Lions quarterback Daunte Culpepper feels blindsided.
Like millions of other Americans, Culpepper settled on his couch last weekend to watch the broadcast of the NFL Draft from New York City. The 32-year-old signal-caller was eager to see which blue-chip athlete he would be welcoming as his new teammate.
The anticipation reached climax as commissioner Roger Goodell stepped to the podium to announce the first pick.
The Detroit Lions select Mathew Stafford, University of Georgia.
"I was like, 'ummm, ok?'" Culpepper recalled. "I figured there was some sort of mix-up."
It was no mistake. The Lions were now committed to the young gunslinger for their foreseeable future.
"I was under the impression I was the man here." Culpepper added. "After I torched the Vikings last year, I kinda had the impression I was their man."
Culpepper was referring to the Lions' week-14 contest with Minnesota in which the quarterback finished 14-for-24 for 220 yards in a 20-16 Detroit loss.
When asked about Culpepper's future with the team, new Lions coach Jim Schwartz did some tap-dancing that would have made Gene Kelly envious.
"Culpepper, oh how should I put this," he said. "You know how in Hollywood they use a stunt double to take the place of the real actor? Well, think of Daunte as our 'stunt double.'"
"It is just puzzling," Culpepper said. "Of all the positions on this football team, quarterback is the one where we were already so strong."
"With this new guy in here, How am I supposed to get my roll on?" he added, referring to the touchdown celebration he made popular while with the Vikings.