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Every USA President as a Quarterback Part III

After a one day hiatus to record an episode of the podcast, were back. A lot of heavy hitters this era in terms of Quarterbacks. Both Super Bowl XLVIII starters plus the G.O.A.T. Were done protecting legacies on both sides of the football. Presidents and Quarterbacks are no longer having their legacies preserved as we face some hard truths. Anticipation keeps building as we approach the modern day, but for now enjoy the Presidents from 1897-1963.

25. William McKinley as Patrick Mahomes


McKinley was the first President who ever had their inauguration recorded and shared with the public. The way Mahomes plays you’d think he was the first Quarterback to ever be recorded, no-look passes, lefty throws, and long scrambles have Mahomes as the king of clips online. Mahomes is one of the best we’ve ever seen. He’s defeated everyone, on a warpath to greatness and conquering every team in his path. McKinley personally oversaw the Spanish-American war which saw the US gained control of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines. He also oversaw Hawaii becoming a state. Two dominating conquering tenures.


Many credit McKinley with helping the US become an international powerhouse and policing the free world. Mahomes has done the same in Kansas City, turning the Chiefs into a dynasty who is not going anywhere for a long time. This comparison is nothing against Mahomes, it’s really to shine a light on McKinley who was assassinated early into his second term. Please put some respect on McKinleys name.


26. Teddy Roosevelt as Josh Allen


This is the first one where it feels truly right. You see those names and the vibes are so similar. A man’s man. A dude’s dude. Not to mention Roosevelt’s work with nature and national parks out west coinciding with Josh Allen’s collegiate career in Big Sky country. Roosevelt made sure the US Government was looking our for the little guy. In the world of NFL fans that resonated with the Buffalo Bills who historically have fit the bill of little guy who keeps getting beat up.


Roosevelt believed in carrying a big stick, being the police force for the western hemisphere and protecting the country by all legal means necessary. Ever seen Josh Allen barreling down the field in a playoff game or throwing an errant lateral? Attempt to win by any means necessary. I rest my case. These two tough ass men are beloved for a reason.


27. William Taft as Ben Roethlisberger


Just a 2 hour drive through Midwest America separates Lima and Cincinnati, the hometowns of our next two figures. These two large Ohioans share more than their stature and state. Both spent their early 20's with heavy involvements in the legal field. Taft studying Law at Yale and Roethlisberger's studying how to fight sexual assault allegations. Taft infamously getting stuck in the bathroom because he was stuffed into his tub, Roethlisberger's biggest off the field story also involved someone not being able to leave a bathroom. 


I'd be remiss to reduce Roethlisberger's career to his off the field issues as he did have lots of success at the quarterback position. Taft spend most of his time in office fighting against monopolies which Big Ben also did often matching up with the Patriots in the playoffs--the NFL's closest thing to a monopoly. Both took over with glowing endorsements Taft's by Roosevelt and Roethlisberger's by Cowher. Taft would later become a supreme court justice for the rest of his life while Big Ben retired to become a judge in his own right, judging Steeler games from his podcast Footbahlin.


28.   Woodrow Wilson as Baker Mayfield


Both figures are incredibly polarizing men depending on who you ask. Some view Wilson as a progressive superstar who wanted to give citizens more say in government. Mayfield also can be classified as a Progressive superstar as his insurance commercials commandeered TV stations everywhere a couple years ago. The US elected Wilson over several other qualified candidates and his time in office during WWI was seen as relatively successful as the US gained power internationally. Wilson created the League of Nation to help prevent other World Wars from causing catastrophe around the globe.


An ambitious goal of world peace is the NFL equivalent of a Browns Super Bowl. It’s just hard to visualize and no matter how much work you do its futile. Baker won a single playoff game for the Browns which was a ‘shoot for the moon, land amongst the stars’ level of success for the ultimate goal and that resembles Wilson’s tenure. The league of nations was formed but a republican congress voted against the USA joining. Mayfield took the Browns to the playoffs before the big wigs decided to move on. The USA fell back into an isolationist mindset in the 1920’s and the Browns fell back to the bottom of the league, proving it takes more than one man to change the culture.


29.   Warren G Harding as Jimmy Garoppolo


Harding’s campaign was fueled by a message that he would return the oval office to normalcy. A more mild-mannered personality paired with support from women who recently were granted the right to vote was enough win him the presidency. He often followed the lead of his political bosses which made people think he was ready for the job. Jimmy G spent enough time in a room with Tom Brady that people figured his greatness must’ve rubbed off on Jimmy in his time in New England. Garoppolo, like Harding, proved to be poor manager and decision maker seemingly being in over his head once he attained a starting role in San Francisco.


There was still some success in their 2019 Super Bowl run but a blown lead and missed throw late defined Jimmy G’s legacy. Harding’s legacy was defined by mistakes and mismanagement as well with the Teapot Dome scandal. The scandal landed one his cabinet members in jail for a year. Harding suddenly died in trip out west, which somewhat resembles Jimmy G’s career once he got to Vegas. While Harding wasn’t around long enough to deal with the consequences of Teapot Dome, his punishment likely would’ve been as tortuous and playing Quarterback for a Josh McDaniel led team.


