Levels of controversy

Published 8:19 pm Tuesday, August 23, 2011

It’s that time of year for one of America’s still relatively young sporting pastimes, much younger and more vibrant than our National Pastime, to reach its peak.

It’s time for quarterback controversies. Around these parts, it’s John Beck vs. Rex Grossman for the Redskins.

Around the nation, every football fan’s up on Kyle Orton or Brady Quinn or Tim Tebow with the Denver Broncos.

Email newsletter signup

It keeps going to the college level. As the difference between professional football and college football, at least in the major, BCS Division I conferences, tightens all the time, the question remains how harshly to write or talk about who will start and who will signal the plays.

Along with being smart enough to take college courses and old enough to have peers serving our country in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya, a college student-athlete should handle the question or action of demotion to the second-string with enough maturity.

At the pro level, whether a quarterback makes seven figures a year to play or if he makes seven figures to hold a clipboard and run the scout team doesn’t even rank among something to count as an honest-to-goodness problem.

While there’s plenty of room for feeling bad for a college kid losing a spot in the starting lineup, a full ride to The Ohio State University or The U to be a backup is a nice gig.

High school teams have quarterback controversies, too. And with kids, it actually can be tough watching a scrimmage knowing there is an internal competition going on that will wind up in one clear “winner” and, by default, a “loser.”

One kid, for the most part, will be the top quarterback. At least at the high school level, it’s likely the second-string quarterback is an excellent all-around athlete, so he could be some combination of two or three other positions for his team.

Quarterback is the glamour position and is increasingly becoming the glamour position for all of American football.

With each quarterback controversy story on NFL Network, though, teams must have left guard battles and close decisions at nose tackle, too. They’re probably just as interesting. OK, of course not. It’s just funny that two quarterbacks playing for one spot equals entire off-seasons of articles and easy talk show material.