Ohio State Has a Reputation As a Wasteland for NFL Quarterbacks, but Just One Player Can Change That Forever

By Johnny Ginter on April 30, 2021 at 10:10 am
Brrrrutus Buckeye

Antarctica is a hellish wasteland even in the best conditions.

On peninsulas that stretch out into the warming southern oceans of our planet, the Antarctic summer can occasionally stretch temperatures into something resembling tolerable. But in the interior of the continent, life all but halts as the climate turns aggressively hostile to all who dare challenge it. At the South Pole itself the record high temperature is a mere 10 degrees Fahrenheit with lows frequently plunging over 100 degrees below zero.

In the winter, sunlight abandons the Antarctic for months at a time, while extreme winds and dense cloud cover make interior navigation all but impossible. Dozens of people died trying to explore it: among them was Captain Robert Falcon Scott, a British naval officer who finally reached the South Pole in 1912, found that a Dutch expedition beat him to it, and then died trying to get back to his ship.

"Great God!" Scott exclaimed in his diary before freezing to death, "This is an awful place."

And yet one might think Scott would've had an easier time finding an NFL quarterback in those frozen wastes than in the warm, cozy confines of the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

If I attempt to dunk a basketball five thousand times in a row and fail (which I would), and then LeBron James walks in the gym after me, my guess is that people wouldn't start doubting his ability to slam one home because the court is supposedly cursed. Ghosts and witchcraft only exist in the realm of baseball, not in civilized sports.

But if you ascribe to the supernatural, I guess I could see the argument. Ohio State quarterbacks drafted into the NFL, and there's been a decent number of them, haven't fared particularly well in the league. Not only that, but the Buckeye with probably the most quarterbacking success in the NFL, Mike Tomczak, wasn't even drafted; he signed as an undrafted free agent with the Chicago Bears and went on to have a journeyman's career in the 80's and 90's.

There have been a number of articles breaking down drafted Buckeye QB woes in the NFL, but what's baffling to me is this weird desire to paint the university itself as the problem, as if Craig Krenzel getting sacked in 2004 or Tom Tupa throwing an interception in 1989 means literally anything for Justin Fields in 2021.

"i am not having a good time, bro"

Does Bobby Hoying throwing more picks than touchdowns place the mark of Cain on future generations? Does Troy Smith getting sick and then passed over for Joe Flacco mean anything about the immune systems of quarterbacks from Columbus? Does Johnny Borton quitting the NFL after a year mean that Buckeye signal callers are mentally weak? How long must this mummy's curse last?

Sometimes, sometimes, an effort is made to connect this thread to the present. As such, attention gets shifted to the most recent Ohio State quarterback drafted, Dwayne Haskins. While I appreciate the insane amount of ink dedicated to declaring the difference between the two, I also feel that said ink should be unnecessary due to the self-evident fact that Haskins and Fields are, in fact, two separate human beings who do not share one body or consciousness.

This pall hanging over Fields can be dispelled by him immediately making an impact with the Chicago Bears. And to be clear, being the 11th pick in the NFL Draft is no small potatoes. It isn't as if Fields dropped to the fifth round, watching as punters and longsnappers gleefully bounded up on stage, hugging Roger Goodell and laughing all the way to the bank ahead of him. Justin Fields will still have every opportunity to prove himself in the NFL, and has a decent landing spot in which to do it.

But for Ohio State, the South Pole of quarterbacking, it is silly that Ryan Day and company will have to litigate both the past every time that one of their incredible quarterbacks steps up to the league.

Okay yes, this is the Dutch expedition, you get the idea

When Robert Falcon Scott's party was later found, frozen as they were, it was discovered that they were in possession of the first fossils ever found on the Antarctic continent. Hundreds of millions of years old, these fossils proved that the Antarctic had once been a lush, verdant place, covered in forests and jungles, and that perhaps it would be again.

Ohio State's present and future can be that fertile for NFL-ready quarterbacks. It just requires the proper perspective.

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