30.   Calvin Coolidge as Tony Romo


Calvin Coolidge dominated the airways after taking over for the late President Harding. Coolidge was the first President to make many press conferences and speeches over the radio. Since retiring Tony Romo has found a way to dominate the airways and his voice can be found in every living room across the country on Sundays. Coolidge believed in a very hands off approach striking down any bill that interfered with the economy or suggested new ideas. Romo is the opposite of hands off in the booth but he still finds ways to shoot down any new ideas. Spoiling what the next play will be and talking over every snap so that any individual thought a viewer might have is strangled by his flurry of predictions and oddly sensual moans.


Early on both men were seemingly successful. The economy boomed early under Coolidge and Romo was a fun new voice and earned a massive extension with CBS. Once Coolidge left office, the great depression struck as a result of his mishandling of the economy. When Romo played on the Cowboys his mishandling of a snap in a playoff game led to a great depression of Cowboy fans around the world. The only difference is the great depression lasted only12 years while the Cowboys haven’t been to an NFC championship game in more than double that time (28 years).


31. Herbert Hoover Jamarcus Russell


BUST, each of these men were total let downs once given the reigns. Hoover was known as one of the most incompetent presidents and if you ask Stephen A he’s said the same about Russell. Making a name for themselves early on led to lots of opportunities for both men. When the economy crashed in 1928 Hoover was apprehensive and sat on his hands in the face of disaster and things would get worse before they got better.

Russell did quite the opposite of sitting on his hands coming into preseason workouts heavier and heavier every year. In the face of adversity Russell also had no strong response simply letting his contract run its course without much desire to be strong willed and make a change. If Hoover was your president or if Russell was your QB, when they left you were likely greatly depressed about the outlook of your future. 


32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt  Brady.


Often referred to as the greatest president we have no one else to compare him to that the greatest QB. While both were certainly not the most athletic in their respective fields (FDR was in a wheelchair), they both left legacies that would define what it meant to be a great leader. Longevity and championships defied Brady’s career as he retired with a career longer than anyone and more championships than any respective franchise had ever accumulated. FDR won the general election 4 times when no one else is even legally allowed to run for a 3rd. Brady had 3 different hall of fame careers over the course of his time in the NFL and the only president who can say the same is FDR. Delivering the US from the Great Depression, investing heavily in social programs including social security as part of The New Deal. People were hesitant on FDRs stance on WWII but by the time he was done he left no doubt about his decision making, elevating him to a legendary status that is only matched in the NFL by Brady.



33. Harry Truman as Brock Purdy


The comparison that sparked this whole blog. Is Purdy the greatest? No. Was Truman? Also no. They both had lots of success, Truman winning WWII and Purdy winning the NFC this year. While the decision making of both is undoubtedly impressive and important, there are bigger factors in play. The weapons at their disposal were part of the reason their legacies are great. Christian “Little Man” McCaffery and George “Fat Boy” Kittle anchored an attack that could only be described as atomic.


Other than that, there was another man who had a large roll in pulling strings behind the scenes. Shanahan is to Purdy what Oppenheimer was to Truman. The architect who built this incredible attack but surely after its run its course is left with a couple regrets and likely wouldn’t categorize their tenure as an ultimate success. Truman was a great President and Purdy is a great Quarterback, I believe they deserve to be remembered that way. A Purdy MVP this year would have been as unsettling if they announced the $20 Bill was changing to show Harry Truman. We can give these men their flowers but let’s not kid ourselves with their standings in the course of history.


34 Dwight Eisenhower as Jared Goff


Both highly touted before starting their careers, the Rams traded the farm to go up and get their guy. Eisenhower was an interesting candidate because republicans and democrats both pitched him to join their party before the election of 1952. Truly a remarkable concept when thinking about how divisive the two parties are today. Eisenhower was incredibly successful in helping end Nazi Germany and stabilizing the US economy.

He later went on to be a huge civil rights activist in policy, passing many laws helping minorities gain rights.

Goff also had successful stints in multiple facets. He took the Rams to the Super Bowl, then was traded to the Detroit Lions where they just had their best season since 1991. On Goff’s cross-county move his belongings were likely driven on many different interstates which Eisenhower oversaw the implementation of during his presidency. Goff and Eisenhower were both criticized for their lack of outspokenness despite having tangible success.



35. JFK as Trey Lance


At first glace this may be the most far-fetched one yet, but hear me out. Two young guys who took the country by storm. JFK was one of the great young politicians who invested heavily in the space program but ultimately did not get to see his investment come to fruition. Trey Lance was drafted 3rd overall after playing 9 games at North Dakota State. I'd say that’s more impressive than putting a man on the moon. Lance was set to get the 49ers over the hump and unlock the Kyle Shanahan system. In a way his draft led to that as the 49ers just took the Chiefs to overtime in Super Bowl LXVIII. Lance, like Kennedy, did not get to see the success himself.


You can't tell the story of JFK without is gruesome ending in Dallas as Kennedy was assassinated in 1963. A career ending in Dallas does remind me of little bit of a trade that sent Lance to Dallas for a 3rd round pick where his career will seemingly end as he couldn’t surpass Cooper Rush on the depth chart.

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