JAY DAVIS: Young QBs being judged too quickly
Sometimes I get baffled by desire of mainstream media to over-emphasize, over-value, overrate and sensationalize every player, stat, trend, win, loss (oh man, the list can go on and on) in sports.
Because there is so much competition to draw in the viewing audience, instant diagnosis is made of everything that happens. Events are reported on before all of the facts are garnered. Opinions are aired before fair opinions can even be run through anyone’s thought processes.
On of the things that kind of drives me nuts is how quick the national pundits are to judge quarterbacks. Young quarterbacks burst onto the scene each year. They are judged on how much they success they have from the moment they step on the field. Twenty-two-year-olds are expected to lead their teams to the playoffs and beyond.
Last season, four young quarterbacks were playing on successful teams. Last season, youngsters Colin Kaepernick, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III and Russell Wilson all had hugely successful years. The football world was calling them the next wave of great quarterbacks, the men who would dominate the NFL for the next 12 years. They were being called great and elite before they had even played long enough to be called very good.
All four have struggled at times this season. Much has been said about the struggles of Griffin and Kaepernick, and lately Luck. Not as much has been said about Wilson, but his team is 10-1, so even though his game has struggled at times, it has been overlooked.
Anyway, last year all four were deemed as future hall of famers. This year the sports world is questioning if they are good enough to be called elite. Some even question if they are the future of their respective franchises.
Would everyone slow down just a cotton-picking minute please?
What makes all of these so-called football experts think playing quarterback is so easy anyway? Quarterback in the NFL is most difficult position to play in all of sports. Try to find one more difficult. I dare you.
No one should be judging the future of these young men. Not yet, anyway. They have not played the game long enough for us to know what they will be capable of when they grow up. The four have so much to learn it is unfathomable to think that the small amount of NFL games each has played can give us an honest insight as to what kind of quarterback they will be in five or six years.
There is no way of predicting which player will have the Super Bowl rings. There is not even a way of predicting if all will still be starters a half dozen seasons from now.
The word “elite” should never be thrown around about some kids in the first, second or third year in the league. Especially by people who consider themselves smart enough about the game to be in the national media offering their opinions.
Here is how hard it is to become an elite quarterback. There are somewhere around 2.5 to 2.7 billion adult men on this earth. How many of them are elite quarterbacks? By my count there are five. My list of elite quarterbacks is Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Ben Roethlisberger. That’s it!
Sure, there are others trying to reach that level of play, but none that have shown year in and year out that their team is a Super Bowl contender every year, simply because they are the quarterback of that team.
There are a lot of good quarterbacks out there. There are guys like Eli Manning and Joe Flacco who have Super Bowl rings, but they are on the outside looking in at the rest. Of course, Eli is close. He’s won more titles than his big brother, but he can also be a big part of the problem when the Giants are losing.
Watch the youngsters play quarterback. Enjoy the skills they are adding to their respective games, but don’t expect them to be a bunch of second-comings-of-Joe-Montana just because the national media needs to talk, and talk, and talk.
I can’t leave you with mentioning that I got a little bit lucky once again by picking all three state volleyball champions. It wasn’t really that much luck considering that Warner in Class B and O’Gorman in Class AA were overwhelming favorites, but I’ll take a pat on the back for predicting that Dakota Valley would be three-time defending champ Sioux Falls Christian in Class A. Just don’t read back to check on my other brackets where by A and B runner-up predictions finished fifth and third.