even give a damn about win-loss records for quarterbacks is like saying that 2+2 = 5.
Take Hall of Fame Miami Dolphins quarterback Bob Griese. Griese played on two championship-winning teams in the 1970s, despite the fact that the team was much stronger at running the football and annihilating opponents with its “No Name Defense.” Conversely, former Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders quarterback Jim Plunkett has the same number of rings as Griese. Even though everyone knows about how he was on poorly constructed pre-salary cap teams (New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers) preceding his tenure in Oakland and Los Angeles, Plunkett cannot be allowed into the realms of Canton.
If forced to make decisions between quarterback dilemmas, almost no one would pick 10-6 Ryan Fitzpatrick over 7-7 Sam Bradford, 50-26-1 Andy Dalton over 42-51 Matthew Stafford, or 11-5 Teddy Bridgewater over 6-10 Jameis Winston.
Based on the hot take culture that resides among fans that claim fairmindedness despite writing sexist tweets toward female reporters, I am extra convinced that no one would pick Trent Dilfer, the Baltimore Raven, over Kyle Boller.
Speaking of the Ravens, how was former Super Bowl champion and MVP Joe Flacco doing in two of his past three seasons before he tore his ACL?
Does anyone see what makes me frustrated? Because of this purely selective individual crediting for team accomplishments, we have overrated and, in the cases of NFL owners and executives, overpaid quarterbacks.
What is worse is that when we see handsome quarterbacks pushing religiosity down our throats to our consternation but the media’s inexplicable obsession with religion, the media grossly exaggerates, excessively publicizes, and annoyingly updates us about a player who did not solely win the games for his team.
Five years ago, a field goal kicker named Matt Prater hit game-winning field goals against the Miami Dolphins, San Diego Chargers, Minnesota Vikings, and the Chicago Bears. Instead of giving him credit like how we would have to Adam Vinatieri or the media whore known as Jay Feely, we not only gave it to the previously mentioned handsome religious quarterback but made the media landscape all about him. If none of you know whom I am talking about, take a wild guess.
If so, the answer is Tim Tebow. After a field goal kicker hit four game-winning field goals to help the Denver Broncos win by three points each time along with a former Bears running back, Marion Barber, prematurely stepping out of bounds, according to the media, Tebow did everything to win the game for the team. Not the defense, special teams, other offensive players, or then head coach John Fox. Nope, it was all Tebow.
Sure, he may have been the greatest college football player of all-time, even though Cam Newton in one season at Auburn was better for the naked eye, faster on the ground, and prettier for the air. That, along with the combination of good looks and religiosity, seems to lead to NFL success. The only problem is that history has shown us that two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin stunk as a pro, good looks never helped Bachelor Jesse Palmer on and off the show, and God did not exactly help Dabo Swinney when Nick Saban won his National Championship over Clemson.
But that does not entitle the media to make Tebow bigger than the whole team as it never celebrated Kyle Orton going 9-6 with Chicago in 2008, Steve DeBerg going 21-10 with Kansas City in 1990 and 1991, and Virgil Carter having the same record as Tebow’s in 1970 with Cincinnati, 7-4.
The dirty secret of the winner stat and attribute is that it is nothing more than grounds to set up popularity contests and shaming festivals. If a quarterback looks the part, has some football attributes for justification, and is a part of a team victory, he is celebrated as something greater than he is. However, if he has moments that cost the team the win and no trip to the Super Bowl or subsequent playoff rounds, even with a winning record, he is a bum.
A talentless hack like Skip Bayless can tell you about this culture. Doing all of this got him reportedly paid $25 million over four years at Fox Sports 1 (FS1), and now he will be allowed to figuratively undress Tebow in front of someone that is authentically more athletic and journalistically gifted than him, Shannon Sharpe. Bayless is likely “prepping” by attending a Tuesday event that we never needed to be inundated about, Tebow’s Major League Baseball tryout. There, he will also be plotting ways for Tebow to get him to second base after Tebow is done whacking some balls.
If you think I am bad, I am not as bad as you.
You also take part in the “winner culture” as many of you act like Bayless without the $25 million by just being “bro’s.” You rip good quarterbacks that are bad in “the clutch” but truly do not want quarterbacks that are good in “the clutch” but awful for the rest of the game. You also show apathy toward the Super Bowl-void Dan Marino, Fran Tarkenton, and Dan Fouts while tweeting “Trent Dilfer sucks,” even though he went to a Pro Bowl in 1997 and was 18-4 with a Super Bowl ring from 1999 till 2001.
Now, I understand that elite quarterbacks give you great chances at winning in the NFL. After all, great ones make fantastic plays, but forgotten in discussions about them are their turnovers. When turnovers are minimized, a task that also makes quarterbacks elite, your team highly increases its chances of winning games.
Unfortunately, the mainstream media frames its programming off your online habits. If you keep acting like “bro’s” that take part in the “winner culture” on Facebook and Twitter, you will get the vomit-inducing content that you deserve, including Tebow’s publicity stunt that is being passed off as a baseball tryout.
So if you want sanity for yourself and media options, use your brain to be consistent, and that way you will realize that the winning culture is nothing except a screamfest with no sense behind it. Most importantly, please comprehend that the opposite of love is apathy as hatred toward Tebow will only mean more clicks, attention, and money for the networks that care about him. After all, when your baseball apathy due to its boringness creates no relevance to FS1 and FS2; there is no extra annoyance coming towards you. Best of all, if you practice apathy toward stuff that bothers you the most, you can put an end to another new beginning of Skip Bayless too.