Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Yo Delaware

In a recent issue of Sports Illustrated, writer Jeff Pearlman came up with what yours truly considers some very interesting sports trivia. Pearlman attended the Univ of Delaware from 1990 to 1994, so it only figures he'd have some major loyalty to the Blue Hens.

That would be the same university and football team the current MVP of the Super Bowl, one Joe Flacco, attended. Though Delaware is a rather small state geographically, it was, after all, the FIRST state.

And Delaware can boast a second quarterback to have made it to the Super Bowl. Back in 2003, former Blue Hens QB Rich Gannon got there with the Oakland Raiders. No, he didn't play so well in that game, throwing multiple interceptions, as the black and silver Raider nation watched their team get stormed by the Tampa Bay Bucs for the Lombardi trophy.

But as Pearlman pointed out -- that's 2 Delaware QBs that have played in the Super Bowl. For such a small school, that's rather impressive.

Further referring to Pearlman's article -- what get's REALLY interesting is how many big time college football powerhouses have never had a single QB make it to the Super Bowl. That includes the likes of Ohio State, Wisconsin, Texas, and even USC. They may have won some major bowl games and even national championships here and there, but no QB from any of those schools ever made it to the "big dance" in the NFL.

There have been 47 Super Bowls played. That's 94 starting QBs. Sure, many of them have been there on multiple occasions. Win or lose, the names Bradshaw, Montana, Elway, Kelly and Tarkenton come to mind. Yet nary a Buckeye, Badger, Longhorn or Trojan along the way.

And now former Delware Blue Hen Joe Flacco, or at least his agent, is making a case that Flacco should be the highest paid QB in the NFL. Outrageous, you say, given the likes of Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and the Mannings? Maybe, but maybe not.

To be sure, there are those that put up gaudier statistics. The Detroit Lions' Matthew Stafford falls into that category. Stafford racked up over 5000 passing yards two years ago, but has yet to win a single playoff game. Last year, he had a receiver (Calvin Johnson) break the all-time record for most receiving yards in a season. The Lions went 4-12. It seems they find a way to lose.

Conversely, Flacco seems to fly under the radar, but he finds a way to win. It's not just the Ravens' magical run to the Lombardi trophy this year -- check out Flacco's record, particularly in the playoffs, over the last several years. It's impressive.

Arguments can certainly be made about the talent Flacco had around him on the Ravens, but most would agree the QB is the leader of the team. What's more important? A QB throwing for 5000 yards while his team continues to lose, or another guy putting up more modest stats, that manages the game well, doesn't make mistakes, and keeps leading his team to big wins, particularly on the road during the crunch time of the NFL playoffs?

So here's to the state of Delaware, Flacco and the Blue Hens. But contrary to Pearlman, I still think they swiped those winged helmets from Michigan. And all those pesky credit card companies based in Wilmington can be a pain sometimes too.

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