There are literally thousands of parents of aspiring young quarterbacks who drop hundreds of thousands of dollars every year on training, private coaches and private school tuition just to try and keep their kid even with the pack in pursuit of a college scholarship and, hopefully, someday a shot at the NFL.
They drive to camps, they network with coaches, they endure sleepless night upon sleepless night hoping their kids' skills and "big game" chops are able to separate them from the pack.
With a lot of talent and more than a little luck, hundreds of teenage passers get those scholarships, and with even more talent and more luck, a few dozen adult passers go on to actually get paid to play the game that they love.
But maybe, just maybe, the thousands who get left by the wayside are doing it wrong.
I say that because, after a tryout session with a couple other quarterbacks this past week (including former Rice signal caller Chase Clement), former Monmouth College (that's Division III, in case you're wondering why you've never heard of it), star Alex Tanney has landed a spot on the Dallas Cowboys roster as
training camp filler their fourth-string quarterback.
In case you've never seen it, up until now, Tanney is probably most famous for this five-minute "QB trick shot" video he shot at various places on the Monmouth campus:
A few pretty funny things about this video:
1. First, the title of the video is "Alex Tanney Trick Shot Quarterback -- Better Than Johnny Mac." For those of you who don't know who "Johnny Mac" refers to, that would be former University of Connecticut quarterback and fellow trick shot artist Johnny McEntee, who was largely known for his similar trick shot video back in 2011. I had no idea that there was actually "trick shot QB" beef between McEntee and Tanney. This almost seems like two contestants on Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks" getting into a fight in the parking lot.
2. As many amazing "shots" as we see in these five minutes of footage (real and, perhaps, doctored -- more on this in a second), the unsung heroes in the whole thing are the two guys on bikes at the very end that Tanney pegs from up on the balcony. There's no way to fake that. Falling off of a bike hurts.
3. DOCTORED VIDEO ALERT: At about the one-minute mark, when we are led to believe that Tanney is in the middle of a sequence where he hits the right upright, left upright and cross bar in consecutive throws from midfield, we get horrible evidence of jump cuts (keep an eye out as the ball is in the air on the second throw, the one aiming for the left upright...CHOPPY video) with multiple changing people in the background running around the track. Seriously, watch the people on the track behind Tanney from about the 1:00 mark until about 1:18; it's almost comical how they change from throw to throw.
4. There's a 90 percent chance that if Tanney doesn't make the Cowboys out of camp, Jerry Jones will keep him on as a circus freak sideshow at Cowboys Stadium, right? "Step right up, step right up, and watch the Magnificent Tanney knock a fruit basket off your child's head from 20 yards away....that'll be 30 dollars, thanks, ma'am...."
The moral of the story here, kids, is this: To make the NFL, you don't need to spend thousands of dollars on private quarterback lessons or Manning Passing Academies. You don't need to invest hours upon hours on exhaustive film study. You don't need to meticulously hone your craft, your footwork, your arm slot, none of it.
You just need to set up some garbage cans 80 yards away and go get yourself some good video editing software.
Jerry Jones will bite.
Listen to Sean Pendergast on 1560 Yahoo! Sports Radio from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and nationally on the Yahoo! Sports Radio network Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon CST. Also, follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SeanCablinasian.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.