A Twitter user named simply "BRB" threw the website into a frenzy on Thursday when they tweeted out a photo of an index card with the names of 38 quarterbacks on it.
— BRB (@NadsNotNerbs) June 13, 2019
As you can see, each quarterback has at least one tally next to it. Philip Rivers leads the way with five while "Tono" Romo, Cam Newton and Eli Manning all have four. The mystery is trying to figure out what the hell these tallies mean.
There are very well known quarterbacks on this list, such as Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger and Peyton Manning. But then this person just throws everyone for a complete loop by tossing in a vertically written Tyler Palko. Palko has only played in eight career games. What could he have possibily done to land on this list?
I wish I never saw this, please help https://t.co/XeyTWo44po
— Trill Withers (@TylerIAm) June 13, 2019
Also, how did Palko make this list but someone like Aaron Rodgers didn't? What about Russell Wilson? NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.
The years don't even add up, either. Palko's final season was in 2011 and Teddy Bridgewater didn't enter the league until 2014. What was worth keeping track of between all these years?
Before we dive into some theories, here are some important numbers to know.
Interceptions thrown to a player?
An interesting theory had to do with interceptions thrown to a single player. The low tally markers make sense, as does the fact there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the quarterbacks listed. Charles Woodson fits well in theory as he has 65 career interceptions. Could it fit? No other players with 65-plus career interceptions played in the same period as these quarterbacks.
The easiest way to go about this is to check Palko's stats. He has such a small footprint in NFL history, so his numbers are the easiest to look up. Unfortunately, out of Palko's seven career interceptions, none was to Woodson.
Sacks on a quarterback?
Similar to the theory above, this also makes sense. And also similarly, we'll work backward from Palko. The former Chiefs quarterback was sacked 13 times in his career. Since he only has one tally, we should only look at players who have one career sack on Palko.
The only player to have sacked Palko once and have 65-plus career sacks is Andre Carter. But Carter retired in 2013, and Bridgewater entered the league in 2014. Another dead end.
Number of kids?
Immediately when you see the five next to Rivers' name, you remember he has a lot of kids. Could the tallies reflect that?
What year is it from? Phillip Rivers has 5, which is more than everyone else, so it could be children.
— Dan Harrington (@__hoss) June 13, 2019
Tim Tebow never had sex so it can’t be true
— JD (@JaydeeDormini) June 13, 2019
We have an answer
The retired guy has been contacted: each tally signified every time a QB leads the league in interceptons or general awfulness- a award they gave from 2011-2015 called "The Jake" named after Browns legend Jake Delhomme. PMT might have to bring it back https://t.co/ZjWE1lHNNp pic.twitter.com/L0Hal5HqoN
— PFTCommenter (@PFTCommenter) June 13, 2019
Sorry to drag you through all of the theories, but you had to suffer like the rest of us.
This explanation actually makes sense. No one on the list retired before 2011 and no one was drafted after 2014, so the time range fits perfectly. And if you count each season (2011-12, 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15) you end up with four seasons. Multiply four seasons by 16 games and you get 64 games, just one short of how many tallies there are on the list. But the extra tally can be explained.
The award was named “The Jake” after Browns legend Jake Delhomme to commemorate his 4 INT playoff game on his own birthday. This group of fans decided they would honor each weekly loser based on their poor play with bonus points being given to a player if his bad game happened to fall on his own birthday. The award then lived on Fark.com lure for years and years.
So it seems one quarterback during this time frame earned extra points for earning the award on their birthday. It's too much work to figure out which one, but the rules make it easy to assume that's the case here.
This also explains why there's no Rodgers or Wilson on the list (as they throw few interceptions). And also why we see so many random quarterbacks (John Skelton, Christian Ponder, EJ Manuel) on it.
The only question remaining is why were these quarterbacks put in this order? Considering the data goes back to 2011, why is Palko (who never played again after that year) written sideways, seemingly as a last thought? And why is Bridgewater (one of the newer QBs) in the first column? We may never know, but enough other facts line up to make this theory make sense.