In order to get you though the drudgery of the off-season, we here at KSK are cranking up the nostalgia machine, and looking at some of the backup quarterbacks who have been lost to the ages. Today, we focus on former Colts and Giants backup Jim Sorgi.
One underrated tradition of the NFL draft is the highly touted quarterback who falls into the black hole. There’s some guy who’s been buzzed about for months, you pictured him on your team, and then he falls into the 4th or 5th round. If that weren’t enough, he gets taken by a team where he has no chance of ever playing. Last year, it was Ryan Nassib, and to a lesser extent, Landry Jones It has to suck being drafted by a team that’s had the same QB for the past decade, and has no intent to change that. Instead of being a team’s potential savor, they get stuck holding clipboards for a perennial pro-Bowler their entire career. Where am I going with this? No one exemplified this role better than Jim Sorgi.
For six glorious years, he was the NFL’s consummate backup QB. With Peyton Manning never getting hurt – not until Sorgi left anyway – and the Colts never having any reason to ever consider benching him, Sorgi was basically the platonic ideal of a backup QB. The only time we ever saw him was in the last game of the season, when the Colts already had their playoff spot locked up. And even then, with Peyton wanting to keep his consecutive games started streak alive, Sorgi wouldn’t come in until the second drive. Basically, the last game of the Colts season was an extra preseason game. And Sorgi would shine in it.
Seriously, his career numbers are actually pretty good. Between 2004 and 2008, he threw six touchdowns to just one interception, and his career passer rating was 89.9. Granted, he did almost all of this in meaningless games against third-stringers. But still, Sorgi was quite good at not humiliating himself in games where the outcome was irrelevant. If you don’t consider that a valuable skill, consider the horrific career of his successor, Curtis Painter. Remember when Jim Caldwell took the starters out at halftime against the Jets when the team had a chance to go 15-0, and Painter fucked things up royally? Sorgi would have totally kept that lead. And he would have beat the Bills the week after, too. Am I seriously suggesting that Jim Sorgi’s torn labrum injury in December 2009 prevented an undefeated season from happening? Actually, yes I am. Fuck Curtis Painter.
Anyway, Sorgi spent one more year with the Giants, so he gets the distinction of having backed up both Manning brothers. These days he’s an announcer with the Colts radio broadcast team. Also, going back to his college days, he was choked Homer Simpson-style by an Ohio State player, and there’s an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to it. If you’re looking for a band name, you could do a lot worse than The Reynolds-Sorgi incident. I could totally see them opening for The Hold Steady.