In the annals of American professional football there are stories of athletes and assassins, of guts and glory, of
touchdowns and tackling, and just to play in the NFL (with the exception of kickers, punters and Chris Chandler), you have to be tough, but I never saw a player (especially at quarterback) as tough as Steve Grogan.
So,you may say "Who the hell is Steve Grogan?" Well, he played quarterback for the New England Patriots from 1975 (he got the starting job as a rookie)to 1990, amassing 26,886 yards and 182 touchdowns. He even holds the record for rushing TD's by a QB in one season with 12 (Take that Michael Vick!) He also amassed in his 15 seasons:
- multiple knee injuries.
- two broken legs.
- a broken hand.
- several concussions.
- spasms all over the place.
- 3 herninated disks in his back which forced hin at one point to wear a full blown"Victim at a car crash trial" neck brace...for a year and a half! The guy was tough! (crazy, sure but tough).
While that sounds like any NFL player, quarterbacks usually don't get this banged up and continue to play. But when you had a mostly "offensive" offensive line (John Hannah excluded) and you were behind a lot, your QB takes a lot of hits. There is also the madcap way Steve played. first off he called all his own plays which usually went this way:
- 1st down... a run for 9 yards.
- 2nd down...a incomplete pass.
- 3rd down...(and uniquely Grogan) a 80 yard bomb that usually got picked off,or fell incomplete.
- 4th down...punt(and the Pats lose again).
Because of his toughness (although the neck brace was a bit much, I remember being teased about him wearing it in school...the usual comment was" Your quarterback belongs in a wheelchair!") and some good seasons (1976 and 1978 in particular) Steve Grogan has a place in the memory of Patriots fans,(and if all the hits in the head he took let him) he has a soft spot for New England's fans as well.