As we enter in to the biggest week of Denver quarterback Jake Plummer's life, leading up to the AFC Championship Game hosting the Pittsburgh Steelers, we feel obliged, as the only fans of The Buzzsaw That Is The Arizona Cardinals on the planet, to ask: How in the hell is this guy a game away from being a Super Bowl quarterback?
We do not approach this question lightly. In the late '90s, we worshipped Plummer: He took a team we had blindly followed without any payoff — and have since blindly followed without any payoff — since we our age was in the single digits and took them to the playoffs ... and even won a game! He was pals with Pat Tillman, our favorite player at the time, he was scrappy and he even had a hint of the underground about him, which would metastasize in anti-war rants later in his career.
But then he, like his team, somehow got worse, culminating in a classic play when, while being tackled from behind, switched the ball to his left hand and threw it over and behind his head ... where it landed in the arms of a bewildered linebacker, who gleefully sauntered for an easy touchdown. The local hero was eventually ditched — for Jeff Blake! — and was thought destined to be the ultimate end to Broncos coach Mike Shanahan's reign.
And here he is: A game away from the Super Bowl we all dreamed he'd take us to someday. We still don't believe it. Trent Dilfer? Please. No quarterback ever seemed less likely to see a Super Bowl than Jake Plummer ... let alone lead a team there. Expect much griping about this from us, all week.