Forgotten Player of the Moment – JAY SCHROEDER
(by ED AGNER)
Dean gets drunk upon occasion (No. Really.) and emails the VP.com world-wide headquarters and swears at us. Well, actually, he swears at Phil, but who doesn’t? Anyway, Dean emails and requests oddball stuff.
(For the record: No, Dean, Bill WILL NOT arrive at your door dressed in leather. Phil WILL go rollerblading with you dressed in a cat suit IF you ask nicely enough. I MIGHT arrive at your door dressed as Robin – but NO sliding down the bat pole, big man – IF the check clears. Please-please-please-please-please let that check bounce. PLEASE!)
So, for some strange reason, in Dean’s latest email, he begged for a FPOTM on – ready self, must not swear – Jay Schroeder. Grumble. Can’t work blue. Can’t work blue. Can’t work blue.
Schroeder was case-in-point #700 of what a genius Joe Gibbs was/is(?) as I still have deep, crippling hate in my soul for the man thanks to his pathetic Raider tenure. But I’ve just jumped ahead of myself.
Schroeder was a big-armed QB out of UCLA who, after failing out as a catcher in the Blue Jays farm system (which would, of course, qualify him as a Cowboys QB these days), latched on with the Redskins in 1985 to, ostensibly, hold a clipboard for a living. Hey, if nothing else, Schroeder LOOKED like a QB (and this in the beginning of the era in the NFL when LOOKING like a QB meant more than anything – Doug Flutie can tell you what a crock that is) and since the Skins had Joe Theismann deeply entrenched as their starter, Schroeder and his big arm could be kept on the scout team without having his flaws and inexperience exposed. Well, that was the plan, anyway.
The best laid plans. Along came Lawrence Taylor to cripple that evil midget and the Jay Schroeder era began in D.C., where he filled in admirably for Theismann in the rest of his rookie season, throwing for over 1400 yards in 9 games; yet the Skins still missed the playoffs all the same.
Then out of nowhere, Schroeder – thanks to the genius of Joe Gibbs – plays out of his head in his sophomore season; throwing for over 4100 yards (with 22 TD’s and 22 INT’s as a harbinger of things to come) and leading the Skins to a wild card berth. A beat-down by the fabled ’86 Giants defense in the NFC title game cast a bit of a pall on the season but, hey, the Skins found their QB of the future. Things could only go up from there, right?
Sure. If by QB of the future you mean the Skins signed Doug Williams in the offseason to be their QB of the immediate future and a kid named Mark Rypien was in the fold to be their QB of the sorta longer-term future, then yeah. And EVERYTHING WAS on the ups for the Skins – after an injury cut Schroeder’s 1987 season short, Williams lead the Skins to a Super Bowl win.
And then it gets ugly – for me, anyway.
The Skins were content with Williams and the future of Rypien so they needed to find a sucker for Schroeder. A sucker. A sucker. Hmm, where to find a sucker?
Al Davis, as always, intoxicated by big-armed QB’s (even though the Raiders had just hired Mike Shanahan as head coach to bring in the West Coast offense where big armed QB’s are unnecessary. Sooooo much hate.), decides that trading perennial Pro Bowl OT, Jim Lachey – whom the Raiders had just stolen from San Diego a year pervious – for Schroeder is a GOOD idea. Oh, and who REALLY wants to give that Steve Beuerlein kid a shot? Feh. Yeah, that Beuerlein guy could NEVER be any good. Grr. Must not swear. Must not swear.
Ahh, the Jay Schroeder era in Oak…err, L-ugh. – aww, fudge it! Schroeder’s Raider-era was…well…thankfully, at first, the Raiders had a hellacious running game with Marcus Allen (when Al would let him play – Grrr.) and Bo Jackson (when Bo wasn’t fooling around with baseball – Grrr.) so the interceptions and fumbles were…well, lets just say that I only wanted Schroeder horribly crippled, not killed in ’88-89. But considering the way ALL of the team underperformed under the super genius of Mike Shanahan, who can blame the QB entirely?
So, OK. Wait! My pain gets better!
Schroeder stays healthy in 1990 and the Raiders play their butts off for Art Shell – who, for some God-unknown reason, is not the Raiders head coach today! Stupid Al! – and everything goes dandy and I am an ecstatic and annoying college freshman thinking the Raiders maybe…maybe…Grr. Then Bo Jackson gets crippled by the Bengals (Eat the curse, Bengals! Eat the Curse of Bo!) in the AFC divisional playoffs and Jay Schroeder lays the groundwork for how the Kerry Collins-era will be in the AFC title game as the Readers are annihilated by the frickin’ detestable Buffalo F– ….Cannot curse! Cannot curse!
Oh, wait! But my pain gets better! Revel in the pain that took much liquor to dull!
So, Al gets a wild hair up his wrinkly and leathery-as-his-gangsta-track-suits old butt that, you know, maybe a junkie QB is the answer! (Oh, I know I’m gonna punch a wall here soon.) So – Grrrrr! – the Raiders, fresh off major embarrassment in the ’90 AFC title game when our boy, Jay Schroeder, reminded the world that he was Jay Schroeder after all, drafts – ARRGH!!! – Todd Frickin’ Marinovich.
‘Scuse me while I go kick something.
Ahh, better. Those bones will heal eventually.
Anyway, the next two years Schroeder spends in Oak…err, L.-ugh…with the Raiders are full of interceptions and fumbles and disappointment and getting jerked around in favor by FRANCHISE SAVIOR~! Todd Marinovich.
(And of course, to make me hate life even more, the Redskins win the Super Bowl with Jim Lachey, but I won’t mention that because it will just make me hate…even….more…Grr!)
So come the ’92 offseason, with PRIZE FA QB Jeff Hostetler out there for the Raiders (Yeah, I’ll have to drink heavily to rid myself of all this pain coming back at me. Stupid Al! Stupid crappy Raiders QB’s!) and Todd Marinovich trying to QB when not hanging out in the Cobain/Love household, Schroeder was allowed to fly free to Cincy (where he did as well as any QB could possibly do for the ’93 Bengals) and Arizona (ditto), before retiring after the ’94 season.
Yeah, so…yeah. That’s the Jay Schroeder story – and of course the story of how I grew to hate football in the early-90’s – without any F-bombs. A minor miracle, really.
On the bright side, I assume I can just recycle this in ten years replacing “Jay Schroeder” with “Kerry Collins” if I’m not on a shooting spree at that point.
Stupid football! Stupid Al! Stupid crappy Raiders QB’s!
Let Jay Schroeder Speak To You!
(A now dead link but Schroeder was making the rounds as a motivational speaker)