A week removed from Super Bowl LI, and nothing really changed. The Patriots are still the best team in the NFL, Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever, Bill Belichick consumed the collective soul of the state of Georgia in the span of 20 minutes, Roger Goodell is still a petulant asshole, and Matt Ryan is still not elite. Had the Falcons won, we would’ve been talking about how Matt Ryan now in fact, is elite, but he and Kyle Shanahan shit their pants in front of 110 million people and here we are. All the pre Super Bowl talk of being an elite quarterback got me thinking about which fictional quarterback would be in the conversation, so let’s do a deep dive into that.
Obviously guys like Sunshine Ronnie Bass and Mitch Winchell are ineligible, but I don’t know if either of those guys would sniff this list. I considered things like physical talent, toughness, football IQ, leadership ability, and intangibles.
Shane “Footsteps” Falco
Falco was an elite talent at Ohio State, a first team All-American until the wheels fell off the bus in the ’96 Sugar Bowl. After flaming out in the league due to circumstances he couldn’t control (according to Coach Jimmy McGinty, he “should’ve been holding a clipboard that first year, not carrying the whole team”). Falco’s probably got the best arm talent of any guy on this list. There’s a scene at the start of the movie where he launches a gold football underwater with so much juice I’m positive it could’ve sank a Navy warship. During games Falco also has a penchant for throwing bombs, and avoiding his check down’s. But where Falco really shines is with his leadership and intangibles.
If you’ve seen the movie, both of these speeches probably resonate deeply within you. You may recite them to yourself every morning when you wake up, or in moments of peril. Look at the faces of the guys in the locker room and tell me each and every one of them wouldn’t take a bullet to the chest for Falco. If there is one thing that Falco has that some of these other guys don’t, it’s heart… miles and miles of heart. He does however, lose points for only playing in four games, and for losing his starting spot, albeit briefly, to big swinging dick Eddie Martel. But he does sneak the Sentinels into the back door of the playoffs, and looks like he could’ve been on his way to a career renaissance a la Kurt Warner. Winner’s want the ball in their hands when the game is on the line, and Falco always did. Final consensus: I don’t think you can call Falco elite because the body of work isn’t there, but it’s entirely possible he and Jimmy McGinty were about to embark on a Brady/Belichick type of run, fisting defenses and sucking souls from cities. Guess we’ll never know. Also, Falco banging the head cheerleader scores him major points.
The preseason Heisman favorite of Sports Illustrated, Joe Kane was essentially Ryan Leaf before Ryan Leaf was. An absolute terror on the field, but more of a terror off the field. It’s no secret that Joe Kane was fond of sucking down a twelver and riding his motorcycle like he was fucking Evil Knievel. His Heisman hopes pretty much went up in smoke when he had to enter rehab mid season to avoid a DUI. Mel Kiper would probably say that he had several “character issues,” but he was a helluva player when he laced them up. Undoubtedly the toughest sonofabitch on this list, his physical toughness was unmatched, but he also had decent arm talent. He certainly was helped out by Darnell Jefferson(Omar Epps) who caught a lot of passes out of the back field, but it appeared his offensive line was ass and he was getting flushed out of the pocket a lot and was always cerebral enough to not take a sack. His teammates loved him, and his demeanor in the huddle is exactly what you want out of quarterback. Without the speech below, ESU doesn’t make a New Year’s Day Bowl, simple as that.
“What do you think, go for the 3?”
“Just give me the god damn ball.”
If that doesn’t give you chills, I don’t think you have a pulse. Something else to consider: Joe Kane was a redshirt Junior, he had another year! If he could stay away from grandpa’s cough syrup, there’s a good possibility he wins a Heisman, a National Championship, and is a first round draft pick. Final Consensus: Hard to be considered elite when you’d rather suck down Molson’s than read the playbook, but Kane had a legitimate shot to go on and become an elite quarterback.
