The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Shane Frederick

August 28, 2007

Football fans always looking out for No. 2

The most popular player on a football team’s roster is the backup quarterback.

It may be a cliché, but it’s true.

I can recall the early days of Brett Favre’s career and my dad extolling the virtues of Ty Detmer and Doug Pederson after analyzing their play in the preseason.

Good thing Ron Wolf was the Packers general manager and not Gary Frederick (although, in Dad’s defense, I seem to remember him thinking that “Fav-ra” guy looked pretty good when Don Majkowski was set as Green Bay’s starter).

No doubt there were fans in Blakeslee Stadium Thursday night who were clamoring to see Ryan Fick put on a helmet and warm up on the sidelines after Ben King threw his fourth interception of Minnesota State’s season opener.

Coach Jeff Jamrog stuck with King, though, and the senior threw two touchdown passes and led the Mavericks to 16 unanswered points over the final 17 minutes in a 23-14 come-from-behind victory over Central Missouri.

Fans have the right to call for the No. 2 guy. It doesn’t make them right, though. Remember the early ’90s when Vikings fans filled the sports-radio airwaves with pleas to put Gino Torretta under center?

At least they had a guy to root for that year.

After three weeks of training camp here in Mankato this summer and three preseason games, Vikings fans aren’t terribly enamored with any of the quarterbacks on the roster.

With Tarvaris Jackson, Brooks Bollinger, rookie Tyler Thigpen and recently released Drew Henson to choose from, people have actually been rooting for backups on other NFL teams to be the Vikings’ chief understudy.

On Monday, they got their wish, as the Vikings traded for Philadelphia Eagles fourth-string quarterback Kelly Holcomb.

Holcomb has made a career of being the backup fans want to see instead of the starter.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Shane Frederick