I suppose y’all watching the Colts game and through NFL opening weekend noticed the “C” patches on various quarterbacks’ uniforms. It puzzled me, until during the on-air commentary it was noted they stood for “Captain,” much like the “C” on hockey jerseys.
I frankly don’t like this for two reasons:
First, its superfluous, as anyone who knows anything about American Football knows that the quarterback is the leader and “captain” of the offense. Identifying him on the field is ridiculously easy, with his lining up under center or in the shotgun, and being the first person to handle the ball (aside from center). The first thing you learn when watching football is who the quarterback is, explain that position to a newbie and he or she can follow it from there.
I’m not sure if the defensive team Captain gets to wear patch as well. It’s not that important to the appreciation of the game to have him readily identifiable, but it would be interesting; but I’m indifferent on this, except for:
Second, this detracts from the concept of a football team as a team, a single unit rather than a bundle of individuals. From junior high, players are hammered with the concept of TEAM, TEAM, TEAM! As a small-town paper sports editor, I had problems getting coaches to nominate a “player of the week” as they didn’t want to put the spotlight on any particular player. The back who runs for 200 yards, or quarterback who completed 20 passes, got dynamite blocks from teammates you don’t even look at twice on the roster. Peyton Manning already has fame, name recognition, riches, league and Super Bowl MVP, not to mention the big ring — which he would without hesitation tell you is a TEAM honor — he doesn’t need a stupid patch on his chest.