“Steamin'” Willie Beamen
The only dual threat guy on here, Beamen is by far the best athlete. He kind of popped out of nowhere starting the season as the Miami Sharks third string quarterback behind incumbent Jack “Cap” Rooney who essentially was the reincarnation of Jake Delhomme the year he played in Cleveland, which is he to say he was trash. After getting the nod from the most overrated coach of all time, Tony D’Amato (we’ll get into that another time), Beamen saves what was inevitably turning into a dumpster fire type season. Electric on the field and in the studio, Beamen will always take heat for being a pretty shitty teammate, but a lot of that blame can be placed at the feet of D’Amato who intended on playing a quarterback with full blown CTE in the playoffs, and kind of shit on Beamen every chance he got, until he realized Beamen was the only one who could save his ass from getting whacked by Christina Pagniacci (a v v sexy Cameron Diaz). Through Beamen’s play, the Sharks make the playoffs, and everything is going well for the newly christened starting QB until he decides to take sole credit in an interview. He gets benched in favor of old man Dennis Quaid, and once again is inserted late to save Coach D’Amato’s ass. How many guys out there are doing shit like this:
How elite you perceive Beamen lies solely in how good of a football player he was, because he was a dogshit teammate throughout pretty much the entire movie. A half assed apology towards the end of the film seems to get everyone on his side, but that’s horseshit, the offense hated him and so did the defense. Final Consensus: Not elite. Although he was getting the chance to be the quarterback of the new expansion team in New Mexico, he was lugging D’Amato’s washed up ass with him. D’Amato would’ve been fired after probably one season, leaving someone else to deal with Beamen’s shit, which actually would’ve benefited him. Tony D’Amato wasted Willie Beamen’s potential.
Paul “Wrecking” Crewe
Talking about the remake here, played by elite athlete Adam Sandler. Former Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback, who happened to do a little point shaving that got him thrown out of the league. Interesting because that’s definitely not the worst thing a Steelers quarterback has done, but I digress. While being described as a natural athlete, Crewe’s defining trait has to be his toughness. Dude was getting the absolute shit beat out of him all the time by guys like Stone Cold, Kevin Nash, Bill Romo, and The Boz. Judging by some of the fat slobs that Crewe had on his offensive line, he would’ve taken some massive blindside hits as well. Suffice to say, a guy who survived an assassination attempt via bomb has no problem getting off the turf after getting destroyed. One thing that probably gets overlooked is that Crewe was the offensive coordinator too. He basically diagrammed the entire playbook, and was very adept at resorting to school yard bullshit if the situation demanded it. The clip below is what Paul Crewe is all about; toughness, grit, and athleticism personified:
Final consensus: Guy is elite. Sure he had more talent around him than a lot of these other quarterbacks, but he had to let Michael Irvin knock a couple of his teeth down his throat and treat him like a punk to get said talent. And who’s to say that he wasn’t a fucking stud in the NFL, Pete Rose was pretty good when they ran his ass out of baseball. Same thing applies here.
Jonathan “Mox” Moxon
Let’s end this before it starts. In no universe is Mox an elite quarterback. Not a chance in hell. He just wasn’t a football guy. I get why Bud Kilmer couldn’t stand his ass. You’re the backup quarterback and you’re on the bench reading Slaughterhouse-Five? He’s lucky Kilmer didn’t rip his throat out, and I’m actually kind of surprised he didn’t. Mox is smart, he’s got that going for him, and he probably could’ve ended up being the all-time passing leader at Brown, but very few people give a shit about Ivy League Football if your name isn’t Ryan Fitzmagic. It’s a good thing he didn’t want that life, because he didn’t have a shot in hell at obtaining it.
Not an elite quarterback, but definitely an elite F-B-EYE agent.
Played in the Rose Bowl, and has arguably the greatest play action fake in the history of football. He’s also about as fearless as they come. It takes a rare breed to jump out of an airplane without a parachute with nothing more than a “Fuck it.” Interesting that Keanu was always playing quarterbacks considering when he first showed up on set for The Replacements rumor has it he threw a football like Scottie Smalls throws a baseball in the beginning of Sandlot. We don’t know much about Utah’s playing career, but he definitely would’ve been able to command a locker room.
Another guy who definitely isn’t elite. He was a decent athlete but was in for a rude awakening when he got to high school. Once coaches and players started using press coverage and jamming the shit out of Buddy, he was done for. When a dog is your best skill position player in every sport (pretty sure there were like 10 Air Bud movies) you’re fucked. (Can dogs get CTE? Because Buddy wore that shitty little leather helmet and was taking some high impact hits) Josh Framm may have been the straw that stirs the drink, but you take away Buddy and he’s trash.
Gets a bad rap, but he was going into a great situation. I don’t think talent was ever his issue, although a quarterback from Wisconsin winning the Heisman seems far fetched. Bo Callahan got shit on for being a horse’s ass. Sonny Weaver Jr., one of the greatest football minds of the last 100 years really took Callahan behind the woodshed and helped plummet his draft stock. Guy doesn’t read his playbook, none of his friends come to his birthday party, teammates think he’s an asswipe, the list goes on and on. But, he got drafted by Seattle which means he’s under the tutelage of Pete Carroll, and he has the Legion of Boom. In fact, I think I’d prefer to have Bo Callahan over Russell Wilson. Alas, if Sonny Weaver Jr. doesn’t think you’re elite, you’re not elite. Period.
Who did I miss?