The Opposing Quarterbacks Club
By John Kreinbihl
Oh Dear, Old State
These days it seems you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone who is running some kind of fundraiser. Silent auctions, golf outings, charity dinners, fun runs, bake sales, it never ends and this week the old dead cat hit the Club Doorman. You see his daughter’s field hockey team needed help with their cause related project. They have several charities and organizations that they raise money for and they wanted to incorporate their uniforms as a rallying point for awareness. Pink tops and ribbons have been overused so the Doorman asked me if I could come up with an idea or two to share with the team. Well, I gave it about 30 seconds of thought and hit them with “skirting the issues”.
Those three words were all I needed to gain access to the Club and hide the microphones.
Here is the transcript from the meeting:
Moderator: Gentlemen, welcome once again to the Opposing Quarterbacks Club. It’s hard to believe we’ve completed eight weeks of the season. We have a lot of information to share with you today and in addition to inducting our newest member we have several guests today. They include the quarterback from Penn State, this week’s opponent for Ohio State, as well a few surprise visitors. I’ll begin with the roll call. Dysert?
Moderator: Perry and Brown?
Brown: Yes, we’re here.
Moderator: Maynard, Martinez, & Maxwell?
Maxwell: All here.
Moderator: Our Hoosiers, Coffman and Sudfeld?
Sudfeld: Cam and I are here.
Moderator: And finally, our newest member, Caleb TerBush?
TerBush: I can’t believe it, but I am here.
Dysert: Caleb, I’m guessing you didn’t get here early. You probably showed up with what, about three seconds to spare?
Bortles: Just like Saturday!!!
TerBush: I’m stunned, I’m pissed, I’m still a mix of emotions. We were right where we wanted to be for 59 minutes and 57 seconds. Three seconds left and they tie the game. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Maynard: Neither have most of us. That’s not to say we feel sorry for you because don’t, we’ve just never seen that happen before. Let’s go through the checklist—you had two huge plays with the TD on the first play of the game and the kick-off return for a score, check; the Buckeyes had four turnovers, check; their best player carted off the field, check; and a back-up QB with no time outs, check; and you won. Ooops, no check there.
TerBush: That’s not funny.
Maxwell: You’re right it’s not funny. It’s hysterical!!!!
Martinez: Dude, you took the script we gave you and then added a unique twist—overtime!! Regulation not your thing or what?
Coffman: It’s not surprising that an engineering school would figure out a way to lose with all the positives you had going for you late in the game.
Sudfeld: Good point Cam. TerBush, what did you guys do, take a winning game plan and “reverse engineer” it? You know, omit a few key parts like having an extra point and a field goal blocked and “TA-DAH!!” defeat rescued from the jaws of victory!! Purdue helped put a man on the moon and you couldn’t beat OSU with all you had going for you. Boiler Up, my ass.
TerBush: THREE SECONDS!!! Do you have any idea what it’s like to have to live with something like that?? We were three seconds from pulling a huge upset—and not having to deal with any of you guys. Three flippin’ seconds. That’s something most people will never have to experience.
Perry: At least you’re handling it well.
TerBush: All the hard work we put it in, all the preparation, all the execution during the game, all that we worked for…poof!! Gone. In three lousy seconds.
Dysert: You know TerBush, we figured you might have this sort of reaction so we prepared a little something to help you out. Mr. Moderator, will you do the honors?
Moderator: Thanks Zac. Caleb, the other members of this year’s class realized they couldn’t emphasize with you, but they knew they could at least bring a little perspective to your situation. They felt it was the least they could do.
Bortles: And we’re always willing to do the least we can do.
Moderator: So without further delay Caleb, the Opposing Quarterbacks Club proudly presents the “Close But No Cigar Hall of Fame” sponsored by Swisher Sweets. Remember, when you want something close to a cigar, you want Swisher Sweets. If you think your “three seconds” from victory puts you in elite company, think again. Will our first guest please enter and introduce yourself?
Milorad Cavis: Hello, I’m Milorad Cavic from Serbia. I was an Olympic swimmer and at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing I lost the gold medal in the 100-meter butterfly to Michael Phelps by 1/100 of a second. If I’d had your three seconds, I would have been out of the pool before Phelps touched the wall.
Moderator: Thank you, Milorad. Guest number two, please come in.
Scott Goodyear: Hi, my name is Scott Goodyear. In 1992 I lost the Indianapolis 500 to Al Unser, Jr. by 4/100s of a second and I was going close to 175 miles an hour at the time. This loss was so disheartening to me that five years later at the 1997 Indy 500, I lost to Arie Luyendyk by 5/10s of a second. In racing, your stupid three seconds is the equivalent of about an eighth of a mile.
Moderator: Thank you Scott. Will our next guests please enter?
Kurt Busch: I’m NASCAR driver Kurt Busch. I lost the Carolina 400 in March of 2003 by .002.
Clint Boyer: And I’m Clint Boyer. I was so impressed with what Kurt did, I lost at Talladega in April of 2011 by the same margin. Try to imagine that, it takes you three tenths of a second to blink your eye and I lost by two one-thousandths of a second. Three seconds in NASCAR is enough time to get fuel and change four tires.
Moderator: Thanks guys. And Caleb, it’s not just world-class athletes that are members of the unique “Close But No Cigar” Hall of Fame as our next two guests can attest to.
Lee Pulse: Hi, I’m Lee Pulse and my teammate Scott Handle and I lost the World Walleye Association South Dakota Team Challenge to Carlyle Schliem and Bruce Dohman by 1/10 of a pound. It was the closest finish in the history of the WWA…
TerBush: OK, you can stop. I get it. You’ve made your point. I just thought you guys might be able to understand the frustration of something like this.
