After the terrible season-ending injury on Tom Brady, this week topic is a crucial question: Is a football quarterback the most-important position to a team's success or failure in all of sports?
There are many ways to deal with this question, it's clear that there are soccer stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, that brings magic to the field, transforming any team they participate. Or we may turn into NBA and argue that Michael Jordan was out of this this world for years. But in the end, as role, QB performance is the biggest factor for football results, so there is only one fair answer: Yes.
My first argument focus on execution. Football QB, like no other role at any team game, normally reflects his execution on the final score. It's atypical that a bad day for QB could translate in a good day for the rest of the team. Like no other position, passer's decisions guide the offensive side of the game, the one that leads to score points, so unless we're talking of exceptional cases like Super Bowls XXXV & XXXVII (where Baltimore Ravens and Tampa Bay Buccaneers scored with their defensive units), then QB is the key for wins and championships.
Next aspect to mark is leadership. Even that at NFL there are: one head coach, two or three coordinators, several assistants and six captains per team, the real leader in field is the QB. His mayor assignment is to read opponents' defense in order to fix anything that gives some advantage. Another big job is to keep order, acting as brainy as possible and being part of the strategy, so his behavior goes beyond the field, working hard on the sidelines when the offense is out. His decision impact on game development, time management, synchronization with his receivers, aiming when throwing, making fake-pass as credible and longer as possible when running and even sometimes participating in blocks.
Finally this game tend to be centered on QB. Offense works around the passer and defense formulates schemes leaded to nullify this guy. So QB brings life to the game. Without passers this game becomes darker, rude, less funnier and less astonishing. Replacing a QB can be a nightmare for any NFL head coach, just look what happened on Atlanta after the Vick drama, or try to figure how many nasty moments will be on New England during the rest of the season. Of course that very exceptional times a backup becomes the next big thing, but that doesn't happens every season.
Tom Brady is out for the season, and even some fans in NY appear to celebrate, most NFL fans will miss him. No matter what, his spectacular performance of last season was enjoyable to watch, even they were beating your team. Best wishes for Tom, have a nice rehab, and see you on 2009.