NFL Quarterback Tool Academy
You may be familiar with the VH1 reality series Tool Academy .
If you're not, it's a show in which hapless women trick their boyfriends, the "tools," into going on a television show that turns out to be an academy—a boarding school if you will—for tools.
Now, the show is replete with life's cornucopia of stereotypical tools: The "Slacker Tool," the "Naked Tool," the "Spray Tan Tool," and the "Tat Tool," for instance.
In my few viewings of the show, I began to think, no, ponder, what's the "tooliest" (if "tooliest" isn't a word, it is now) position in professional sports?
What position inundates us, the sports loving public, with a surfeit of tools?
No, it isn't perimeter scorer in the NBA.
No, it also isn't Boston Red Sox left fielder, though one could argue Manny was more of a clown than a tool.
It is, undoubtedly, starting quarterback in the NFL.
No position gives us a greater diversity of personalities, all of which are "toolish" in their own way, than starting quarterback in America's neo-pastime.
Now, what if, in order to correct this inordinate level of "toolness" amongst "The Shield's" signal callers, there was a Tool Academy for NFL quarterbacks.
Who should enroll?
What would their clever "tool" nicknames be?
Thankfully, the legwork has been done for you.
Peyton Manning: The "Know-it-all Tool"
Peyton Manning is smarter than your team's defensive captain. He's smarter than your team's defensive coordinator. He's smarter than your team's head coach. Combined.
When he's not gesticulating what may or may not be real audibles at the line of scrimmage, he's waving his team's punter off the field on fourth down and making Austin Collie and Pierre Garcon look like actual NFL receivers.
And he does it all with the aesthetic beauty of a kid attempting to learn how to pogo.
Add the fact that he, like with Archie and Eli, is now an expert at protecting oneself from identity theft and there you have it: Peyton Manning is the "Know-it-all Tool."
Jay Cutler: The "Gunslinger Tool"
My arm is stronger than John Elway's, he says.
The Chicago Bears fans are better than the Denver Broncos fans, he says.
With a Vanderbilt education, one would think Jay Cutler would choose his words more wisely.
But he cannot and, most likely, never will.
You see, along with death and taxes being certain life, another would have to be that gunslinger moxie will always overtake a "Southern Ivy" education.
And, in the greatest feat of gunslinger "tooldom," Cutler got himself, in one pouty fit, traded. He went from a team with a recent memory of a Super Bowl-winning Hall of Fame quarterback to a team that hasn't had a decent quarterback since Jim Harbaugh and hasn't had a Super Bowl-winning quarterback since the Reagan administration.
No competition from history means you look all the better.
Kudos and a hat tip to you, Mr. Cutler. "Gunslinger Tool" indeed!
Brett Favre: The "Hamlet Tool"
This one may be the most sorrowful of the lot.
Way before he wept at his retirement press conference , he kept the Green Bay Packers, its fans and, most unforgivably, Rachel Nichols on pins and needles about his decision.
Then he left.
Then he came back.
Then he left.
Then he came back.
And all this while he publicly fretted, pondered, brooded, contemplated, threw passes to high schoolers and, most unforgivably, forced Rachel Nichols to follow his every move in muggy southern Mississippi.
Then he did what he wanted to do originally: Hand the ball to Adrian Peterson and teach the Packers he wasn't done.
Lest we forget, another offseason awaits, and wait Favre will to decide.
Ye tool of Hamlet, ye are.
So, it looks like Favre is an influence on our next student.
Tony Romo: The "Brett Favre Wannabe Tool"
If I, a Black kid from Memphis, grew up idolizing Brett Favre to the point of mimicking his throwing motion, then what chance did a pasty white kid from Wisconsin have?
Like a fish in water, Romo didn't know in what stream he was swimming.
He throws and scrambles; he shakes away from a phalanx of defenders and then throws a pass across his body for a touchdown.
And then he throws an interception that a Cowboys fan wouldn't have thrown.
You love him just before you hate him.
First, he throws three interceptions. Then he flashes that aw-shucks grin, asserts he'll never do something that stupid again, has a three touchdown 300-yard game and you love him again.
Oh, and the dream of dreams for the Favre wannabe, he received a call from No. 4 after he fractured his finger, in which his idol advised him to play with a fractured pinkie on his throwing hand.
The memory of this hallowed moment may still give Romo goosebumps. And could you blame the "Favre Wannabe Tool" if it did?
And now the front-runner for class valedictorian...
Tom Brady: The "Mr. Perfect Tool"
First thing's first: He has a chin dimple.
When women dream, the men in those dreams don't have chin dimples because, even in a dream, men with chin dimples are too perfect for imagination.
And he does it all so easily.
He drops back smoothly, stands in the pocket and throws with the perfect motion of Bernini's David .
Five more words about Mr. Brady: Bridget Moynahan followed by Giselle.
And four more words: Three-time Super Bowl champion.
For men everywhere, let me thank you, Tom Brady, for making us feel ugly, unathletic, and generally inadequate. In six words, thanks for nothing "Tool of Perfection."
Of course, this isn't an exhaustive list. Alas, many more tools could be named.
But with hard work and some sticktoitiveness , maybe our children or our children's children will live in a world in which there are no tools playing NFL quarterback.
But that probably just makes me the "Dreamer of the Impossible Tool."
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