Alicia Sacramone and Brady Quinn: Inspirations from the Bench

Rocky SamuelsCorrespondent IIDecember 9, 2011

Alicia Sacramone got naked for ESPN, but she bares her soul to a certain quarterback for the Denver Broncos; he is both a committed Christian and devilishly handsome. No, not that quarterback—we’re talking Brady Quinn here. 

Sacramone shares her boyfriend’s propensity for tweeting Bible verses, and she apparently doesn’t just admire his gun-slinging passes on the field—the two have taken romantic outings to a literal shooting range. 

(So far we have naked girls, religion, guns and football. I can’t help but smile as I imagine the motley crew of readership I have before me. Hopefully, you all will stick around.)

The Bible-tweeting no doubt inspires their religiously-inclined followers, but those scriptural passages have just as likely been therapeutic for the athletes sending the tweets; both Quinn and Sacramone have been at least momentarily sidelined in their respective careers.

Sacramone suffered a well-publicized Achilles injury during a training event earlier in the year. She bounced back from that injury with her trademark determination, and has continued to impress her physical therapists with her tireless efforts in rehab.

Quinn’s most dogged physical efforts have been relegated to the practice field. He has been kept in relative obscurity this year in Denver, hidden in the long shadow of Tim Tebow.Quinn is usually out of view, but he hasn’t felt lost (at least from what I can see).

Consider, for instance, Brady Quinn’s surprising appearance in a Tim Tebow interview. 

Tebow is earnest but he can also be monotonous, often laying out a laundry list of motivational clichés.  There was an intriguing moment, though, when Tebow was recounting a tense period in the Broncos' overtime win over the Vikings

The nerves had Tebow hiding his face in prayer, so he wasn’t watching the Vikings' field goal attempt to win the game. How, then, did he come to realize the Vikes had missed, giving the Broncos second life? “I looked up and Brady had his hands in the air cheering.”

Okay, think about that for a second.

Imagine that you had worked your tail off during a lockout-shortened preseason, shining enough in practice to have every analyst worth his salt calling you, and not a Florida Gator alumnus, the backup quarterback to Kyle Orton. 

And then imagine that when the season took an early nosedive, billboards went up for the other guy—the one who most experts had assumed was behind you in the depth chart. An Orton-Tebow debate subsequently rages across the sports nation and you become an afterthought.

As we continue with the thought experiment, try to think how you would feel eight weeks later, after that other quarterback had become one of the most polarizing athletes in NFL history, convincing his fans of greatness, and leaving his doubters flummoxed by his combination of inconsistent play and consistent wins. You, by this point, have continued to work diligently in practice, but have still not seen any front-and-center action in the games.

When it looked like that other quarterback was about to finally lose a game, wouldn’t there be a tiny part of you that would be wishing he would? Would you feel just enough of a twinge of jealousy that when the opponent’s field goal missed, your heart would sink just a little—just for a second? 

At the very least, wouldn’t you clap your hands for appearance's sake, instead of raising them in uninhibited and genuine exaltation?

We have an inspiring story on the Broncos team, and it’s not just Tim Tebow or any of the other overachievers on this fantastic, balanced squad.

When his girlfriend got hurt, Brady Quinn didn’t hesitate. He flew to be by her side. And fellas, you will appreciate this one: in Sacramone’s eyes, Quinn is no backup—he’s the man.

Most of us gruel it out in our day jobs, or in our studies, working hard in relative obscurity, often on the sidelines of obvious success. So let’s collectively raise our glasses (yes, we have nonalcoholic alternatives) and give a great big hearty cheers to Alicia Sacramone and Brady Quinn for showing class on the bench.  I have a feeling they won’t be there for long.