As I sat back and watched some of the Super Bowl festivities, the one thing that stood out to me most was the Peyton Manning and Bill Cowher interview that aired before the game. Coach Cowher asked Peyton about his legacy and in only a few sentences, spoke some words that should resonate with every competitor in the world. Peyton discussed two things that his father taught him to strive for growing. The first, was to have your teammates say that you were a great teammate. The second, strive to gain the respect from not only your coaches and teammates, but from the opposition as well. I think Peyton did a great job of doing this over the course of his career, and if this is the end, it will be the start of something that the game of football will struggle to replace.
Growing up, I always had an affinity for the quarterback position. It was the position I played, and later, the position that I coached when I was working as a high school football coach. I remember liking players like Joe Montana because of his "Joe Cool" demeanor and his ability to win football games. I used to love watching Steve McNair. A small school quarterback with a ton of athleticism and arm strength, but what I admired most about him was his toughness. Then Mike Vick comes along and introduced the NFL to a new style of play. Fast forward a few years to guys like Colin Kaepernick who electrified the league (albeit only for a season or two), with his athleticism. But one breed of quarterbacks that is dying is thrown drop-back QBs who seem to last the test of time. With each season, guys like Manning, Brady, Brees, Rodgers, etc. all get a year older. Some of these guys are closer to retirement than others. Once these guys retire, where are the next crop of young signal callers?
We are living in the greatest era of quarterback play. Outside of an Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson or Cam Newton, who will the "torch" be passed to. I am sorry, but a Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater, and Blake Bortles don't excite me as much as a Manning, Brady, Brees and Rodgers would. And for that matter, I don't know if I would put those guys on the same level as a Philip Rivers or Carson Palmer. I will say this, the dropback quarterback is what consistently wins in the league. For proof, look at the playoff teams this year. So will the dropback quarterback go the way of the dinosaur or will we ever see a crop of college come into the league ready to handle an NFL offense? But anyway, I guess time will tell which way the game of football will go.
Congrats to the Sheriff on another Super Bowl win!
Chris is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and member of the National Strength & Conditioning Association. He has recently served as a high school football and wrestling coach. Chris loves swinging kettlebells around, watching football and reading books!