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Searching for Kurt Warner Replacements In The World Of Cinema

Kurt Warner is long gone, while Matt Leinart and Derek Anderson haven't distinguished themselves. Since we've covered the QB situation from every conceivable traditional angle, Scott Howard has turned the search over to the world of movies.

Unless you've been under some sort of media blackout over the past seven months, you may have heard that Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner retired from the game of football. And if you've only been under such a blackout for the past week, you likely missed that the likely replacement -- Matt Leinart -- has been benched in favor of a guy who went 2/17 on his passes in a game last season.

Though both Leinart and Anderson were relatively sharp against Chicago on Saturday night, my big takeaway from that game was that the Bears might finish below the Lions in the NFC North. Honestly, I'm not sure if their offensive line could have blocked a light breeze.

Since neither Leinart nor Anderson has distinguished themselves and my fifth round/undrafted QB bias has been well documented, I've been forced to turn to alternative sources to solve the Cardinals QB problem.

That's right: I'm again turning to my old friend, sports movies, to patch a gaping hole in the Arizona sports scene.

So before you let the doom wash over you, check out the high profile candidates I've identified to play the part of Arizona Cardinals quarterback.

The Candidates:

Paul Crewe (The Longest Yard):

Strengths:

  • Allegedly quite good at football despite the non-QB number on his jersey.
  • Great leader and motivator as evidenced by his ability to take a bunch of untrained convicts and defeat a semi-pro guard team led by Hall of Famer Ray Nitschke.
  • The fact that he wouldn't throw the big game against the guards proves he has somewhat of a moral compass.

Weaknesses:

  • Depending on which version of Crewe you're familiar with (and we will pretend the 2005 remake didn't happen), he's prone to domestic violence and drunk driving. So much for that moral compass.
  • In prison, probably for just a year and a half, but possibly longer depending on whether the Warden followed through on his promise to keep him in prison until he was old and gray. Not sure how one qualifies for work release, but I don't think Crewe would be eligible.
  • Kicked out of the NFL for point shaving. Never good to have the guy at the most important position on the roster being in the back pocket of bookies. Consider that moral compass sunk.

NFL Comparison:  Blatant disrespect for women, along with a reckless driving conviction and a proclivity for Pro-Bowl level quarterback play? Obviously it's Ben Roethlisberger.

Paul Blake (Necessary Roughness):

Strengths:

  • Salt and pepper hair, history working on a farm, and ownership of various jean jackets gives him an inherent folksie leadership ability that people can be tricked into respecting. Everyone loves a dude in a jean jacket.
  • Friends with Sinbad; if that doesn't mean something to you, then I'm not sure I want you reading this. Did you SEE Houseguest?
  • Will be able to step right in and fill Kurt Warner's shoes as the only Cardinal whose locker has old man smell. I feel like this will make the team feel at ease. 

Weaknesses:

  • At 34, he was pretty old for a college freshman and with the NFL draft rules, he wouldn't be able to show up in the league until he was around 37. How many good years can you really expect out of Blake?
  • Listed at around 5'11, he's even shorter than Max Hall -- and Hall isn't two million years old.
  • You never know when he's going to start leaping from life to life, striving to put right what once went wrong and being forced to hope each time that his next leap will be the leap home.

NFL ComparisonChris Weinke if he had more hair, more jean jackets and was younger.

Willie Beamen (Any Given Sunday):

Strengths:

  • An athletic, late-blooming QB that's capable of creating big gains out of broken plays with either his legs or his arm.
  • His high energy, electric style makes him an extremely marketable star. Could be looking at the new face of Chunky Soup here.
  • Confident rap indicates that if you think you can defeat him, you're dreamin' and that Beamen keeps the ladies creamin. Not that I know what that means.

Weaknesses:

  • Seems to have trouble learning a basic playbook or getting along with coaches unless there is some sort of forced character development. Would basically force the team to go to a Tecmo Bowl-length playbook. Not sure Whiz would feel good about that.
  • Nervous to the point of vomiting on the field during games.
  • May be tough to pry him away from the fake New Mexico franchise of the fake AFFA. Can't imagine fake AFFA commissioner Charlton Heston would take that lying down.

NFL ComparisonDonovan McNabb. He's got the appropriate athleticism and big game vomiting chops to get the job done.

Shane Falco (The Replacements):

Strengths:

  • Had a great college career at Ohio State, where he was an All-America so he's got at least some measure of physical skill.
  • If there is a question about team chemistry, Falco knows the best way to bring a squad together: a good ol' fashioned bar fight. You may argue with his methods, but you can't dispute results. If the Cardinals get off to a rough start, expect Falco to challenge the Seahawks to a fight in a Seattle bar and then have the team wind up in a holding cell singing Donna Summer.

Weaknesses:

  • Considering that there are questions about the Cardinals lacking confidence in Leinart, I'd imagine there will be problems with a dude nicknamed "Footsteps" for his inability to handle pressure.
  • Led his team to a 45-point loss in the Sugar Bowl during his last college game; apparently that traumatizing experience wrecked him for years. Basically he's spooked as easily as a deer during hunting season.
  • Suffered three concussions in his brief time in professional football, so there is a strong likelihood that he'll be either driven from the game by head injuries or just die on the field after a hit from Patrick Willis.
  • He's a scab -- a fact that won't help him with the NFLPA.

NFL ComparisonScott Mitchell. Weakminded lefties have got to stick together. 

Joe Kane (The Program):

Strengths

  • Heisman-caliber collegiate performer, but since he didn't actually win the award, this goes into strengths. No need to bunch him with legends like Andre Ware or Jason White (gracefully avoiding the Leinart reference here).
  • He's obviously capable of overcoming adversity since he recovered from a stint in rehab to lead ESU to a bowl game.

Weaknesses

  • Clearly attended a fake college. I mean where the hell is ESU? Which state is it that starts with an E?
  • Considering he's a dangerous alcoholic and Cardinals fans already turned on Leinart for his partying ways, this might be a bad marriage.
  • Kane apparently thinks it's a good idea to lay in the middle of the street at night while cars pass by; I doubt the Cardinals would be able to get him insured with those type of recreational activities.

NFL Comparison: Kerry Collins. Physical skills, plus a stint in rehab for a boozing problem. Match made in heaven.

Johnny Moxon (Varsity Blues)

Strengths:

  • He's smart -- something that's very clear from the fact that he reads books and is supposedly headed to Brown for college.
  • Though he has been a career bench warmer, he's got a strong arm. Or at least one strong enough to break his dad's nose or knock a guy off a horse.
  • Has made it very clear that he doesn't want your life, meaning he's capable of independent thought and is motivated to create his own path.

Weaknesses:

  • Clearly has a complete lack of respect for the game, since he reads those books on the sidelines during games and drags the best players on the team out to strip clubs the night before big games.
  • Has a seemingly unhealthy obsession with getting the ball into the hands of a morbidly obese offensive lineman with physical problems, even in the closing seconds of the most important game of his season.
  • He's a Penny Hardaway-level coach killer. But not even Penny drove a coach out at halftime of a game.

NFL Comparison:  Matt Cassel. The little-used backup steps into a ready made winning situation and doesn't totally screw things up.

Quite the electric list of options, eh? Personally, I'll take my chances with Steamin' Willie Beamen behind center. Crewe's probably never getting out of jail, Blake is even older than Kurt Warner, Falco has the confidence of a young boy going through puberty, Kane's probably going to get hit by a car, and Moxon is a one-year wonder. His name is Willie, and he'll be your starting QB.

Note: if you are so uptight about the Cardinals QB hunt that you think this article was a waste of time, then you may be a bit humorless. Please consult a physician.