Scott Tolzien is living a dream, not a nightmare
Jay Hodgson, Packers contributor
Scott Tolzien. Photo: Image by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
In the blink of an eye, the Green Bay Packers’ season took yet another bizarre, and unfortunate twist.
For the second consecutive week, a different quarterback started the game than who finished it.
Last week, against the Chicago Bears, Seneca Wallace had to finish for an injured Aaron Rodgers. This week, against the Philadelphia Eagles, Scott Tolzien had to finish for an injured Seneca Wallace.
Clearly, this was not the way head coach Mike McCarthy drew it up. But, as they say, next man up and the games will go on.
In Tolzien’s case, he’s the next-next man up as he was the third-string quarterback on the roster.
While I am truly sad for Aaron Rodgers and Seneca Wallace, I am legitimately happy for Scott Tolzien. My happiness stems from other reasons than the mere fact he played for the University of Wisconsin Badgers.
Scott Tolzien is basically encompassing every little kid’s dream that develops from backyard football. He’s certainly living the dream I created for myself when I was 10 years old and growing up in De Pere, Wisconsin.
Every Sunday while I was a kid, I’d watch the Packers on TV on Sunday with my dad. Those were the dog days of the 1980s when the Packers weren’t a very competitive team, so they didn’t get very many Monday Night games.
In between quarters, during halftime, and in the time before dinner, I would go out in the backyard with my yellow Nerf football.
I always had this elaborate storyline in my head. Of course, I played for the Green Bay Packers. But, I wasn’t a high draft pick or a superstar.
I was just the hometown kid waiting for a chance.
In fact, I was usually the third string quarterback behind Lynn Dickey and Randy Wright. I was always just waiting for my chance to get into the game and win it in dramatic fashion.
Only after injuries to both Dickey and Wright, head coach Forrest Gregg would call on me to rally against the Bears or Lions. We were usually losing at the time, so my talents to pull out the victory were always in order.
Coming off the bench, I’d complete a pass to the yew bush. Then, I’d hit the bird bath for a first down.
After scrambling for my life, and avoiding a drive-ending sack, I’d throw a remarkable touchdown pass to James Lofton, who looked eerily similar the apple tree against the fence line.
At that point, we were only down by two touchdowns. That’s right where I wanted them.
After a few more pass completions to the spruce tree, who was probably Paul Coffman, we’d be within a single score. A perfect two-minute drill would ensue.
Would I be a hero?
With only three seconds left on the clock, I’d scramble around, dodge several sacks, and heave a hail mary the full distance of the backyard.
The ball would hang in the air for what seemed like a lifetime.
If it hit the bird feeder, it was a touchdown. We’d have won the game!
If it missed, there was pass interference, of course, so I got to do it again. Repeat the scramble and heave. It wasn’t over until I hit that bird feeder. My dream, my rules.
After leading the team to victory, I’d be named the starting quarterback for the rest of the season while Dickey and Wright healed from their injuries.
It was only a matter of time before I'd be named the Super Bowl MVP.
It was so much fun, and I literally did that sixteen Sundays a year for at least a few years of my life.
That epitomized my relationship with football, daydreaming, and the Green Bay Packers while I was a kid.
It was probably the dream of just about every kid growing up as a football fan.
Well, Scott Tolzien is getting to live my dream. He may be living his own dream.
Tolzien grew up as a Packers fan. As of two weeks ago, he was the third string quarterback for the Green Bay Packers.
Now, he’s being counted on to win games for the Packers for the foreseeable future while Aaron Rodgers and Seneca Wallace heal from their injuries.
Mike McCarthy has already named Tolzien as the starting quarterback for next week’s game against the Giants. A playoff run and any hope of a Super Bowl rest on his young shoulders.
I think he’s ready. He looked pretty darn good against the Eagles.
If he’s like every kid in Packers Nation, he’s been waiting for this his whole life. This isn’t a nightmare; it’s a dream for him.
I’m excited for him, and I trust he’ll do well and keep the team in contention. I’m now his number one fan, and I expect him to win over many hearts in Packers Nation.
Now is the time to rally around Tolzien. Next man up, and I believe.