‘98 QB’s; oldies but goodies

By The Columbia Chronicle

Just when you thought it was safe to go back onto the gridiron, the unimaginable has occurred. We had written them off as has-beens, and their image and dominance was more brief than Jim Palmer in Fruit-of-the Looms. We dissect the NFL weekly as we continue to find no consistent trend. Quarterbacks are dropping like flies, and this appears to be the year of the unexpecteds. So relax, grab your favorite easy-chair, kick up your feet, and grab your bowl of Flutie Flakes. It’s time to go channel surfing and take a look at those we thought were washed ashore, and left behind in the storm.

For this 5’ 6″ retro-styled hair cut, lady’s man quarterback, super stardom came early after he imprinted his name in the college scrapbooks with one of the greatest plays in history of college football. It is known simply as,”The Pass.” This last second heroic bomb in the 1983 Fiesta Bowl was the shot heard all around Miami that ruined the chances of Hurricane’s bid for a National Championship that season. This play proved to be the catalyst to a career that had many turns and twists, including short tenures with the Chicago Bears and the New England Patriots. The lack of success that Flutie experienced in the NFL early in his career forced him into to a less competitive league, the Canadian Football League.

After shattering every passing record in the CFL, Flutie thought his chances for the NFL were better, and so did head coach Wade Phillips and the Buffalo Bills front office. The Bills were the first team to jump on this blockbuster acquisition. Although named the back-up in the preseason to Rob Johnson, Flutie has come on to be the key factor to a team that appeared to be going south. After an 0-3 start, which included two embarrassing losses at home, the Bills, led by the play maker himself, have won five straight.

Not only has Flutie led the Bills to five straight victories, he has also captured the respect of a town that loves football more than they do there own families. He has put the kick back into the Bills, and has many defensive coordinators scratching their heads. He’s even got his face on the cover of a his own brand of cereal, “Flutie Flakes”. Whether a chemical in the cereal, or just a reborn star, it’s a pleasure to see a man that many thought was too small and not talented enough, establish himself among the pack as one of the greatest stories in football midway through the season.

The other quarterback who has those hoseheads in the north ranting and raving about is ex-Philadelphia Eagle, Randall Cunnningham. Who can forget the young quarterback with the Eagles that presented the double threat of quarter/running back. Defenses would drop back for the pass, he would read and take off for the first down as he would get hit and helicopter his way into the endzone. It was seen over and over. Then came the injuries and the bomb dropped. He could never get his game going, and eventually found himself sitting in the booth covering games.

Until the Minnesota Vikings acquired him this season, Cunningham could be found installing cabinets and household furnishings. Talk about a severe career change. Then came the emergence. As we all know, there is always something good that comes out of something bad. After the injury to Rob Johnson, Cunningham was called on to lead a team that was full of expectations. Now, after leading the Vikings to a first place 7-1 record, Cunningham is back. Unfortunately, so is Brad Johnson.

Cunningham has proven that he can lead this team far into the post season, and possibly past the 49ers and the Packers. However, Johnson is where the Vikings have put their money and hopes into for the future of this franchise. It’s safe to say that Mr. Cunningham has proven he still has some days left in the NFL. He’s definitely got head coach Dennis Green thinking twice about who can lead this offense into the playoffs. He’s made fans in Minnesota realize that if the leading man were to go down, there is another leading man ready to fill-in.

Congratulations guys, your still afloat. In fact, I’d say you two are on your way to some promising land. No matter what the scenario is, you’ve been rejuvenated in a way that not many are capable of coming back from. You’ve filled a shoe that most couldn’t fit both feet into. You’ve done the unexpected and put both of your teams into the pole position. Move over “Tool Time”, there’s a new handyman in town. And who needs the drive that Wheaties will give you, when you’ve got a bowl full of Flutie Flakes to get you through your day.

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