The Gunslinger: First Draft

**DISCLAIMER – This blog is entirely sports related.**

I have to put something like that because it always seems like when guys talk about sports girls get mad. They roll their eyes, and shake their heads and don’t understand us.

Once upon a time, deep in the heartland of America, a skinny high school boy decides to go out for football. He plays well enough to walk on to the University of Northern Iowa where he sits on the bench, buried deep in the depth chart. Finally, in his senior seasion, he gets his chance. He strings together a great set of games to secure the Gateway Conference’s Offensive Player of the Year and lives happily ever after, the end.

But what if it doesn’t end there? What if that kid didn’t give up on his dream? He tries out with the Green Bay Packers in ’94. They cut him. He goes back to Iowa to be an assistant graduate coach, getting a second job working the night shift at a local Hy-Vee grocery store, all the while keeping his fingers crossed the scouts will call him. When the opportunity to join the Iowa Barnstormers arises, he takes it, just happy to be playing football. He finally achieves vindication in ’97 when he leads the Barnstormers to back-to-back Arena Bowl appearances. He rides out into the sunset and lives happily ever after, the end.

But what if it doesn’t end THERE? The dude gets signed by the St. Louis Rams in 1998. They ship him out to Amsterdam to play NFL Europe. He turns in a solid performance and gets called up to the big leagues. Finally getting the chance he’s always wanted and only after Trent Green gets hurt, he goes NUTS–turning in one of the best seasons a quarterback has ever had. He wins the NFL MVP award, dominates the playoffs, and clinches the Super Bowl (and the Super Bowl MVP award) by a yard against Tennessee. Out of nowhere. Ok surely this is the end of the movie, right? Nope.

For whatever reasons, injuries get to him and he’s forced out of his starting job by another anonymous gunslinger–Marc Bulger. Bulger’s performance (he currently ranks third alltime in completion percentage: only Chad Pennington and, what a surprise, *Kurt Warner* rank higher than him) renders our hero obsolete and he loses his job. Picked up by the Giants, he quickly loses his job again to rookie Eli Manning. Next he’s shipped out to Arizona–where quarterbacks go to die. Instead of rolling over and letting the last few seasons of his career twinkle out, he stays resilient and often tagteams with the supposed next-big-thing in Matt Leinart. After Leinart coughs up his starting job, the now-aged gunslinger who we’ve followed through the whole movie gets one final shot at redemption….

Gives me goosebumps, and I don’t even really like Arizona. His story is just amazing. I think the Steelers will win the big one, but I hope it’s Warner. It would be a great way to end a crazy career.

As for the Lakers…not much to say, other than it’s lonely at the top. =]

Cheers.

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1 Comment

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One response to “The Gunslinger: First Draft

  1. Gramma

    very interesting Matt!!!!!!

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