Mario "Game" Granata
Well, the name says it all, doesn't it? After eclipsing a milestone in my own personal life, I thought about how, with all the bumps and bruises that I have accumulated over my time playing sports, how some of these quarterbacks in the National Football League are able to get up, day after day, and perform. It really is amazing, how these "old guys" or "candidates" are able to do it, so I figured I would highlight their accomplishments, and have a little fun at the same time. If quarterbacks were in the White House, this is how it would look.
Since one of the requirements for being elected President is being at least 35, I have highlighted a few quarterbacks, who "held office" well into the latter years of their 30's and beyond. Taking the time that they played in the twilight of their career ONLY, you can see the "terms" that these players served, and who they served them with. Now, without going too far back into the football archives, this article is more focused on those players since the start of the 1990s. So, apologies if you were looking for some Fran Tarkenton references. Hail to the Quarterbacks:
President: Warren Moon (1991-2000)
Vice President: Joe Montana (1992-1994)
When you are able to sustain seasons well into your 40s, you take the lead when you are elected into this office. Warren Moon turned 35 in 1991, and played for 4 teams (Houston, Minnesota, Seattle, Kansas City) and amassed nearly 60 wins, which placed him with the presidency over Montana. Joe Montana sat out in 1991 when he was 35, but then came back to San Francisco and then was shipped out to Kansas City, where he took the Chiefs to the playoffs, and was one game away from going to his 5th Super Bowl, but suffered a concussion against the Buffalo Bills in a 30-13 loss. For an inaugural office, Moon and Montana start it nicely.
President: John Elway (1995-1998)
Vice President: Dan Marino (1996-1999)
John Elway, who replaces Warren Moon in office, is the only quarterback on this current list who has won a Super Bowl. As if there had to be another instance when Marino was compared to Elway, during the time when Elway was capturing back to back Lombardi's, Marino was putting the cap on an amazing career, locking up multiple passing records before he bowed out of office. These two will be the benchmark when discussions happen to arise when it comes to the best ever...records vs. titles? It's like asking what came first, the chicken or the egg, and if you need another sports reference 'Who's on First?'
President: Brett Favre (2004-2010)
Vice President: Kurt Warner (2006-2009)
Now, if you play the game long enough, and you are lucky enough to play through some injuries, then you are going to take some records away from whoever is in front of you, and that is what Brett Favre did. Interesting enough, Favre isn't really mentioned when people discuss the top quarterbacks of all time, even though he has both records AND a title. Kurt Warner, who has some of the most amazing playoff stats ever, was the closest to John Elway, as far as winning a Super Bowl when he and the Arizona Cardinals fell short to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Warner, in his final 6 playoff games AFTER he turned 35 completed 71% of his passes for 290 yards per game and a 16-4 TD-to-Int ratio. Not bad, old man. Another factor that links both Favre and Warner in their term was that they were both 'victims' of the Bounty Gate. But, we aren't going to mention that, are we Goodell?
President: Peyton Manning (2011-Present)
Vice President: Tom Brady (2012-Present)
As the NFL takes office, the two most notable over 35 players in the league today, from the quarterback position (and the most debated) are Manning and Brady. They will be forever linked, much like Elway and Marino, although many people compare Manning to Marino and Brady to Montana, there is no question that the numbers that these two have been able to put up, after the age of 35, is amazing. Manning just this last season, broke passing records both from Drew Brees and Brady, and became the first quarterback since Warner to lead two different franchises to the Super Bowl. Although, the Seattle Seahawks had a different end to the fairy tale script for Manning, that shouldn't damper his legacy, or his presidency one bit. Now, if you are of the mindset that Brady should be above Manning, just take into account this one simple point. When Brady was injured, the Patriots went 11-5 just missing the playoffs with Matt Cassel. When Manning was out for the season, the Colts 'secured' the #1 overall pick. Edge: Manning. Let's see how long these two can 'stay in office'.
All in all, we as football fans have been witness to some truly amazing quarterback play from individuals who were in the twilight of their career. Many people say that 30 is the new 20, and for the quarterbacks highlighted, 35 is where they start finalizing their legacy. But, like in any 'presidency' elections are just around the corner (ie. Drew Brees just turned 35 this January) so watch out Peyton.