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The Quarterback debate rages on
An article by Bills Thunder webmaster.
by Rick Anderson
October 31, 2000
The Presidential election is just a week away. You wouldn't know it by the talk on the streets of Buffalo or listen to the local radio stations. All the buzz centers around who should start at quarterback for the Bills once Rob Johnson heals from his shoulder injury. With the nation in the middle of an energy crisis and a possible war breaking out in the Middle East, everyone is talking Flutie vs. Johnson in Western New York and Southern Ontario. WGR Sports Radio 55 is going so far as to distribute free campaign posters for people to put on their front lawns supporting their favorite candidate .... for starting Bills QB.
In January, Doug Flutie told a Toronto newspaper that the Bills would have won if he had started. The controversy continued when Johnson also came back with some uncomplimentary remarks about Flutie not being someone pleasant to work with. Johnson started first six games this season and was constantly hammered behind the line of scrimmage. The Bills offensive line just didn't seem to be getting the job done as Johnson was sacked an average of 4-5 times a game. Then came the overtime game against the San Diego Chargers. Johnson was sacked as he released the ball and did not get up - a separated shoulder. Diagnosis - out for 4-6 weeks.
Rob Johnson fumbles the ball after being sacked by Colts defensive end Chad Bratzke.|
[AP Photo/Don Heupel]|
In most corners of this great country of ours, a raging debate goes on about George W. Bush vs. Al Gore for President. The future of the nation is in the hands of the voters. But it Buffalo, it seems as if the populace is saying "the Presidential race be damned." They're more interested in seeing who Phillips chooses as his quarterback to finish the season.
Even though the phenomenon of sports taking on more importance than politics is prevalent in Western New York right now, it is a common thread in America the past century. As Thomas Boswell, the famed Washington Post sports columnist, said in his book Game Day:
If you can't talk sports—national sports, local sports and even neighborhood sports—you may feel like a social outsider in many communities in this country. In fact, sports have become central to what remains of our American sense of community. In an age that is a political, religious, artistic and cultural kaleidoscope of relativist values, how can we feel united? What can we agree about? Or even discuss calmly, yet enthusiastically, with a sense of shared expertise and a glimpse of a shared ideal? Sports have never had so profound a hold upon people because they have never been so desperately needed.
Time is running short. The elections are to be held next week. The week after that, Wade Phillips has to elect the starting quarterback. Right now, both elections are toss ups.
Copyright © 2000 Bills Thunder & Rick Anderson, all rights reserved.