|03-03-2007, 08:22 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2006
Good article on Plummer
Jake gave us memories to treasure, forget
Scott Bordow, Tribune
Jake Plummer always has been a Saturday-morning-at-the-park kind of guy. Draw up pass patterns in the dirt, count to five-Mississippi and have a few beers afterward.
He loved playing football. It evoked his gift for improvisation and fed his competitive nature, much like the athletic competitions he had with his older brothers in the woods of Idaho as a kid.
But Plummer never was in love with the NFL. Sure, the job paid well and the perks were nice, but there was only one day of the week that truly mattered to him: Sunday.
He endured the rest of it — the endless meetings, the practices, the media, even the fame — because the games were still so much fun.
Once that thrill was gone, he was going to be gone.
It’s no great surprise, then, that Plummer, 32, reportedly has retired rather than accept a trade from the Denver Broncos to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Plummer never was going to be content holding a clipboard while somebody else took the snaps. Not because he was jealous. Because he would have been bored stiff.
Now, Plummer’s retirement isn’t official, and some folks around the NFL believe he still wants to play, just not in Tampa Bay.
But if this is a ruse, why would his mother, Marilyn, and other family members tell reporters Friday that Plummer has retired? One would presume they’d stay quiet if Plummer simply was trying to force Denver to trade him to a team on his wish list, like the Houston Texans.
No, this seems genuine.
Plummer has put in 10 years of work in the NFL. He’s been dating the same woman — a Broncos cheerleader — for the past two years, and he doesn’t want to move again, particularly to the East Coast.
He’s also, undoubtedly, thinking about Pat Tillman.
Plummer and Tillman were close friends. Marilyn told the Denver Post that Plummer used to say, “I wonder what Pat would have done next.”
Plummer was different from Tillman in that he wouldn’t give up the adrenaline rush he got on Sundays. It still meant too much to him.
But once he knew he was going to be relegated to second string, he had to start thinking about the future. And to those who will criticize him, saying his ego couldn’t handle the demotion, know this: He would have made $5.3 million as a backup next season.
How many athletes could walk away from that kind of money?
Plummer’s NFL career will be viewed as a disappointment. He had the same number of interceptions (161) as touchdowns and never could find a cure for the brain cramps that afflicted his game. Remember the left-handed pass in Denver? Or the behind-his-back flip to Cardinals running back Marcel Shipp in 2002?
Around here, however, it’s impossible to think of Plummer in black-and-white terms. Yes, he was the interception-prone quarterback that made the same mistakes year after year and then foolishly lashed out at his critics, including the fans.
But he was also the quarterback who guided the Cardinals to their only playoff victory in 51 years. Considering the depths to which the franchise has again sunk, that 1998 season seems like a magic carpet ride. For that alone, there should always be a soft spot in the hearts of Cardinals fans for Plummer.
As the years pass, however, it won’t be the Sundays we’ll remember Jake for. It will be the Saturdays.
Quite simply, he was one of the most enthralling figures ever to wear a Sun Devil uniform. The way he played, scrambling here and there, using his legs and head to win games as much as his right arm, was beautiful to watch.
Who can forget the game against UCLA in 1996, when he threw a touchdown pass, ran for a touchdown and caught a TD pass from tailback J.R. Redmond? Or the Rose Bowl just 10 weeks later, when he eluded Ohio State linebacker Andy Katzenmoyer to score what appeared to be the game-winning touchdown with 100 seconds left?
If Tillman was the heart and soul of that team, Plummer was its spirit. The guy, who as a freshman, entertained teammates by dancing the funky chicken — naked.
Don’t expect to see much of Plummer in the next few years. He won’t pop up on ESPN or the NFL Network. He won’t have his own radio talk show.
He’ll probably disappear into the woods somewhere and figure out what he wants to do with his life.
Whatever it is, we wish him well.
He gave Valley football fans a lot of headaches over the years.
But he also gave them memories they’ll treasure forever.
|03-03-2007, 09:14 PM||#2|
It is what it Is.
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: in a bunker
I really like Jake Plummer the man and wish things had worked out better for him in Denver. He gamely tried to tone back his improvising for Shanahan and he set his gun slinger style on the shelf. God Bless you Jake and thanks for leaving 100% of your heart on the field every single game you played in a Denver uniform. I am sure your team mates will remember you for years. Enjoy the mountains and your millions.
I enjoyed you time here in Denver and regret it ended so badly for you.
Last edited by baja; 03-03-2007 at 09:20 PM..
|03-03-2007, 09:20 PM||#3|
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Backside of the Internet
Tough crowd to be posting an article that says good things about Plummer.