Manage the Game
Posted by languageandgrammar on October 6, 2008
I’ve been a professional sports fan for a very long time, but it’s only been during the last couple of years that quarterbacks have started to manage the game. I’m not sure why this trend of talking about a quarterback in terms of game management, rather than performance, started, but it’s hard to sit (or stand if you prefer) through a football game without hearing the term several times.
The He manages the game well commentary seems to be reserved for an inexperienced quarterback who doesn’t have great statistics but the team manages to win anyway. I guess the expectation of the pass-heavy league is that all quarterbacks are expected to throw often and for a significant number of yards; when one doesn’t but still somehow leads his team to victory, they can’t say that He played well or even that He played well enough to win within the limited offensive game plan. The best they can spit out is that He managed the game well. The goal of the game is to win, and the quarterback is arguably the most important player, so if the team wins, give the guy some credit–especially if he’s an inexperienced player. I’ve heard the manage-the-game-well comment about J.T. O’Sullivan and Joe Flacco.
The only time that I hear the term mentioned for a premier quarterback, such as Peyton Manning or Donovan McNabb, is with the negative. He’s not managing the game well is said about these players during a poor performance. Hey, even the greats have an off-day, so just say so. Manning is not playing well; the world won’t come to an end.
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