Debating William & Mary, sports and culture since 2011. Updated every Wednesday.

A Quarterback of No Importance

In Football, Long form on August 22, 2011 at 6:01 pm

This post is the first of what will be a series in which Crim Del Harris writers, ever striving to push the envelope in possibly nonsensical and obscure ways, consider the perspectives of classical writers on the modern sports world. So it is with this background that Oscar Wilde happened upon a scene recently in Denver…

The quarterback is the creator of beautiful things.

It is the fan, not the game itself, whom the quarterback really mirrors.

There is no such thing as a moral or amoral quarterback. Passes are well thrown or badly thrown. That is all.

All quarterbacks are useless.

The film room smelled of lilacs, freshly cut and hanging from the window sill near the dry erase board. From his Persian leather lounge chair in the corner where he lounged languidly, Kyle Orton could barely sniff the honey-scented blossoms that filled the room only a scant few minutes earlier.

On the other side of the room, standing next to the dry erase board, was a young quarterback of extraordinary personal beauty. The comely signal caller stepped back from his creation, a perfectly drawn explanation of a skinny post route against a soft cover two defense, and arched his pencil thin eyebrows in a slightly Japanese way to indicate he was done.

“Why, my dear Tebow, you have done it,” Orton said languidly. “It’s the best play call I’ve ever seen. So firm, so manly, yet delicate enough to escape the brutish vulgarities of the masculine world. You must take this to Lord Elway at once.”

“No, I don’t think I’ll show anyone,” Tebow said languidly.

“Why to rob the world of your art would be a very crime against nature. How could I lay here and let you rob the world of such beauty. Our art is like our virginity; one must not give it away, but keep it, or no one will want it.”

Tebow shugged in sadness, the harsh fluorescent light hitting his muscles the way the Venice afternoon sun once illuminated the surface of Michaelangelo’s David.

“Okay, bad example,” Orton said. “But still, I will not let you rob the world of your gift.”

“I fear I have put too much of myself in the playcall,” Tebow said.

“My stars, I never suspected you of being so vain Tebow. This play, with its perfectly arched wheel routes and statuesque protection, no more resembles you than that putty chinned ruffian in Pittsburgh resembles New England’s golden fleeced general.”

“That is what I mean,” Tebow said. “I’m afraid that our art reveals what fascinate us, piercing our hearts the way the arrows pierced the lilly white skin of St. Stephen in Jerusalem. If you look closely, my art reveals what I desire most—a high completion percentage.”

“Oh Tebow, dear sweet Tebow. The charm of being a shotgun quarterback is that our gun eventually winds up shot.

“Kyle, every play that is called with feeling is a play for the quarterback, not the offense. The offense is merely the vessel, it is rather the quarterback that reveals himself. And in this case I think I revealed a little too much of the secret of my own soul.”

“And what, pray tell, is that?” Orton laughed.

The Rocky Mountain wind gently blew across the goalposts outside. Birds chirped in the air. Somewhere, John Fox woke up from his mid-afternoon nap.

“Two months ago I went to a party at Master Goodell’s. Well I had been in the room ten minutes before I became conscious that someone was looking at me. I turned half-way around and saw him for the first time. Brady Quinn. When our eyes first met, it felt I was growing pale. Why did he have to come to Denver in a trade. Why did he have to leave Notre Dame, his flowing brown locks glided by the sun reflecting off the golden dome, and come here. I am afraid his nature will consume me, his beauty will corrupt my peaceful spiritual nature.”

“My god,” Orton said, “all the perfection of the spirit that is a Golden Domer. Now I understood your problem. A quarterback should create beautiful plays, but he should put nothing of his life into them. I fear it is too late. His beauty might consume you. It might consume us both.”

Just then, the door opened. Lord Elway walked in.

“Mr. Quinn is in the studios sirs.”

  1. […] few months ago, our writer in Baltimore wrote an excellent piece based on an Oscar Wilde-style imagining of Denver’s quarterback situation. I’m one-upping […]

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