Collective bargaining agreements, expanded schedules, concussion reform, salary cap issues are all being debated as there is the possibility of having no NFL in 2011. While Commissioner “Mr. Rogers” Goddell and league owners deliberate over most of these issues, we fans are still paying attention to what happens on the field. As the QB goes, so goes the NFL… but this could be a potential soap opera depending on how it all shakes down. Draft or sign? Franchises ask this question when deciding what to do at the QB position:
- Draft a college kid and allow them to grow into the position or toss them into the deep end of the pool and let them swim (Dan Marino, John Elway, Troy Aikman, Peyton Manning, Sam Bradford. Matt Ryan, Joe Flacco)?
- Sign a veteran “caretaker” to mentor your “wunderkind” franchise QB (Kurt Warner, Eli Manning)? What if that kid is a bust and derails your franchise for years (Alex Smith)?
- Go with the proven veteran on the open free agent market (Brett Favre, Drew Brees, Jason Campbell)? Safe choice or potential train wreck when Grandpa implodes?
- Draft that young future star when you already have a premier franchise QB (Aaron Rodgers/Brett Favre)? Let the kid hold the clipboard while they watch the legend play!
- Accidentally find out who is holding the clipboard when the starter gets hurt (Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, Matt Cassel)
- Situation dictates that the team has to make a choice (Montana/Young, Brees/Rivers, Donovan McNabb/Kolb, Cutler/Orton, Michael Vick). Sometimes it is a salary cap issue, pressure to win or having two potential starting QB. Sometimes off-field problems.
Whatever the impetus, NFL teams and fans are obsessed with the QB. Fans love QB controversy while coaches like to encourage competition. 2011 should prove an interesting situation because there is currently no established salary cap. Once the Collective Bargaining Agreement is settled, there will be either a new salary cap or possibly no 2011 season. Franchises are cautious but they can go rogue and spend the money. Will they take the risk or play it safe?
Names that could be available differ according to who you ask but the NFL QB Shuffle is an annual event. Welcome to the Super Bowl of Poker 2010. Place your bets!
FIVE CARD DRAW
Arizona Cardinals, Washington Redskins, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks. All five have urgent, pressing very different needs at QB.
ARI: Derek Anderson is not the answer; Max Hall aspires to be Derek Anderson; John “Red” Skelton – Pride of Fordham Class of 2010 – has no body of work in the NFL; Matt Leinart is third string in Houston (we have a problem); Kurt Warner is on “Dancing with the Stars.” Is Jake Plummer available? BEST BET – PUNT! Donovan McNabb signs with his hometown Arizona Cardinals and makes a bad situation FAR WORSE!
WAS: Donovan McNabb can’t run the 2:00 offense… no he doesn’t have the cardiovascular capability… no wait, maybe he is out of shape? Or is he busy practicing his air guitar and working out his “Thriller” dance for the Halftime Show? McNabb has many problems but the only one that matters seems to be Head Coach Mike Shannahan – or is it Offensive Coordinator Brian Shannahan? Well McNabb may start again but he will not be seeking long-term real estate in the DC area! Other options are Rex Grossman - 8 NFL seasons, 33 TD/36 INT, 54% COMP, started 16 games once in 2006; and John Beck – 4th year out of BYU, 3rd NFL team, Career Backup Extraordinaire! Jason Campbell is a Raider, Gus Frerotte is still banging his head against the wall and Heath Shuler is a Congressman. Redskins passed on Bradford, Tebow, Stafford, Claussen and Colt McCoy… and they will regret it. BEST BET: Cue the Music. Gotta draft, Gotta DRAFT! But who?
MIN: Brett Favre-42-years-old, ankle injury, shoulder recovery and says he may retire after this season…Sounds like he’ll need some convincing. Maybe NASA could have Wrangler jeans sponsor an organized shuttle mission to send a few astronauts this time! ; Tavarus Jackson, vs. Joe Webb might sound good on a boxing card but not if you’re writing a QB depth chart. Jackson may finally take over the starting role in 2011 unless Favre falls apart in the second half of 2010. Either way doom looms for everyone on this roster not named Jared Allen or Adrian Peterson!
