Even though it’s Tuesday, I just finished reading Monday Morning Quarterback, the excellent blog on the NFL by Peter King of Sports Illustrated.
There can’t be an NFL beat guy who works harder than King does from Sunday morning until early Monday morning.
After I read this week’s installment, I sent a note to King telling him that it had occurred to me that a huge number of his readers probably don’t really understand the reference to monday morning quarterbacking because there really is no such thing anymore.
The expression comes from the days when quarterbacks called their own plays and they were not only critiqued on their execution but on their play selection.
Imagine the criticism that quarterbacks are already subject to and then add the ability to second guess their play calling to the mix.
If Ben Roethloisberger throws an interception, he can be criticized for missing an open receiver and throwing to the wrong guy or just making a bad throw. Imagine if he throws an interception on third and one and everybody knows that he made the call.
I can remember talking after a game about what a great game the quarterback had called.
When you watch highlights of the ’70s Steelers, how often do you consider that the touchdown pass that was caught by Stallworth or Swann was a result of a play that was called by Terry Bradshaw?
I can remember Swann and Stallworth joking about who Bradshaw liked best and one jokingly accusing the other of trying to butter Bradshaw up.
I can remember watching Chuck Noll chewing out Bradshaw as he came off the field and you knew he was second guessing the play that Bradshaw had called.
In any comparison of great quarterbacks, I always make a point to mention the fact that Bradshaw called his own plays. I think, because it’s been so long since quarterbacks made those decisions, that people have forgotten what a huge part of being a quarterback that aspect of the game was.
Call me crazy –or old–but I think the game was a lot more interesting when the quarterbacks were field generals. Now they’re more like drones–electronically controlled from the sideline with that stupid radio receiver in their helmets.
Fantasy football for me would be seeing one more game in which both quarterbacks had to call all of their own plays.