The abysmally untalented vat of Cleveland Browns quarterbacks since 1999, starring Tim Couch, Spergon Wynn, and Colt McCoy, will forever live on in the annals of NFL Draft history. It’s been so bad that we recently explored unorthodox quarterback options for the 2016 Cleveland Browns in hopes of altering the atrociously unlucky status quo.
Browns fans, as much suffering as they’ve endured, continue to ask where this misfortune came from – considering they’ve had roughly 19 quarterback starters since 1999, during which time the Packers have contrastingly had only three quarterbacks start in 229 regular-season games (Brett Favre with 144, Aaron Rodgers with 83, and Matt Flynn with two). Naturally, we took a peak at history’s records and see one choice and decision that shattered Cleveland’s future karma. A curse that now has fans like..
Turn back the clock to the early 1950s, when times were simpler and Bobby Garrett was a lightning-bolt, All-American quarterback at Stanford. Think Andrew Luck before there was even a John Elway. The first in a line of great Cardinal-produced NFL quarterbacks (Jim Plunkett, Elway, Luck, even John Brodie, in no particular order), Garrett was a collegiate stud who seemed perfect for a Cleveland squad looking to replace an aging future-hall-of-fame Otto Graham (the Cleveland Browns’ career leader in passing touchdowns). This was a homerun-hit selection – big school quarterback, big school numbers, new school style.
The tidbit here is that there wasn’t a ton of scouting back then, which made the chances of picking the unlucky bust ball even more likely. The Browns would take Garrett first overall in the 1954 draft.
Then came training camp, when fittingly named Browns coach Paul Brown saw his new quarterback for the first time. He could throw the ball and play the game of football, but what Garrett lacked was the ability to call plays in the huddle.. Garrett had a stutter. The impatient and apparently frustrated Brown quickly traded his top pick to the Green Bay Packers, who for some reason did not ask why Brown was willing to part with his seemingly talented newcomer. Packers fans reacted accordingly..
As Green Bay fullback Fred Cone told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. “He stuttered. He couldn’t get the plays out in the huddle. We had to crack him on the back so he could spit out the play. He couldn’t say words that started with an ‘s,’ like split left or split right.”
In seems like in Billy Madison fashion, Paul Brown was screaming t-t-t-today Junior every time Bobby Garrett was attempting a verbal formation formulation. In haste, Brown ruthlessly handed his quarterback over to Green Bay, where the Packers would quickly learn of the secret.
Bobby Garrett would only play nine games in the NFL.
Cover photo: mental_floss