BEST BET: Build a time machine out of a DeLorean. Fire up the flux capacitor and let Marty, Einstein and Doc Brown see what they can do. Once you’ve reached 88 MPH, make sure that you don’t hire Brad Childress and bring back Favre from 1985 or Fran Tarkenton from 1975. Either way, this team needs a coaching staff, an offensive line, a QB (actually 2), an attitude adjustment, a new stadium deal, a jolt of 1.21 jigowatts and any hope of contention before the 2012 season would be pure science fiction!!!
JAX: David Garrard – if he could play Dallas every week he’d be in the Hall of Fame; Trent Edwards – Buffalo scrapped him…BUFFALO? That’s like a homeless person throwing away a free sandwich because the lettuce is wilted! Well Ryan Fitzpatrick “played” him out of town (about as well as a quadriplegic with a rowboat) but Edwards should just be happy to be out of Buffalo. How good is he? This guy is Joe Pisarcik but easier to spell! This club needs a true franchise QB and has never had one in 15 years!
BEST BET: Draft early and often for QB and spend money to sign a top free agent QB. Maybe pull another Trent Edwards off the scrap heap but more likely to get Kerry Collins or Dan Orlovsky – in which case this team is in big trouble in little Florida. Denver is rumored to be trading Tim Tebow! When does this franchise move to Los Angeles? 2012?
SEA: Matt Hasselbeck 12th season, 6 TD, 7INT, 22 sacks… maybe he finally takes a lesson from his brother and learns that riding the bench and playing fantasy football is a lot easier than taking a punishment in the NFL; Charlie Whitehurst (who may have been a relief pitcher for the NY Mets in the 1980s) has 12 completions in 5 NFL seasons (2.4 completions per season folks)… not even way down yonder on the Chattahoochie does that math add up; JP Losman is another Buffalo castoff (…now presenting the Valedictorian of the Remedial Summer School Class…) and 6 seasons out of Tulane offers a net of 558 completions or 59%, 33TD/34 INT and not a lot of flash or substance; Pete Carroll would be VERY well-served to treat this franchise like a college team. Graduate the upperclassmen and keep recruiting young talent ad nauseum. Out with the old and in with the nucelus of talent because it is yet to come. Carson Palmer and Matt Leinart can’t help you now and Reggie Bush is in New Orleans. Carroll has his work cut out for him.
BEST BET: Find a veteran, organize a frat party and draft for the future.
SEVEN CARD STUD
Philadelphia Eagles, Miami Dolphins, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers all have QB issues to solve with one or more of the answers in house… or so they think. Decisions need to be made and directions need to be taken.
PHI: Michael Vick vs. Kevin Kolb. Vick is playing out of his mind and Kolb could be the starter on 20 other teams. Vick could be a free agent after this season. Re-sign him to a one-year-deal until the CBA is resolved. Reload for 2011 with Vick and Kolb in open competition. Vick will likely win but Eagles already think they have seen what Kolb can do.
Trade Vick while his 2011 one-year deal is still good and his value is highest – then let the team receiving him decide how they want to negotiate for 2012. Vick could either be apocalyptic or amazing but he needs to be someone else’s problem by 2012.
Kolb is a team player and will do what’s right for the Eagles but how good is he? No one is really sure after four seasons. Is he Alex Smith or Aaron Rodgers? He will be The Best Backup in the NFL and with Vick’s penchant for injury, the Birds will likely see more of Kolb over the next calendar year than Vick. Or will they…?
