Oh, the quarterback woes of…well, half the teams of the NFL. The latest team to play quarterback musical chairs is my dad’s childhood fave Minnesota Vikings, who today benched Tarvaris “I Can’t Seem To Make a Name For Myself, and Will Probably Continue to Follow the Unsuccessful Career Path of Daunte Culpepper” Jackson for Gus Frerotte.
As much as I think this move by Brad Childress is questionable (the Vikings weren’t the worst team in the NFL last week, they just came out on the losing end of a bad call on a Joseph Addai touchdown), I welcome the continuation of Freotte’s career because it makes me feel young. Frerotte has been an NFL quarterback since I was 12 years old. I am now in my mid-late twenties. It always makes me feel better about my age when a quarterback from my formative football watching years is still active on a NFL roster, and there is a fair share of them – Frerotte, Brett Favre, Mark Brunell, Brad Johnson, Trent Green, Todd Collins…heck, half of me expects Rick Mirer to still be on the Oakland Raiders roster somewhere! (You’re telling me a thirty-eight year old Mirer wouldn’t be an improvement over JaMarcus Russell?)
Frerotte, along with many of the quarterbacks I listed above, have taken the term “journeyman quarterback” to a whole new level. The quarterback draft classes of the early-mid 1990s make older quarterbacks, like former journeyman definition setters Steve DeBerg and Steve Beurlein, look lazy. Frerotte’s travels include stops at the following NFL teams:
- Vikings (1st stint)
- And now, the Vikings again.
Will Frerotte really make a difference for the Vikings this Sunday and for the rest of the season? I doubt it. But do they need a grand, long pass throwing quarterback, or just a competent enough guy to hand-off to Adrian Peterson every play (except when you hand it off to Chester Taylor just to shake things up a bit)? They just need someone to hand the ball off and manage the game. Their receivers are too poor to expect otherwise. And if Childress believes Frerotte is better at handing off the ball, then so be it. I think the majority of his players think otherwise – for example, in reports, wide receiver Bobby Wade seems very surprised by the move – and it could hurt the cohesiveness of the offense moving forward. However, Frerotte starting makes me feel younger, so I can’t complain too much.
After tonight’s Red Sox loss to the Rays, in which Tim Wakefield pitched poorly – big surprise there – may I hearken back to a blog post from last September, where I implored Boston just to let Wakefield go?
Look, Boston, the guy is old. In Buffalo, when guys are old, they trade them to places like Green Bay, San Diego, Washington and Miami, where they continue to have quiet, mediocre ends to their careers (Don Beebe, Steve Christie, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas, I’m looking in your directions.) So do like Ralph Wilson, and trade Wakefield already. Put him out to pasture. Let him fade gently away, until he decides to write a large print hardcover autobiography about him finding G-d especially when playing for the Packers (that time, I’m specifically looking in Don Beebe’s direction. And yes, my father owns his autobiography.) And then you still really won’t remember him all that much.
Can we finally put Wakefield out to pasture? He’s not doing the Red Sox any good. Sure, you can chalk up some of tonight’s loss to relief pitching, but still – Wakefield screwed up enough to let the Rays get ahead in the bottom of the first, and it just continued from there. Look, I know I’m not the world’s most knowledgable baseball authority – I’m still relatively new to the sport – but I know when someone needs to hang it up. And Wakefield needs to hang it up.