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From On High, ESPN Has Decreed 2011 To Be The ‘Year Of The Quarterback’

Because, like, the quarterback is like a super important position in football and stuff. So much so that ESPN will be dedicating the entire upcoming calendar year to marveling, dissecting and as they are wont to do with everything, performing overwrought and unnecessary analysis of the ins, outs, ups, downs and what have yous regarding the position of quarterback. Thanks, ESPN! If we’re lucky, it’ll be kind of like the Year of the Cat, only lacking a catchy little song courtesy of Scottish singer-songwriter Al Stewart to provide it some musicality.

Via ESPN Media Zone:

“The quarterback is a star-powered position played by many, but excelled by few, and we will dig down to examine why people are so fascinated with this elite group of athletes,” said Joan Lynch, vice president and executive producer, ESPN content development. “ESPN will create and produce extensive content throughout the year to establish 2011 as the ‘Year of the Quarterback’ – among fans, athletes and across the sports spectrum.”

Who woulda thunk it? Quarterbacks? Star-powered? Played by many, but excelled by few? Fascinated? Additional meaningless phrase from the quote turned into an innocuous question?

Oh, but that’s not all, dear readers. Just wait until you see how this year-long celebration of all-things quarterbacking will start off. How about a “quarterback roundtable”? Does that tickle your reading bone? No? Maybe?

The initiative – ESPN is referring to it as an “multiplatform initiative” to give it the appearance of something meticulously planned and expertly orchestrated – kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday, December 14th at 10:00 ET with the one-hour special, The Year of the Quarterback: The Kickoff.

Hosted by Chris Connelly, the special will feature an unprecedented “quarterback roundtable” drawn from ESPN’s own stable of experts including Gruden, Jaworski and Super Bowl champion and Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, as well as current and former NFL quarterbacks John Elway, Troy Aikman, Joe Namath, Aaron Rogers and Vince Young.

Sounds grand. If I may, allow me to briefly discuss this Chris Connelly fellow. How does a guy who was formerly a music critic at Rolling Stone and an MTV personality manage to parlay those gigs into becoming not only the narrator of sappy human interest stories on SportsCenter (“My Wish”) but also the host of a much ballyhooed “quarterback roundtable” discussion? I would bet you a dollar to a doughnut that Kurt Loder cannot believe the cruelty and unfairness of this mad, mad world.

And speaking of this “quarterback roundtable” discussion, boy, is that going to be a veritable smorgasbord of insight. On this esteemed panel, we have six retired quarterbacks, only one of which (Jaworski) ever has anything remotely interesting to say. The others? One recovering alcoholic and two whose careers were cut short by concussions (and one of these guys cannot help but become an argumentative, abrasive narcissistic twit whenever someone does not agree with him). Oh, and rounding out the list, they are bringing in John Elway, who, while will probably provide valuable insight into what it takes to be a successful quarterback in the NFL, nevertheless looks like a horse.

To bring some current NFL quarterbacks into the discussion, ESPN is bringing in Aaron Rodgers, who is currently dealing with concussion symptoms and better yet, Vince Young will be present, whose own erratic, unbalanced behavior over the past couple of seasons has caused him to become ostracized from his current team. Yeah, this quarterback roundtable is certainly going to be something. Exactly what that will be, I have no freaking idea.

ESPN Declares 2011 ‘Year of the Quarterback’ with Multiplatform Initiative [ESPN Media Zone]