While some might argue that it’s a baseball pitcher or a hockey goalie, there really is no single position in American sports as important as the quarterback. He’s the team’s leader and decision maker. He not only plays in every game, but touches the ball with every offensive play and often calls the play as well. He reads the opposing team’s defense while making up-to-the-second adjustments, and can keep the opposing team’s offense from even appearing on the field. All this while being the number one physical target of some of the largest and fastest athletes on the planet. But while the quarterback receives most of the credit for winning, and most of the blame for losing; all the adoration of the fans and all the derision of the media, we know very little about their personal struggles: how they handle the extremes of victories and defeats; being drafted, being traded, and being all but forgotten when they’re too injured to play.
My guest today is the bestselling sports writer, columnist and media commentator John Feinstein, the author of thirty-six books, most recently Quarterback: Inside the Most Important Position in the National Football League. The book profiles the careers of five NFL quarterbacks, who together personify almost every aspect of what it’s like to play the most stressful, dangerous, and exhilarating position in sports.