Bortles: Oh no, if you want compassion you’ll need to go to the “Opposing Quarterbacks Club with Feelings”. Here, we simply tell you, “sorry you sucked like the rest of us” and hand you a jacket.
Brown: And here’s yours. Put it on, shut up and sit down.
TerBush: You guys aren’t big on formalities are you?
Dysert: Not really, but we did personalize your jacket. See the little 59:57 in the crest? We thought that was a nice touch.
Maynard: And I think the Club has decided to showcase your efforts for perpetuity by identifying any future inductees who lose the game on the last play as officially being “TerBushed”. Congratulations.
Moderator: At this time we need to bring in our most important guest today, he is Matt McGloin, a 6’1” 210 lb. Sr. quarterback for the Penn State Nittany Lions. Matt and his teammates host Ohio State in a big game this Saturday evening. Matt has thrown for close to 1,800 yards with 14 TD’s and only two interceptions so far this year. He’s completing over 62% of his passes and is averaging 255 yards per game. He has the Nittany Lions undefeated and tied with the Buckeyes for first place in the Leaders Division. Welcome Matt.
Bortles: “Welcome Matt”, I like that. Maybe next week will put your face on the rug outside the front door.
Maxwell: So, I’m sure you’ve watched a ton of film, what are your plans to attack OSU?
McGloin: Like a lot of you, we’ll go up-tempo, try to spread the field and create mismatches for their defense. Unlike a lot of you, we’ll use our tight ends over the middle against the Buckeyes linebackers. From what I’ve seen, I don’t think they’ll be able to cover our guys and we’ll spring a few big plays. Additionally, we’ll use the passing game to set up our power run game.
Dysert: You’re not real big, you don’t have the big arm and you don’t run real well, so what would you say you bring to the table that none of us did?
McGloin: I’ve been described as having a lot of moxie.
Martinez: Moxie? What the hell is that?
Perry: Wasn’t Moxie one of the good little rabbits in the Beatrix Potter book, Peter Rabbit?
Maynard: No that was Mopsy and Flopsy.
Bortles: Is Beatrix Potter related to Harry Potter?
Maxwell: Yea sure, it’s his great-grandmother.
Bortles: I always find it fascinating how some families are just drawn to literature.
Dysert: Wow! What’s your major at UCF? Busboy?
McGloin: Moxie isn’t easy to explain. It’s a certain aura, and it sort describes where I’m from, Scranton, PA. It’s the way I carry myself, it’s one part confidence and three parts je ne sais quoi.
Coffman: Je ne sais quoi, what does that mean?
McGloin: I don’t know what.
Coffman: Then why would you use it to describe something if you don’t know what it is?
McGloin: No, that’s what it means, it’s French for I don’t know what.
Coffman: Easy Dwight Schrute, you don’t have to go all “Who’s on First?” on me. It was a simple question.
Sudfeld: Moxie will be a great addition to the Club don’t you think Mr. Moderator? I mean, you have quarterbacks here who had guile and guts; brains and brawn; strength and athletic ability; big arms and great feet and this time next week you’ll have moxie. It’s like Tide with bluing or Certs with retsin. The Opposing Quarterbacks Club, now with moxie. You could market it. Imagine an ad that said, “at the Opposing Quarterbacks Club, we’ve upped our moxie, now up yours”.
Moderator: As I said, this game features the leaders of the Leaders Division in a key match-up that will be televised nationally on ESPN. In his press conference earlier this week, OSU Coach Urban Meyer stated that his coaches have told him Beaver Stadium is the loudest venue in the league and he’ll adjust practice conditions to try and simulate the noise levels expected on Saturday. PSU has won five straight games and have yet to give up a first quarter score this year.
McGloin: Plus it’s a “WhiteOut” so our fans will be crazy.
Maxwell: WhiteOut, BlueOut, BlackOut, MoxieOut, DeepSpaceNineFunnyHatOut, you guys out for almost any reason.
McGloin: Our fans are the best. And they’ll be 106,000 strong.
Brown: I’m sure that will frighten Ohio State. They haven’t played in front of that many people since when, Saturday?
Martinez: So McGloin, was it your little secret for this week? We scored early and often but allowed them to score 63 points. Coffman and Sudfeld surprised everyone by scoring 49 points. Unfortunately they gave up 52. And last week, TerBush tried the overtime thing, and that didn’t work out too well either.
Dysert: And this is the second Ohio team you’ve hosted, having lost to Ohio University in your opener. If you lose to Ohio State, who will you try next Oberlin? Otterbein?
McGloin: We started the year with a ton of distractions and a couple of disappointments, but the early season adversity really brought this team together and we’re playing our best football now.
Maynard: And this is the best team you’ve faced this year. Take OU out of the equation and the combined records of your opponents is 21-22. Not exactly the stuff of champions.
McGloin: I wouldn’t admit this publicly, but this is our bowl game this year. We’ve had this game circled on our calendars since the first day of practice. Nittany Lion Nation is counting on me to have a big game and I relish that type of pressure.
Bortles: I’m guessing the Bucks will bring pressure on you. I hope you make it through the game uninjured. I’d hate to see you pull a McGroin, or break your McGleg or bruise your McGliver.
McGloin: The Bucks haven’t sacked anyone since the Carter administration and my O-Line will give me protection to make the plays we need to make to win the game.
Perry: That’s a pretty bold statement my man.
McGloin: That, Jonathon, is called moxie.
Dysert: Well, bring your moxie ass back here next week in person, because the one thing this Club does not accept is a moxie proxy.
Moderator: Gentlemen, that is all the time we have for today. Good luck in your games this weekend and we’ll see each of you at same time, same place next week. We are officially adjourned.