I bet you didn’t realize that Alex freakin’ Van Pelt spent NINE seasons with the Buffalo Bills as a back-up QB of some capacity. I sure as hell didn’t. However, as I started researching these posts it all came back to me. You know what? I always LOVED Alex van Pelt. There was something about the guy that made him extremely likable. Of course it was never his talents as a QB for the Bills, which you can clearly see from his stat lines below:
Record: 3 - 8 Rating: 64.1 Yds: 2985 Comp. %: 54.9 TD: 16 INT: 24
I believe it was Van Pelt’s “I don’t really give a shit” attitude that he exuded. Not a "I really don't give a shit because I am getting paid loads of cash and I am 110% bat-shit insane" attitude like Vince Young. And definitely not a "I don't really give a shit because I am going to torch you for 400 yards and 5 TD's" attitude like Tom Brady. He was overweight for a QB (this was well before the hefty lefty, Jarden Lorenzen had entered the league), never appeared frightened or scared when he had to enter a game, and seemed to be utterly amazed that he was even on an NFL franchise. Now as always, this is based on absolutely no fact and only on what I remember of the guy (The DGWU way!), but I am certain Van Pelt never expected to be in the league for nine years.
Van Pelt was THE MAN at the University Pittsburgh and broke almost all of Dan Marino’s passing records, another obvious reason why I like him. He then started out as an 8th round draft pick of his hometown Pittsburgh Steelers in 1993, but never made the opening day roster. He bounced around to a couple of teams before he ended up as a Buffalo Bill, backing up future hall-of-famer Jim Kelly and last week’s target, Todd Collins. AVP, as the DGWU crew like to refer to him, actually threw two touchdowns during week 17 in relief of Todd Collins after the Bills went down 28-3 in the 4th quarter.
AVP then became the back-up QB by default in 1997 after Billy Joe Hobert famously forgot to read the playbook and was subsequently released. After that, the rest was history and Van Pelt earned his place on the roster for years to come. He started 8 games in 2001, going 2-6 after Rob Johnson went 1-7. (Wow that was a tough year, but does anyone remember that awesome Monday night win over Jacksonville? Anyone? Bueller? Oh forget it.)
Yet despite an awful stat line and his eventual downfall as both the future Buffalo Bills color-man and offensive coordinator, I will always have a place in my heart for AVP. This is most likely because his initials are eerily similar to one of the best professional wrestlers of all time, and serve as a great excuse to display the picture below. ARE YOU TALKING TO ME?
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