I don’t know what gunslinger means to you. No doubt ESPN put it in your head that it means something like what Brett Favre was: reckless, gambler, a guy with a big arm and loads of confidence. Maybe it means that, who am I to dislodge ESPN’s cultural dominance? I tend to think of a gunslinger in the (fictional) Old West mold: One guy, one gun, against all the bad guys.
I remember guys like Jeff George, and Vinny Tesdaverde and even a little Dan Marino. Mostly Dan Marino though. The Dolphin teams he played with toward the end of his career were all kinds of awful, and they relied on solely on #13’s ability to throw the ball. Did that make him a gunslinger? I don’t know. But I thought it was cool. One man. One arm. Against all the bad guys.
Maybe all those movies have warped my brain to love those situations. Allen Iverson, one man team vs the defending champion LA Lakers? Yes, please. T-Mac leading a cast of No-Names to the playoffs (and then losing)? Sign me up. I’m a fan. First Edition LeBron James scoring 25 straight points against the Pistons? IN.
<div class="pullquote">One man. One Arm. Against all the Bad Guys.</div>
Taylor Heinicke is a gunslinger. I think. Depending on what we think it means. If it means the Dan Marino-type, the Allen Iverson-type*, the one-man-band type, then yes he is a gunslinger.
*Yes, I realize the hilarity in comparing the two vastly different personalities. But stay with me.
That isn’t to knock the ODU squad. Antonio Vaughn had get wide open to catch those three scores from Heinicke. But MTSU walked up and down the field on ODU and the early interception by Heinicke kind of strengthens my point here. They go as he goes, because there isn’t much else that is fully FBS around him. It is a beautiful struggle, my friends. I will watch every ODU game to see it played out one more time because I’m a sucker for a gunslinger.
He will fail. He will throw picks. He will get sacked six or seven times. He’ll also throw for 362 yards and four scores. And everything will be fun. I mean, who cares if Allen Iverson’s 76ers got back-door swept v the Lakers? I mostly remember that year because of this.
ODU likely won’t win the conference title. They likely will end the season somewhere in the middle of the pack, Taylor Heinicke will be praised but with a kind of dismissive wink by people who didn’t watch the games. You know where I’ll be. Watching my fave CUSA gunslinger.