Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Statistics I Thought I'd Never See

From the AP sports wire:

" [Vinny] Testaverde, who turned 43 Monday, was the first overall pick by Tampa Bay in the 1987 draft. He has played 19 NFL seasons and has 269 touchdown passes, eighth in NFL history, and is sixth with 45,252 yards passing."

I started following football as a kid in the mid-to-late 1980s. I was seven years old when Vinny Testaverde came into the league, and he was already a joke. He made a lot of money, threw a lot of interceptions, and played for a team that wore bright orange that never won.

The only team that was worse wore pink, and they were the New England Patriots. Which happens to be Testaverde's new team.

Testaverde had a brilliant college career at the University of Miami. But Miami quarterbacks had mixed success in the pros, and each generation seemed like a parody of the one before: Jim Kelly --> Bernie Kosar --> Vinny Testaverde?

It's stunning to me that Drew Bledsoe, who I still think of as a young quarterback, has now been in the NFL for thirteen years. But it's downright astonishing that Testaverde has now been to two Pro Bowls, and has become -- statistically, if nothing else -- one of the best quarterbacks of his generation.

I turned 27 a few weeks ago. Is it strange that I find myself most affected by both how many professional sports athletes are younger than I am -- and just how old athletes not much older than myself are beginning to seem?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Testaverde, who started four games for the Jets last season, became the first player in NFL history to throw at least one touchdown pass in 19 straight seasons. He completed 60 of 106 passes for 777 yards with one touchdown and six interceptions. He was subsequently replaced by Brooks Bollinger, who had started the season as the team's third stringer.


Surely there's a better option out there for a backup QB.