Five Active Quarterbacks That Stepped in and Shined
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Five Active Quarterbacks That Stepped in and Shined

They took the spotlight by storm.

Well, Tony Romo is officially back from injury, only to be the back up quarterback for rookie sensation Dak Prescott. Prescott is another signal caller who gained their first jobs in the league after replacing the injured incumbent QB. Some quarterbacks in the past, such as Steve Young and Brett Favre, find themselves in Canton, Ohio. Today, the league have some of these examples of back-ups becoming starters through injury.

Colin Kaepernick
Before becoming one of the most controversial, average quarterbacks in the league's history, Kap was a second year back-up to Alex Smith. Because Smith had just led the 49ers to a NFC Championship appearance the previous year and had led San Fran to a 6-2-1 season, his job was believed to be secured for the 2012 season.

That was until he suffered a concussion that left him out of a Monday Night game against the Chicago Bears. Kaepernick's impressive performance in the game led Jim Harbaugh to start Kaep from then on. The decision paid off, as Kaepernick led the 49ers to the Super Bowl that season.

Kirk Cousins
Remember the 2012 Draft when the Redskins mortgaged their entire future on Robert Griffin III? You see how well that turned out? Actually, pretty well because they spent their fourth round pick in that year's draft on Kirk Cousins from Michigan State.

Cousins' first starts were in 2013 after the Redskins, but it was week 2 of 2014, when RGIII went down with a dislocated ankle and was replaced by Cousins, did it become clear that the RGIII era was over. One postseason appearance later, Kirk Cousins has accomplished just as much as RGIII with fewer injuries and more soundbites.

Philip Rivers
Rivers today is seen as the third best QB from the 2004 draft class, behind Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger. It took almost two seasons for Rivers to make his first start in the league. In the final game of the 2005 NFL season, Chargers Pro-Bowl QB Drew Brees suffered a torn labrum in his throwing arm.

In the off-season, because of the injury, the Chargers decided to not re-sign Brees and make Rivers their QB for the future. Brees left for New Orleans, and Rivers has spent the past decade re-writing the Chargers record book.

Ben Roethlisberger
Speaking of 2004 Draft, who could forget Big Ben's entrance into the league. Week 2 against the Baltimore Ravens, Tommy Maddox goes down with a shoulder injury. Ben proceed to lead Pittsburgh to 14 straight victories, in the process ending the New England Patriots 21 game winning streak.

In his career, Ben morphed Pittsburgh from a ground and pound team to one of the league's most high powered offenses. Oh, he also has two Super Bowl rings.

Tom Brady
Yeah you probably expected this. Arguably the greatest quarterback in the 100 year history of the NFL did not start a game until Drew Bledsoe went down with internal bleeding in the second week of the 2001 season.

Fifteen seasons, two MVPs, four Super Bowl championships, and one really stupid investigation later, Tom Brady stands alone on the mountain top of quarterbacks who got their jobs because of injury. Mo Lewis and the New York Jets have been regretting that day ever since.

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Sports |  Source: L. Smith, The Undefeated

The NFL Destroyed Colin Kaepernick

Why we shouldn't forget that there are consequences for social activism

Colin Kaepernick has finally decided to end his NFL career, unable to find a new team willing to bring his baggage into their clubhouse.

The moment he decided to expand his influence outside of the game of football, he was criticized for trying to be a social activist instead of an athlete. Other players have taken personal, political stands, such as New England Patriot's tight end Martellus Bennett refusing to go to the White House because of President Trump's inflammatory rhetoric.

However, no player took their crusade as far as Kaepernick.


The former 49ers quarterback started his stand against racial injustice by sitting during the national anthem, an act that garnered an opinion from nearly everyone. The sitting eventually evolved into kneeling, an act that other athletes took up as well. Some applauded him for his bravery while others demanded he show respect for our men and women who fight and die overseas to protect our rights as Americans.

Ironically, it's the protection of those rights Kaepernick wanted to bring attention to. Specifically, he wanted to highlight the mistreatment of people of color in the United States. This is where focus should be, but NFL chose to bring attention only to the kneeling itself. For an organization that comprised predominantly of players of color, the NFL have kept shockingly silent about issues pertaining to race.

