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A pair of Valentine’s Day babies

There have been 45 quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for at least 30,000 yards. I write about this nearly every year, as not much changes. Three of them — Drew Bledsoe (born February 14, 1972), Jim Kelly (2/14/1960), and Steve McNair (2/14/1973) — were all born on February 14th.

If we drop the cut-off to 16,000 yards, we jump to 139 quarterbacks but get to include David Garrard, another Valentine’s Day baby (1978). But wait, there’s more: If we drop the threshold to 3,500 passing yards, we get to include Patrick Ramsey and Anthony Wright. Those guys may not impress you, but consider that only 337 players have thrown for 3,500 yards. That means dozens of days have zero quarterbacks with 3,500 yards — including New Year’s Day, another February holiday (Groundhog Day), Cinco De Mayo, Halloween, and Christmas Eve — so slotting in Ramsey and Wright as QB5 and QB6 on your birthday dream team is pretty damn good.Regular readers will know that I write about this phenomenon every couple of years. In terms of total career passing yards through the entire history of the league, February 14th — with 137,342 passing yards has an enormous lead on the second-best birthday, March 24, which consists entirely of Peyton Manning, Aaron Brooks, and Scott Brunner (the quality QB2 gives 3/24 a big advantage over 1/15, which will house the all-time passing leader this time next year; and tomorrow).  The 3/24 date has produced 98,658 career passing yards, putting it ahead of the third place leader — February 15th — at 85,155. As you can see, Valentine’s Day is for quarterback greatness. .. except when it isn’t.

Because, if I know nothing else, I know that love is complicated. What’s in a name? That which we call a quarterback by any other name would throw as accurately… except when it does not. Because despite all the inherent advantages that come with sharing a birthday with Cupid, Christian Hackenberg is now 0-for-32 at entering an NFL game.  He joins Glenn Carano (2nd round from UNLV, 1977 Cowboys) and Gene Bradley (2nd round from Arkansas State, 1980 Bills) as the only quarterbacks selected in the first or second round of a draft since 1970 that failed to throw a pass within their first two seasons in the NFL. Despite the importance placed on the Jets secret scouting trip to State College, Hackenberg appears to have been a big miss.

Happy Valentine’s Day to that special quarterback in your life, both accurate and not so much. That includes Hackenberg, who after all, only turns 23 today. Kelly, after all, wasn’t drafted until two months after his 23rd birthday.

{ 5 comments }
  • sacramento gold miners

    Christian Hackenberg may be destined for the new XFL, and both Glenn Carano and Gary Keithley, also played in different leagues. Carano with the USFL’s Maulers, and Keithley with the CFL B.C. Lions.

  • Why was Gary Keithley included in that list if PFR lists him having passing attempts in 1973, presumably his rookie season?

    • Good catch. Must be a bug in my query because he’s listed as a punter that year.

  • This is one of my favorite football oddities you’ve found. I also used that Pro-Football-Reference link to discover that I am tied for the 6th most passing yards by anyone born on May 6th with my impressive 0 yards. And number one is Alan Risher, who got all of his 564 passing yards as the quarterback for the replacement version of my beloved Green Bay Packers in 1987 – the year I was born.

  • Deacon Drake

    The Jets just have no clue what each hand is doing. Everyone knew that Tebow could play “some” and would have been a fit in a ground-based offense, (possibly not ideal, but 2011 did happen) but Rex wanted no part of the Tebow circus and buried him in favor of Greg McElroy when Sanchez was hurt…

    looks like the same thing has happened here, where Hack was brought in against better judgement and remains in purgatory. Burying him returns absolutely no value for him, when in turn, they could have gotten him some of Bryce Petty or FitzMagic’s reps that could have developed a small market for him, or determined he was dead weight and released no questions asked.

    Jets can’t botch the Cousins thing, right?