MIA: Until this week, Chad Henne was the franchise QB in Miami. Now he’s benched in favor of “Hanging Chad” Pennington? Pennington will run for Vice President someday because he makes a really good #2 but do you want your team’s fate in his hands? Gerald Ford, Dan Quayle and Walter Mondale all agree that Pennington is just being used as a pawn to motivate Henne (61% completions, 20-24 TD/INT). Tony Sparano may need to call Tony Soprano for some muscle. BEST BET: Dolphins need to decide if they are rebuilding or want to contend. There are not that many franchise QB in the draft and Marino is retired.
SF49: Alex Smith, David Carr, Troy Smith. I’m not sure why Alex Smith has received so many chances to prove that he was not a poor choice as the #1 overall pick… but doesn’t Mike Singletary “want winners?” David Carr is still suffering post-concussion syndrome from being pummeled in Houston all those years. So it appears that Troy Smith should be given a chance to prove that he is the only QB who might be in San Francisco’s future. No team is more in need of a Joe Montana than this squad. Would Kurt Warner come out of retirement? Steve Young? Jeff Garcia?
BEST BET: Sign a veteran to mentor Troy Smith or draft Joe Montana’s son and bring Dad on as QB coach
BUF: Ryan Fitzpatrick seems to have won this job despite being winless @ 0-8. Then again, what competition does he have left? Losman is gone. Trent Edwards is gone. Brian Brohm and Levi Brown are no threats for the job or on the field. Brohm is a 3rd year professional clipboard artist while Brown is an unproven rookie. It’s Buffalo. No free agent in their right mind (see Terrell Owens) is going to be wooed or lured or beaten and thrown into the trunk of a car to play for this team. Worry about finding a way to throw the rest of the season and guarantee the first pick. BEST BET: Let Fitz have the job and find a jewel in the draft. Bills are on the clock…
DAL: Tony Romo, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee. Romo is shelved until 2011 and this team may never make their way deep into the playoffs until they give up on the Romo-nator. Where is this guy’s head? Did Jessica Simpson make Romo stupider or was Simpson a lot smarter before Tony Cheesehead? Well Romo is the starter by default for 2011. Right now Jon Kitna and Jason Garrett are trying to save a drowning team. At roughly the same age, Garrett and Kitna could both be gone in 2011. That would leave Texas AM alum McGee as Romo’s potential backup. Not a bad situation because Dallas needs to decide what to do in the future. Go with a blue chip draft pick? Well that would require the team to tank and warrant a high pick… they’re 1-7 now and the draft of 1988 and 1989 built a dynasty. Can they sign Herschel Walker to a contract and trade him to Minnesota for a dozen draft picks? Are Troy Aikman, Emmitt Smith and Leon Lett available in the draft? Maybe find Roger Staubach and stash him on the roster while he plays out 3 years of active military duty? Aikman’s in the booth and Emmitt is shooting the next dramatic series of commercials with Brian Wilson and Keith Hernandez for beard black products. BEST BET: Take some cash out of Jerry’s safe and pony up for Jon Gruden AND a QB!
Jake Delhomme, Seneca Wallace, Colt McCoy. It’s like a Crash Test Dummy Factory in Cleveland.
They go through quarterbacks faster than Tiger Woods grand slam breakfasts his way through the wait staff at Perkins! Delhomme was brought in to groom McCoy but neither Delhomme nor Wallace has done a lot of teaching. One thing McCoy may have learned is that he doesn’t want Jake or Seneca blocking for him in line at the breakfast buffet let alone in games. McCoy will see more of the field than expected but the experience will serve him well. Wallace and Delhomme are more likely to be working the comedy circuit in the Catskills next season than playing in the NFL. Mike Holmgren fancies himself a QB guru so the question of choosing Delhomme and Wallace as mentors would be a chink in his armor. Maybe Holmgren and “Man-genius” can find some other veteran to come in for 2011 and guide Colt McCoy toward success. Let’s hope they don’t convince Brett Favre to play one more year!