In contrast, the NBA supported its athletes during the period where many of them warmed up in "I can't breathe" shirts, a touching tribute to the late Eric Garner. Unanimously, every team in the NFL blacklisted and exiled Kaepernick, a former Super Bowl starter.

The ramifications of his activism have reportedly even leaked into this year's combine questions, with teams asking more political questions to see if they might have a "Kaepernick" situation on their hands. Ridiculous? Thirty-two coaching staffs and the commissioner don't think so.


Colin Kaepernick took a stand for something he believed in and the NFL crucified him for it. As a society, we must remember him as more of a martyr than a anarchist. Kaepernick risked his career to give others voice and lost his career because of it. The NFL showed him and us that they believe it's better to keep silent than to speak up.

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Does Colin Kaepernick Deserve Another Shot?

Can the Free Agent QB find a home again in the NFL?

Tempers rise on both sides regarding Colin Kaepernick's NFL Future. His protest of the National Anthem last season hurt his stock more than it helped and many have called for the QB's career to be over.

Was it Kaepernick's right as an American to protest the way he did? Yes. Did I agree with it? No. Does that mean he shouldn't play in the NFL? No.

We live in a sports age where we've forgiven multitudes of transgressions. From Michael Vick (dog fighting) to Ray Lewis (alleged homicide) and Donte' Stallworth (DUI/Vehicular Manslaughter) we've seen the worst of our athletes and have called for them to be on our favorite teams. The only exception (Ray Rice: domestic abuse) proved that even American NFL fans have their limit, but shouldn't any criminal activity mean exclusion from the league? I believe it should, but that's another debate for another time.

Kaepernick's numbers aren't terrible, although San Francisco has been the last few years. His averages of 59.8 percent completion, 88.9 Passer Rating, 72 TD's to 30 INT's certainly cause one to pause. He's been to a Super Bowl and was a Richard Sherman tip from going twice in a row. His best years, however, were under Jim Harbaugh who has been pegged as a terrific quarterback coach but Kaepernick (and the 49ers) have not been the same since his departure.

The thing hurting Kaepernick is the question which needs an answer: how much of a distraction would he be? I imagine the firestorm set by his presence wouldn't be as large as some might expect, certainly not worse than Vick.

Personally, I think Kaepernick wants to get top money when he hasn't been a top quarterback for the past few seasons. He has the tools, minus his awkward throwing motion, but is he the answer for a team needing a QB (cough: the Browns)? No.

He is no savior, the way a Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck were looked at. He is a system quarterback who can play with the right coach, right team and it's proven in his numbers (looking at you, Denver).

Does he deserve a chance to play? No, it is a privilege. Football teams are private entities that have the right to choose their personnel. Should he get a chance before, say, Johnny Manziel?


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Sports |  Source: N. Leeper, Shutterstock

Laptop Fire Causes Emergency Landing On San Francisco Flight

And some other things to know about flying...

On Tuesday night, a JetBlue flight departed from John F. Kennedy International Airport headed to San Francisco, and little did all 158 passengers know, they would have to make an emergency landing.

During the flight, a passenger's laptop lithium battery caught fire. The AirBus 321 was diverted to Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Cascade Township. The flight landed safely at 8:10 p.m. There were no injuries and the fire was out before the plane landed.

Ford Airport spokesperson, Tara Hernandez, said the passengers had to get off of the plane for about 20 minutes while it was refueled, and it was able to take off again shortly after.

Because of this scary little hiccup, Jet Blue is considering banning laptops in the cabin on all flights from Europe to the United States. This ban already applies to 10 airports in North Africa and in the Middle East to the U.S.

Apparently all of the passengers on the plane stayed calm, but I feel like that is a lie. I mean people freak out on planes even when the plane hits the slightest bump of turbulence, so I find it hard to believe that people were calm about a fire onboard.

Since this event happened, it seems like a good time to inform you lovely readers of some airline procedures that keep all of you safe during flights.

Not all airlines do this, but some do not allow two pilots who are flying together to eat food from the same source within an hour of each other in case one of the pilots were to get poisoned or become sick. Seems kinda extra to me, but hey, thanks guys!

To prevent everyone from freaking the f*** out, flight attendant and pilots will never announce that one of the engines has failed. Instead they will say, "One of our engines is indicating improperly." They also may just say nothing, because most planes fly fine with one engine down. They also will never say that visibility is nonexistent from fog. Instead, they will say "There's some fog in the area."

