Classic card of the week

Jake Plummer, 2000 Upper Deck

During this rare time of Arizona Cardinals’ mediocrity, I say we take a step back and remind ourselves that the Cardinals actually used to be very mediocre. It’s difficult to remember this now -- if you have zero long-term memory -- but once upon a time the Cardinals employed a quarterback named Jake “the Snake” Plummer. His nickname was “the Snake” because a) he played in the desert, where snakes live, b) “snake” rhymes with Jake, and every person named Jake who has ever lived has, at some point, been referred to as Jake “the snake,” and c) he was, literally, ¼ snake.

Let’s find out more:

Most professional athletes would prefer to come out strong and not have to worry about coming back from behind.

Case in point: During a game in December of 1992, Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls fell behind the Dallas Mavericks by three points late in the second quarter. It was at this point, after a timeout, that Jordan refused to reenter the game. Afterwards, he specified: “Ya’ know, I thought we’d be up by at least 10 heading into halftime. And I didn’t want to have to worry about coming back from behind. It’s so annoying to have to do that.” Another good example is the 2007 Mets, who got off to a strong start and never had to worry about anything ever again.

For Plummer, it doesn’t matter.

Jake Plummer > Michael Jordan

When the Cardinals were trailing in ’99,

Wait, trailing what? A specific game? The division? No? Just trailing in general? Okay, please continue.

Plummer took charge, completing 155 of his pass attempts for 1,630 yards.

I’m sorry -- 155 out of how many pass attempts? 160? Or 850? Because that would really help me get a grasp on how forcefully he was taking charge here. And also, like, could I get a clue as to the context of these statistics? Did he complete 155 passes for 1,630 yards in two games? Because that would be unbelievable. Or maybe it was over the course of 12 games? Because that would also be unbelievable.

He also threw seven of his nine TD passes when trailing.

Again, no context. But I’m beginning to sense a theme here. So I have to ask: Why were the Cardinals always trailing? Hmmm…let me do a little research by inspecting the yearly statistics of one Jake Plummer that are provided directly above this informative little tidbit regarding Jake Plummer’s comebackedness…

Oh, yes…I see. Could it be -- and this is just a wild guess -- that Plummer’s 24 interceptions in 1999 had something to do with the Cardinals’ inability to take a lead? That’s nine touchdowns and 24 interceptions. Nine & 24. Nine touchdowns. Twenty-four interceptions. But hey -- seven of those TDs came while trailing! So there’s that. Also, it’s not specified how successfully any of these “comebacks” were completed, but the 1999 Arizona Cardinals finished 6-10 and lost their last four games.

“Don’t call it a comeback!” Ha, ha! No, seriously. Don’t. Because it’s not.

Did you know?
Jake Plummer was named 1997 Comeback Person of the Year by Time Magazine after he knocked another man unconscious by kicking him in the teeth, and then gave him CPR, almost reviving him.


Bill said…
So true that everyone who ever lived named Jake, was nicknamed "the Snake." And now I'm off to hang out with my friend, "Big Game" James!