Well Josh Dobbs sure was fun for what, two weeks?

After coming in out of nowhere to salvage the Vikings lost season after Kirk tore his achilles, Dobbs captured our hearts and minds by balling out against the Falcons on roughly a couple days worth of time with the team. It captured our hearts. I made a big post giving him the honorary Next Ryan Fitzpatrick award. He beat the Saints the following week and his legend grew even higher. He lost to the Broncos after that and looked pretty bad…then he lost to the Bears and looked even worse. He got benched during the abysmal 3-0 win against the Raiders. Nick Mullens was named the starter this past weekend. Dobbs rose fast and hard, and crashed just as fast and hard.

It was amazing how quickly we sorta forgot how bad he looked in Arizona. Maybe it was because the Cardinals were supposed to be bad so Dobbs looking bad wasn’t a big deal. But he actually started the season with a bit of hype, same as the Vikings. The Cards lost early games but Dobbs was doing good Dobbs things: running hard and making plays. Not enough to save the team but enough to catch the eyes of the few people watching the Cardinals. Then, he just started to suck. It’s like the more Dobbs learns the playbook the worse he gets. Maybe he’s a bad overthinker. Make him run on instincts and things work out. Make him read a defense and go through progressions and call protections…and you wonder how this guy could be smart enough to work at NASA.

Very few backups are on the level of a guy like Gardner Minshew. Ben Solak, a good football writer for The Ringer who somehow still looks like he’s in middle school, has a good video on the typical cycle of a backup QB that brings up a lot of great points that I’ll probably parrot a bit here. Backups sometimes surprise us. Not always, but sometimes. That surprise tends to come with the caveat that different guys have different skill sets and coaches have to adjust gameplans for what they can do. But the surprise doesn’t last long because teams finally get tape on the guy and then he starts to look like a backup quarterback again. Tommy DeVito took over the Josh Dobbs hype after the Dobbs hype ate shit. DeVito looked awful in his first two appearances (The Jets game honestly barely counts, they didn’t trust him to throw at all), but then he played against the weakest part of the schedule and ripped off 3 wins and now he’s trademarking the name Tommy Cutlets. The hype even managed to make his agent briefly famous. But DeVito never played like anything special. The Commies and Patriots are pathetic and the Packers were overhyped. On top of that, the defense really won those games. This past weekend everything fell back down to earth and the Tommy Cutlets hype is probably going to sleep with the fishes against the Eagles. But hey, Jake Browning! Can’t wait to see harsh reality strike him in a week or two.

I think we all just love a good backup story and like seeing underdogs succeed. Sometimes it works out. Tom Brady was a darling that first magical season. Tony Romo would have been beloved if he wasn’t a Cowboy. People still bring up Kurt Warner bagging groceries every time we talk about him. Nick Foles’ run in 2017 will go down in legend despite Foles being largely ass everywhere else. Jeff Hostettler’s mustache still brings up nostalgic smiles in the older fans at the bar. Kirk Cousins made a good career after fighting for life behind RG3. Jalen Hurts most famous claim to fame before the Eagles was being the guy Saban benched for Tua. Matt Flynn made a billion dollars off of one great game beating up Detroit and he didn’t even start a game for the team who paid him. Ryan Fitzpatrick is now starring in commercials and has a prominent personality space on TNF’s broadcast based on everyone knowing he went to Harvard. Ryan Fitzpatrick never made the playoffs, not once. But his beard kicks ass. We love the underdog.

Solak talks about anonymity after the fall for backups but I don’t know if I fully agree on that. No, none of us really follow backups closely, but they have the same appeal as “that guy” character actors. You may not think about them day to day but when you see him come in you go “Oh THAT’S where he’s at now?” and remember the fun times you had with him last time he showed up on your screen. Mitch Trubisky is a Steeler now? That guy used to kiss titties! He can’t throw left! Remember when he won NVP? Outstanding. It isn’t a glamorous life but it’s a respectful one.

I can’t wait to see what random ass dude has his moment next.