And you probably thought that pilots dim the lights to help you sleep, but they actually do it in case of an emergency landing. If an emergency landing happened, passengers' eyes would already be adjusted to the darkness so they'll be able to see better once outside of the plane. And this whole time I thought they were just trying to help us sleep...

This last one doesn't have anything to do with your safety, but it does have to do with your thirst! If you ever feel the need to have more than a few teaspoons of coke, you can (politely) ask for the entire can, and the flight attendants will most likely be happy to give it to you.

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Sports |  Source: L. Smith, Shutterstock

"Send Nudes" Or "Send Art"?

San Francisco's museum has you covered with the second part.

Art geek? Casual fan? Not that interested in art but looking for something fun to fill your time? The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art has you covered.

A year ago, the museum launched a phone number that people could text and receive a picture of a piece of art from their collection. The number has since shortened from a ten-digit number to a five-digit number as it began to need to handle higher volumes of requests.

How does it work?

You send the number "Send me _______". This can be a color, subject, mood or even an emoji--yes, an emoji. In return, the museum will text back a piece of art from its collection, along with the title, artist and date.

This one's my personal fave:

Actually, I stand corrected:

This shit is sick. I am a very, very casual art fan, but getting a bunch of pieces back based on a keyword is so cool and makes me much more invested in what I'm looking at.

The San Fran MOMA has so many pieces that it can only display five percent of its collection at a time, while the bot has the entire collection at its metaphorical fingertips. You can probably do this for days and still never see all of it, tbh.

If this is the museum's plan to make more people care about art, I think it'll totally work. Getting something sent specifically to what you asked for is way more interesting than just walking past a piece and playing "art or haphazard paint splatters?".

The number is 572-51, and it's green text (ugh), so just be careful about text message charges (does anybody even worry about those anymore, though?).

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Why Madison Bumgarner is the Best Pitcher In the League

He may not be the flashiest, but he's the best.

When you really think about it, the fact Babe Ruth became the Hall-of-Fame-worthy home run hitter he was is insane. Not because of the numbers or the fact he almost single-handedly ended the dead-ball era, but because he had spent four years as the top left-handed pitcher in the American League.

During a four-season period (1915-1918), the Boston southpaw went 68-40 with 17 shutouts, and 2.11 earned runs average. Playing only 95 games in 1918, Ruth led the league in home runs with eleven and slugging at .555. I bring this up because San Francisco Giants ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner has the potential to join an exclusive club occupied by George Herman Ruth as the best pitcher and hitter at the same time in the league.

From 2013-2015, the North Carolina native has made three straight All-Star teams, finished in the top ten in Cy Young voting each year, and has put on one of the greatest postseason pitching performances throughout the 2014 Playoffs, culminating in pitching a complete game shutout in Game 5 to give the Giants a 3-2 series lead and five scoreless, two-hit baseball on two days rest in the deciding seventh game of the World Series.

Despite the impressive numbers in both the regular season and postseason, Bumgarner has taken a backseat to his division and state rival, Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers, for the top pitcher in baseball. Also coming up for that title are the Marlins' Jose Fernandez and the Chicago Cubs' Jake Arrieta. Number-wise, Kershaw, Arrieta, and Fernandez lead the National League in at least one pitching category while Bumgarner does not.

However, for a pitcher, like a quarterback in football, when the statistics are close, it comes down to what the players do on the biggest stage. Unfortunately, we haven't seen what Jose Fernandez can do in the postseason. Jake Arrieta began last year's postseason with an eleven strikeout shutout against the Pittsburgh Pirates, only to follow it up with back-to-back poor starts against the St. Louis Cardinals and New York Mets, giving up eight runs in 10.2 innings. Then there is Kershaw.

In seven postseason series, Kershaw has gone 2-6 with a 4.59 ERA and 23 walks in 10 starts and three relief appearances. Head-to-head in nine starts, Bumgarner has a one game advantage over Kershaw and more importantly, has hit two home runs off him. This is the equivalent of Aaron Rodgers intercepting a pass when he plays Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

At the end of the day, I judge the best athlete in a sport like this: I have a gun to my head and I need to win this game. Who do I want taking the final shot? Who do I want to lead the last drive? And in whose hand do I want to ball in? Madison Bumgarner is my answer.