This seems to be the season for NFL backup quarterbacks to show their stuff. Unfortunately, none of them have exactly shone despite Luke McCown’s adorable Verizon ad that maybe they might. I did think he did a fair job replacing Drew Brees for a short time, but the young receivers just couldn’t hold on to his tosses. With Brees back, McCown has been serving as ball holder which led to a delightful trick play in which the kicker pulled his kick, McCown rose and heaved the ball to Ben Watson standing nearly in the end zone for a touchdown. That might be his last touchdown of the year, but I did enjoy it. Of course, I watch a lot of LSU football, too, and Les Miles, part of my Christmas Football Wish list, just loves the trick play–even when one isn’t needed early in the game. Sometimes, I borrow them for plays in my football novels.
It turns out some guys can make a pretty good career out of being a backup. Both Luke and his brother, Josh, have played eight years in the NFL, mostly as backups. The average career is six. Face it, they don’t get beat up as much which might explain the longevity, but they do have to be ready to play the second the starting quarterback goes down. After the trick play, Luke said a player must always “execute your job to the best of your ability.” That ability might not be in the Drew Brees or Toni Romo category, but can be very useful. Meanwhile Josh as taken one for the team by running into a wall during the Cardinals game and injuring his ribs to the extant that Johnny Manziel got yet another chance to show what he can do, but didn’t.
Big Ben is back with the Steelers, maybe too quickly. Marcus Mariotta has recovered enough to meet the Saints who have come alive this Sunday, and Dallas is chewing and spitting out backups at an alarming rate waiting for Tony Romo’s collarbone to heal. Backup is an NFL career for sure, but not as easy as it looks. In my books, I like to use characters who aren’t always the stars. Both my fictional quarterbacks, Joe Billodeaux and Rex Worthy, start out as backups, one partying in his ample spare time, the other religiously practicing to take over. Both go on to shine in Goals for a Sinner, Wish for a Sinner and Love Letter for a Sinner. Don’t even get me started on kickers and punters. I have a weakness for them, too.
I write this blog once a month for RTJ and don’t consider myself the best of sports bloggers, but I have grown to enjoy it despite my horror when anyone suggests I do a blog tour. Right now our members are debating whether to continue the blog or simply go with the Facebook page which is already up and running and you are welcome to join. There are lots of short comments, pictures, and book covers on the page. What are your feelings? What do you prefer?