An ode to a somehow unsung quarterback

Not pictured: Christian Chapman

It’s been four days since our beloved Aztecs took down Stanford, giving the SDSU football program arguably their biggest win ever and at least one dude two broken ankles.

But it’s time to move on to Air Force.

[rewatches entire final drive again]

Can’t dwell on the past anymore.

[sends nine more tweets about the environment Saturday night]

We need to focus on the goal ahead of us.

[delivers flowers to Kameron Kelly’s mom]

Ok screw it let’s talk about it some more. Specifically, let’s talk about one of the most underappreciated players on the team: the fucking quarterback.

Christian Chapman, like most post-Ryan Lindley SDSU quarterbacks before him, was labeled a “game manager” since the time he first took over for injured Maxwell Smith, early in the final game of the 2015 regular season against Nevada. And that, in a vacuum, is fine.

For the past few years, we’ve had excellent defenses, phenomenal running backs behind big, mean-ass offensive lines, consistently great special teams and a general demeanor of “HEY, FUCK YOU” to which other teams mostly say “OK, sorry.” With all of that, there really isn’t a glaring need for a quarterback to throw four touchdowns a game and rack up 300 yards in the air every Saturday. Nothing wrong with being a game manager on that team.

But a lot of people still seem to confuse “he’s not asked to do this” with “he’s not able to do this.”

Saturday night, with about 6:03 left on the clock, down by four, needing to go 75 yards to deliver the most significant win in program history, he proved he is. Aided, of course, by the nation’s leading rusher (and the nine other dudes on the field wearing black) he orchestrated an 11-play drive, including two huge 3rd down conversions through the air and the go-ahead touchdown pass.

This was after spending the first three quarters running for his life and getting knocked the hell around by Stanford’s also-mean-as-hell defensive front. But instead of acknowledging that the Cardinal have a great pass rush, it’s much easier for our less football-savvy fans to blame the QB.

Rocky even took time [gasp] to say something nice about one of his own players.

I think Christian was good the whole night. I thought he made some very good throws. I thought he made some good decisions. He was under harassment. He was under pressure a lot. He got hit a lot, too.That shows you what quality he is as a quarterback. When you get hit a lot, usually you start throwing it bad or start throwing it to the other team. He didn’t.

So while Saturday should be enough to quell any talk of “Chapman” and “mediocre” in the same sentence, it shouldn’t have taken a field rushing and a top-25 ranking to get us here. He’s been this guy all along.

If you count the aforementioned Nevada game (and considering he played about 80% of the game, I do) the guy is 17-3, a record that includes two MW Championships, two dominating bowl wins and a 3-0 record vs the Pac 12.

As for those three losses, sure, he didn’t play particularly great against South Alabama or Colorado State, but on those days, neither did really anyone else on the team. And in the Wyoming game, we came up one point short when Rocky elected to go for two and Chapman’s last pass was batted down to give WYO the win. But lest we forget we were only in that position because he led an insanely heroic ONE MINUTE 99 YARD TOUCHDOWN DRIVE to put us in position.

The dude is clutch as hell.

Still, it seems some people won’t be satisfied until he starts racking up 400-yard games.

Speaking of Wyoming, they’ve got a quarterback people tend to speak highly of. There was even talk of him being the first QB taken in the 2018 NFL Draft. Well, three games into this year, he’s 1-2 with two TDs and three INTs. That comes after ending the Cowboys’ 2016 season with an unforgivably awful interception to lose their bowl game again BYU. You can keep that gun-slinging malarkey in your lame square-ass state, thank you very much.

We all love Lord John of House Baron. But he’s missed his last two kicks of over 50 yards. Do we sit around asking “why can’t he make anything over 50?” No, that would be insane. We thank the Old Gods and The New for him being automatic under 45 yards — in a sport where most teams are just praying their kicker makes all his extra points. We celebrate Touchback Jesus and show him the appreciation he deserves.

But with Chapman there’s this underlying sentiment that he’s just a dude whose job is to hand the ball to Penny. And often, that is his job. But when tasked with rolling out and making plays when he’s needed to, he’s risen to the challenge and then some.

So next time you here someone say “Chapman is fine. He’s just OK.,” I’d recommend changing the subject to modern politics or maybe their religious beliefs. Either would be preferable to talking Aztecs with someone who clearly isn’t paying attention.

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Author: AttemptedChem

Former member of The Show. Current Showlumni podcaster. Forever defeater of Kawhi Leonard at beer pong.

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