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Let’s rank some quarterbacks! Fictional quarterbacks, but, in case you’re wondering, no Joe Flacco isn’t elite, and yes, Ben Roethlisberger is top 3.
So here we go.
Jason Street (Friday Night Lights, TV series): Yeah, I get it. There was one scout that told Streeter’s parents that he “may have been the best quarterback he’s ever seen in all of his years of scouting quarterbacks.” But let’s face it, we didn’t have enough of a sample size. You know the story. One game into Street’s potentially legendary senior season, he goes to make a tackle (after throwing an AWFUL interception), leads with his head, and the rest is history. Based on his talent alone, Street could be in the top 10. But this, like all other aspects of judging quarterback legacies, is about judging the entire body of work. And we just don’t have that with Jason Street.
Lance Harbor (Varsity Blues): This is pretty much the same story as the aforementioned Jason Street. We just didn’t see enough of Lance to know if his talent matched his potential. We should still appreciate what both of these quarterbacks gave us, though: underdog success stories, courtesy of their backups.
Alright, now for the top 10…
#10 – Jerry “Rev” Harris (Remember the Titans): Guess what? Yep. Same story as Street and Lance. Rev got hurt! That racist bastard tight end Ray just blatantly ignored Louie Lastik’s audible, Rev takes a shot from an outside linebacker, and that was that. Rev gets a spot in the top 10 because he got redemption in the state championship game, though. “Fake 23 Blast with a backside George Reverse like your life depended upon it.” Never forget.
#9 – Alex Moran (Blue Mountain State): He let his reputation speak for itself and I respect that. He could’ve been the tireless worker like Peyton Manning. He could’ve been the perfectionist like Tom Brady. But that would’ve been dishonest. He was the reincarnation of Brett Favre and he knew it.
#8 – JD McCoy (Friday Night Lights, TV series): Not the most popular choice here, but this isn’t a popularity contest. JD was a stud, whether you loved him or hated him. Personally, I didn’t have a problem with JD. His dad was a dick and he needed to escape his wrath, but JD just wanted to be a bro like everyone else. He kind of had that Todd Marinovich thing going for him — his dad worked him so hard that you kind of wanted him to screw up just so his dad would give up on him and let him be normal again. Based on talent alone, JD McCoy could be higher on this list, but his dad got too involved and ultimately handicapped what could’ve been an unbelievable career.
#7 – Johnny Moxon (Varsity Blues): I’m gonna be honest, I’ve probably seen Varsity Blues the least amount of times out of all the movies or shows I reference in this ranking, so maybe this is just a lack of film review on my part, but I was never that impressed with Mox. I’m putting him at seven because of his ability to seamlessly fill the shoes left by Paul Walker (R.I.P.). You can’t teach that kind of heart, and I love quarterbacks that don’t let the moment get too big for them. Effortlessly replacing a guy that looked like Lance Harbor/Paul Walker? Sign him up!
#6 – Willie Beamen (Any Given Sunday):Man, I loved Willie Beamen. I wasn’t allowed to watch Any Given Sunday until I was in high school, so I haven’t seen as much film on him as I would have liked, but he had it all. Swagger, talent, and an outright defiance to anything that wasn’t in his best interest. Just a great quarterback character. And his ability to take a punch from a guy like LL Cool J (those were real punches, too) can’t be overlooked.
#5 – Matt Saracen (Friday Night Lights, TV series): If you think this is too high, then we can fight. I’m a Matt Saracen guy. Yeah, he was a little whiny and felt sorry for himself a little too often, but it’s a success story you just can’t makeup…unless you’re a writer for FNL, then you can definitely make it up. He was thrusted into his role as QB-1 and got exactly zero votes of confidence from the Dillon Panthers fan base, lost his job to some dude named Voodoo, got it back and did what? He messed around and won a state championship. Plus, it takes a set of brass balls to not only assume the starting quarterback role from a surefire D-I recruit, but to also do that while courting the head coach’s daughter. Don’t sleep on the real Matty Ice.
#4 – Paul Crewe (The Longest Yard): If you have to ask me if I mean the new version or the old version of this movie, keep in mind that I was born in 1993. I rarely watch movies that were made prior to 1980. Everyone loves a redemption story, and that’s exactly what Crewe was. He took the roller coaster of life all the way to a Texas prison, stared down the corrupt system that was the Allenville Prison Guard, and won. He’s that leader on and off the field that every team needs. Sure, it was a little unfair that guys with the talent of Michael Irvin and Bill Goldberg were incarcerated in the same prison as a former NFL MVP quarterback, but you play the hand you’re dealt.
#3 – Ronnie “Sunshine” Bass (Remember the Titans): Laser rocket arm? Check. 4.4 speed? Check. Sexiest head of hair from Virginia to California? CHECK. But you know what my favorite Sunshine moment was? Him lead blocking for Rev on the final play of the state championship. He was defying physics with those hits. He was actually picking up speed with each guy that he kamikazeed. I get chills just thinking about it.
#2 – Shane Falco (The Replacements): He was a winner. What else can you say? His career was in the tank, he had no girl, and he was damn near collecting unemployment checks. Guess what? Won a title, landed the cheerleader, and got PAID. I believe we call this the American Dream. I can’t put him at number one because if he was actually great, he would never have been unemployed in the first place, but Falco was the first quarterback I watched in a movie that made me think “hell, if he can do it…” After that, every year became #YearOfTheFalco.
#1 – Mike Winchell (Friday Night Lights, movie): “Mike Winchell, you have a serious knack for handing Boobie Miles the ball. And, every once in awhile, you throw a pretty good pass.” Look, Winchell wasn’t flashy. He didn’t play in an offense that let him put up Graham Harrell or Timmy Chang numbers, but the dude was just a FOOTBALL PLAYER. He was a HARDNOSED, GRITTY, TOUGH, HEADY, FOOTBALL PLAYER [this joke reads better if you do it in a Jon Gruden voice]. I just can’t get over the state championship performance. I also just realized that Winchell technically isn’t a fictional quarterback, but he got a helmet kicked in his face on the unforgiving green Astrodome concrete and not only did he survive, he didn’t miss a single down. He stays at number one..
Image via YouTube