BEST BET: Matt Hasselbeck would look nice with a clipboard in his hand and a Browns jersey. Get some pop-poms and a baseball cap and teach Hasselbeck to shout “Nice job Colt McCoy!”
CAR: Matt Moore, Jimmy Claussen, Tony Pike, Armanti Edwards. Moore is the “greybeard” by default. Claussen and Pike both have huge upside potential and Claussen has spent time in a pro style offense but each have a lot to learn in the NFL. The School of Hard Knox usually offers a one year crash course for freshmen quarterbacks but for every Peyton Manning there are a dozen broken corpses in the wake. Let Claussen and Moore duke it out and respect the winner.
BEST BET: Bring back all three and grow the roster as this team moves from pretender to contender. Is Andrew Luck coming out in the 2011 Draft?
Batman Watusi http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jid6FMNHh6E
The Watusi is a solo dance that enjoyed brief popularity during the early 1960s. It was the second-most popular dance craze in the 1960s in the United States, after the Twist. Its name derives from the Batutsi tribe of Rwanda.
The Orlons, a vocal quartet from Philadelphia, had the biggest hit of their career as recording artists with their recording of the “Wah-Watusi” (Cameo 218), which debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on June 9, 1962 and remained on the Hot 100 for 14 weeks; it peaked at #2 and held the position for two weeks.
This was not the only version of the song to hit the charts. The Vibrations released an R&B version in 1961 (US #25). On Jan 18, 1963, Chubby Checker released his single version of the “Wah-Watusi” (B-side of Cameo 221). Later that year, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles also recorded their own version. Popular covers of the song included Annette Funicello, The Isley Brothers and The Ventures.
Also in 1963, Puerto Rican jazz musician Ray Barretto had his first hit with a song called “El Watusi” and although he didn’t invent the dancing style, he came to be typecast as connected to the style. Barretto’s recording, “El Watusi” (Tico 419), debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart on April 27, 1963 and remained on the Hot 100 for 9 weeks; it peaked at #17 for 9 weeks.
In the classic Watusi, the dancer is almost stationary with knees slightly bent, although may advance forward and back by one or two small rhythmic paces. The arms, with palms flat in line, are held almost straight, alternately flail up and down in the vertical. The head is kept in line with the upper torso but may bob slightly to accentuate the arm flailing. The dance, which became popular in the American surf/beach sub-culture of 1960s, may be enhanced if one imagines that one’s feet are on sand.
About the Author
Written by Christopher Rowe
Contributing writer Comcast Sports, NY Times contributing stringer 1996-2000, Contributing writer Yahoo Sports (2001 World Series). Contributing writer Newsday Long Island (1992-1994, Jets Training Camp) and Newak Star Ledger. Freelance Copywriter, Editor/Founder Atlantic Times Weekly (1993-2003) fantasy football magazine, produced screenwriter and general humorist. Hofstra University grad, Marist College honorary alum, Salesian; Purveyor of the Value and Valor of Philadelphia Eagles 1960 NFL Championship; Adrent believer that Eagles could have won Super Bowl XV...and Super Bowl XXXIX...plus modern decade of Eagles 5 NFC Championships... Believer in the Broad Street Bullies and the 1983 Sixers... Witness to Philadelphia Phillies World Series championships 1980 & 2008, Suffered Phillies first pro sports team to reach 10,000 losses,witnessed "1980 Cardiac Kids," 1983 "Wheeze Kids," 1993 "Macho Row" and many, many, many not-so-memorable seasons in-between... until the Philadelphia Baseball Renaissance of 21st Century, Five NL East division titles 2007-2011, 3 NLCS appearances 2008-2010, 2 consecutive World Series berths 2008 & 2009. 2008 World Champions of baseball [miss ya Harry and Richie]; "collector" of MLB ballparks (42 stadiums including 15 which are gone); Fantasy Football & Baseball player since 1992. Always a sports fan... Tenui Nec Dimittam Contact me firstname.lastname@example.org