An item’s true value is what someone is willing to pay for it. This value can fluctuate due to emotional bonds or varying degrees of perceived importance. But one rule always remains true — the more difficulty there is in locating or creating an item, the more valuable it is.
Common items are often referred to as being “a dime a dozen,” while a unique item can be “one in a million.”
That’s why NFL quarterbacks make the big bucks. There are precious few athletes on the planet who possess the unique skill set required to play the position at the highest level.
Any individual who grew up playing competitive sports, even at the high school level, can tell stories of exceptional athletes they either played with or against. Young men blessed with the strength, balance, vision, speed, etc. to compete at the next level, but for one reason or another, their playing days went no further.
Some struggled in the classroom and couldn't make the grades. Others lacked the work ethic and discipline to hone their skills. Many rebelled against authority and took the path of least resistance. Maybe they didn't have a support system available. Whatever the reasons, history is filled with sad stories of wasted talent.
One need not be a rocket scientist to excel at most positions on a football field. Like the Forrest Gump character from the movie, just hand him the ball and yell "Run, Forrest, Run!" Or maybe the Bobby Boucher character from the Waterboy movie "Whoever has the ball, tackle him." Some very successful players aren't necessarily the sharpest tool in the shed. Just look at former Redskins’ great Dexter Manley, or Jalen Ramsey's recent bonehead remarks regarding many current quarterbacks in the league.
The quarterback is another animal entirely. QBs have to possess the requisite height, arm strength, mechanics, and laser-like focus required to play the position. But what makes a quarterback truly special are his abilities above the shoulders. Unlike any other position on the field, a quarterback must be able to process a massive amount of data accurately within a minuscule span of time. Most of this processing happens pre-snap. He must quickly diagnose the defense, check out of a bad play if necessary, call out any required protection changes, and signal any hot reads to his receivers. All of this must be done against constantly evolving defenses specifically designed to disguise coverages and cause confusion.
Then the ball is snapped, and the crap really hits the fan. The defense will often mask the coverage, only to reveal it the instant the ball is snapped. This is more data that the signal-caller must quickly process — all while a sea of humanity is rapidly closing in around him, accompanied by a wave of deafening chaos.
He must ignore the pass rush so he can keep his eyes focused downfield, but his gaze can't be too locked onto his intended receiver, as he might need to look-off a safety. After all this, he must still deliver the pass accurately and with precision timing into small and rapidly closing windows at the NFL level.
If he executes his responsibilities properly, then the play is successful and he gets to do it all over again. If not, the play is unsuccessful or, heaven forbid, he throws an interception. In that case, a stadium full of know-it-alls and thousands of armchair QBs sitting at home will be yelling "Why did he do that?"
There’s not another position in all of sports that carries the immense pressure and unrealistic expectations that an NFL quarterback endures. That’s why they make the big bucks, and always will.
I love me some Killer B's, but let's be real.
Le’Veon Bell goes down, the Steelers can still win. They have before and they will again. Same applies to Antonio Brown. It won't be easy, but they could adjust.
Ben Roethlisberger goes down for any extended amount of time — season’s over. Better start preparing for the next one.