The quarterback position will always define success |

The quarterback position will always define success

Sports Geek
Jeff Sauer
Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
Jeff Sauer

When the starting high school senior quarterback asks your steady freshman girlfriend to go to the homecoming dance, it’s just not fair.

Or so I thought at the time, until I realized that “It’s all about the quarterback.”

Playing quarterback definitely has its perks, and starting in the NFL is arguably the best gig in all of professional sports. Teams that have elite QBs win titles, while those that don’t get the life sucked out of them, year after year, in a ruthless manner.

Landing a franchise quarterback, on the other hand, can be tougher than rocket science for some NFL franchises, none more evident than draft day of 2005, when 23 players were selected before Green Bay grabbed Aaron Rodgers.

Here are some of the offensive skill players and a punt returner/cornerback that were chosen before him (try not to laugh): Mike Williams, Mark Clayton, Braylon Edwards, Ronnie Brown, Matt Jones and Pac Man Jones.

Probably should have drafted Indiana Jones if you were dumb enough to pass on Rodgers.

But it actually gets worse.

The Minnesota Vikings, Green Bay’s primary divisional rival, had two first round picks ahead of the Packers in 2005 – Troy Williamson (No. 7) and Erasmus James (No. 18) – and both of them turned out to be complete busts. The Packers should be thanking the Vikings en route to Super Bowl XLVI.

Here’s the point: You only get a few cracks at landing a franchise quarterback throughout the years, so go ahead and pull the trigger sooner rather than later on draft day. If it doesn’t work out, scrap the plan and start over again. Take a Cam Newton with the first pick, or reach for a guy like a Christian Ponder with the 12th pick, no matter what the naysayers think. You have to keep trying until you eventually hit paydirt, and hopefully find the next Rodgers. He’s out there somewhere.

And just how important is the quarterback position in today’s NFL? Look no further than the Peyton Manning-less, 0-11 Indianapolis Colts.

There’s no need to feel sorry for the Colts any more, as their record all but guarantees the arrival of the “next Peyton Manning,” aka Stanford’s Andrew Luck, in next year’s draft. Luck will carry the clipboard and study the game behind the real Peyton Manning next season, just like Rodgers did with Brett Favre in Green Bay for several years.

Did I mention that it’s just not fair when it comes to quarterbacks?

Shortened NBA season a blessing

Although most hoopsters would probably disagree, I kind of like the idea of a 66-game season, especially if it brings the free-for-all sense of urgency that it should.

If a few of the dominant teams get off to mediocre .500 starts after the first 20 games, like the Miami Heat did last year, things could get dicey on some of these “Dream Teams.”

We could certainly use some high-quality drama in the NBA after this meaningless strike.

As for the local team – I’m anxious to finally get a look at the Nuggets rookie rebounding machine, Kenneth Faried, from Moorehead State. Faried has drawn comparisons to Dennis Rodman – for his basketball skills only, thankfully.

Jeff Sauer is a longtime western Colorado resident and former Roaring Fork Valley resident. He can be reached at

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