Pregame locker room is the scene as seventy-plus overgrown children display nervous energy in a variety of manners.
Linebackers are normally punching walls, eating nails, or angrily discussing game-time ill intentions with fellow evildoers.
Linemen are putting on finishing touches of unnecessary eye black while skill players are repeatedly looking at themselves in a mirror in order to ensure that their limitless number of sweatbands and towels are all in proper order.
And there he is; all alone in a corner is the solitary starting quarterback.
Much like a baseball pitcher in the middle of a no-hitter or a point guard during a double digit assist game, teammates are often uncertain or confused in how to communicate with the one player with the most on his plate. The eyes are said to be the gateway to the soul. I’m not quite sure I understand what that means. However, the pregame eyes of a quarterback can act as a level of play predictor.
The following are three types ascertained quarterback stares:
The 100-Yard Stare
You’ve seen it before. The 100-yard stare is a look of confidence and internal euphoria. During this state of mind, miniscule passing lanes that open and close within a millisecond take on the appearance of the Grand Canyon. The football grips particularly well and sounds like a rocket after leaving the self-assured passer’s hand. Every audible has a positive return on investment. The 100-Yard Stare QB is in total and complete control of his team, offense, stadium, and game. The look is not permanent as it can quickly turn south. Verbal or non-verbal announcements of being in the zone are highly prohibited. You see, the 100-yard stare is rare. The great ones possess this look often. The good ones enjoy these moments occasionally. The average ones may experience the 100-Yard Stare once or twice in a career.
Quarterbacks are red-hot in the running game by making proper calls and throw for a high completion percentage. In doing such, he puts his team in a position to win or wins games by a significant margin. In other words, it’s raining touchdowns for the good guys. There is little to no error in his game.
Facial expressions may vary. For many, the 100-Yard Stare is a stoic look of accomplishment with a twinge of eagerness to re-take the field while on the sidelines. But it’s important to note, the eagerness is disguised behind a calm and controlled presence. Teammates, coaches, and fans love this look. This look is good.
The Bingo Stare
The most dreaded word on the football field for a quarterback is “Bingo”. Bingo is a term that is screamed by defensive players once they have intercepted the football. Quarterbacks that assist defenders in frequent using this word can best be described as having the Bingo Stare. Throwing interceptions can be equated to eating only one slice of pizza. We all say we can stop after one, but rarely does that speak to reality.
Bingo Stared quarterbacks suffer from a lack of eye contact with coaches and teammates. Often seen mumbling the words, “I’ll be alright” or “I got this” present a false sense of confidence and hope. Truth is, there is no confidence. There is no hope. In addition, the Bingo QB is often the last offensive player to walk into the huddle following a change of possession. Just like the 100-Yard Stare, teammates can easily detect the Bingo Stare and at times call out the miserable. Results are bad, really bad. Teammates try their best to not hate you, but they do. Fans, friends, family and coaches all pile onto the desolation. Worst case scenario is for the Bingo Stare to last multiple games.
The Lima Lima Mike Foxtrot Stare
Lima Lima Mike Foxtrot is a military phrase that refers to being extremely, extremely lost. I’m talking reading the map upside down lost. The same term can be used in describing ill-prepared quarterbacks. Frequently, LLFM is used in describing rookie play or in some cases, upper classmen that are totally unprepared. Most frequently, LLMF’ers are unexpectedly thrust into game action.
Lima Lima Mike Foxtrot symptoms and results are preventable. Adequate experience and paying attention to detail in practice are proper precautions. Quarterbacks that suffer from this affliction often appear fidgety with their mouthpieces glued to the top of their mouths due to uneasiness or nervousness. LLMF sufferers are in complete disarray while misunderstanding the playbook and often invoke delay of game penalties. In order to not get their names called, they also often hide in the back of the room or sideline.
So there you have it. Three stares, three distinct sets of symptoms and results.