Yes, I know the title is a little extreme. It’s supposed to be. You see, that’s the name of my fantasy football team and has been for quite some time. I even won the league this year. The reason Collins’ name will be on the championship banner I raise from my buddy’s garage in August? I own a Todd Collins blue #15 Buffalo Bills football jersey.
And, yes, I do wear it.
I was young, a bit naive (still am), so when my aunt and uncle wanted to get me a Bills jersey for Christmas, the answer seemed obvious. I didn’t follow football all that well (I was in like third grade), but I knew Jim Kelly had retired and Todd Collins was the heir apparent to the K-Gun throne. So it made sense. Kind of.
So even after Wade Phillips came in and cut him, and he faded away into obscurity for the next decade, I never forgot about him, mainly because of the jersey. It was a nice joke for awhile. I was “that guy” with the super obscure jersey that you’d see and ask “why the %$*!$& does that guy have a #@%$&ing Todd Collins jersey?”
So when it was announced that Todd Collins was getting the start of the injured Jason Campbell for the Redskins a few weeks ago, I was more than pleasantly surprised. He did, after all, beat out Mark Brunell for the back up job so he had to have at least soooommme talent, right? Mark Brunell was good at one point (although he did lose his job in Jacksonville to Byron Leftwich, didn’t he).
And then he started winning. Nothing flashy, but efficient and calm. He looked like a 37-year old veteran quarterback with decent vision and little mobility, but that’s all Washington needed out of him. And it got them into the playoffs.
The ride is over now. Seattle rallied back and beat the ‘Skins 35-14 yesterday on Wild Card Saturday. Collins finished with 50 (50!) pass attempts, completing just 29 of them (dropped balls aren’t a stat kept on the sportsline.com Game Center, but there were plenty of them), threw for two touchdowns (one of them the result of a Kelly-esque no-huddle drive…a stretch I know), and two interceptions (both of which were returned for Seattle scores).
The bottom line is that, despite ten years between starts, Collins might have what it takes to actually be a serviceable quarterback in this league. If you need him to start in a pinch, he’s capable of doing that as long as you don’t ask him to do too much (like throw 50 times). I mean, that is why he’s hung around on an NFL roster for so long, but he finally had his chance to prove it. A free agent this coming off season, if a team is desperate enough, Todd Collins has just shown this season that he can do the job if needed to.
Now that he’s “good” it certainly isn’t as fun to have a Bills Todd Collins jersey, but hey, that’s why I’ve got a Quinn Early still in the closet.