3rd & Long: The Weight of Expectation for NFL Quarterbacks

Sports Minded

By Julian Reed

Its 3rd-and-12 in the 4th quarter with your team trailing by 5 late. Opposition knows you have to throw the football. Failure guarantees you’ll be the headline the next day on sports news. Though football is the culmination of the work of a ton of individuals (some visible, some not), you are the face, the focal point. That is the modern definition and benchmark for what a Quarterback is. More importantly, what quantifies quarterback at the elite level? Andrew Luck has been that since he was a freshman at Stanford. So talented, such a varied skill set. One could make a legitimate case that such a blessing is equally a curse. Enter expectation.

Human nature, when someone shows signs of promise or proficiency, natural progression of things is to expect more of them, task them with greater responsibility. For professional athletes in the present day, that largely entails…

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