Dear Mavs: FREE RODDY B!
by Mike Fisher    Wed, Mar 24, 2010, 10:17 AM
Our girl Gina Miller asked Celtics coach Doc Rivers about the Dallas fan base’s love of Roddy Beaubois. Gina says Doc “put it best’’ when he responded with a football analogy.  

    "The backup quarterback,’’ Rivers said, “is always the team's best player.’’

    With respect to Gina and to Doc and in the names of Steve DeBerg and Gary Kubiak, in the names of Steve Young and Steve Bono, and in the names of Babe Laufenberg, Steve Walsh, Steve Beuerlein, Jason Garrett, Bernie Kosar, Rodney Peete and Wade Wilson …

    No. That is not “putting it best’’ because Roddy B’s situation is not like the situation of any backup quarterback I ever covered.

    Play along with me here …

    I covered Elway in Denver as a beat writer from his rookie season of 1983 to 1987. In Elway’s first season, the veteran DeBerg earned some playing time … but Elway was the quarterback of record for a team that went 9-7 and qualified for the playoffs. Were there fans and media hooting for DeBerg to play more at the expense of Elway?


    Eventually, fellow rookie Kubiak became John’s caddie. Was Kubiak ever considered “the Broncos’ best player’’?


    I covered Joe Montana in San Francisco as a beat writer in 1988 and 1989. Bono was on those teams, but mostly, Steve Young was on those teams … Super Bowl teams.

    Were there fans and media hooting for Young to play more at the expense of Montana?

     Yes. Of course, that’s because fans and media recognized that the club might benefit from shifting gears from an aging Montana to the gifted Young, and because they recognized that both men were Hall-of-Famers.

    I covered Aikman in Dallas as a beat writer starting in 1990. Was there ever anybody who thought any of his competent backups should be involved with him in a QB controversy?

    Yes. Skip Bayless. Do you think he counts?

    Are you getting the picture? Roddy Beaubois is not involved in a “QB controversy’’ with a Hall-of-Famer just as non-HOF’ers DeBerg, Kubiak, Bono, Laufenberg, Walsh, Beuerlein, Garrett, Kosar, Peete and Wilson were not. Doc Rivers is making it sound like foolish sheep Dallas Basketball followers are fanning the flames of a movement to play Roddy Beaubois in place of somebody who is Elway/Montana/Aikman … like Jason Kidd.

    This isn’t a controversy focused on FREEING RODDY B at the expense of Kidd.

    This is a debate about whether Roddy B should:

    *Be viewed by virtually all observers -- when he plays -- as a precocious and unusual talent

    *Be on a team that’s played 70 games

    *Be DNP’ed 25 times in those 70 games.

    *Be given fewer than three minutes in games 10 other times. …

    Meaning he’s been a Rookie-of-the-Year-level performer in a full and exact half of Dallas' games. ...

    And been a non-rotation player in a full and exact half of Dallas’ games.

    This isn’t Montana vs. Young.

    It’s not even Roddy B vs. Kidd.

    This is about a potential difference-maker who – for reasons that Rick Carlisle is in charge of knowing – is rendered invisible in 50 percent of his team’s games because the Mavs opt to play other backup players instead.

    A debate over the “team’s best player’’? Nah. Though I know what Doc was trying to say there – when a QB throws an interception, some fans are ready for fresh meat – French Cuffs’ situation isn’t about that.

    So Gina’s a little off-the-mark and Doc is way off the mark, at least as far as my professional football understanding goes.

    This particular “backup quarterback,’’ Roddy Beaubois, isn’t the team’s best player. He is, however, impactful enough, and employed by a team needy enough, that the Mavs must quit being ball-and-chaining him with any more DNP’s.

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