After seeing this meme, a thought popped into my mind: "If Brett Favre was a character in Bang!, he would be Calamity Janet."
Calamity Janet is a character in the popular card game, Bang!, who can use "Bang!" cards as "Missed!" cards and vice versa. She is still subject to "Bang!" limitations: If she plays a Missed! card as a "Bang!", she cannot play another "Bang!" card that turn (unless she has a Volcanic in play). (4 life points)
Why would I say this? Well in Brett Favre's mind, TD's and Interceptions are interchangeable, and that is why he leads the NFL in both categories. In the same way, Calamity Janet can interchange the use of her bang and miss cards.
This got me thinking about all the current 32 quarterbacks in the league and who they would be if there were characters from the card game Bang!.
Arizona Cardinals: Kevin Kolb (Vulture Sam) whenever a character is eliminated from the game, Sam takes all the cards that player had in his hand and in play, and adds them to his hand. (4 life points)
Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick, and John Skelton were all starting quarterbacks that had to get hurt in order for Kevin Kolb to start. This make him the classic Vulture Sam. When the QB goes down, Kolb puts down the clipboard and finds his helmet.
Arriving in Atlanta with little talent around him, Matt Ryan has seen steady weapon upgrades until the Falcons ran out of draft picks to trade. Management has done well trading in their blue cards for key pieces like Michael Turner and Julio Jones. Now with nothing left to trade, can Matt Ryan take his team further into the playoffs?
Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco (Molly Stark) Each time she uses a card from her hand out of turn, she draws a card. (4 life points)
Nothing is more annoying that someone drawing out of turn, and that's exactly what Molly Stark's power entails. In the same way, Joe Flacco has been running his mouth out of turn. Seriously, best quarterback in the league?! I would say top 15 if he's lucky. Even Eli just put himself in the top 5, and that was well after he had won his first ring and took home a second ring to boot.
Buffalo Bills: Ryan Fitzpatrick (Pedro Ramirez) During phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the top of the discard pile or from the deck. Then he draws the second card from the deck. (4 life points)
Getting to pick from the discard pile might be seem like an advantage at first, kind of like going to Harvard and having the whole league underestimate you. But soon the rest of the league figures you out and the only advantage you are getting is drawing from the junk heap.
Carolina Panthers: Cam Newton (Slab the Killer) Players trying to cancel his BANG! cards need to play 2 Missed!. The Barrel effect, if successfully used, only counts as one Missed! (4 life points)
Cam can hurt you in on the ground and through the airs, and defenses better be ready to stop both. Just like Slab the Killer, opponents better have two misses in their hand if they want to survive his attack. When you choose Slab, you get a huge target on your back and Cam has the same target.
Chicago Bears: Jay Cutler (Black Jack) During phase 1 of his turn, he must show the second card he draws: if it's a Heart or Diamond, he draws one additional card that turn (without revealing it). (4 life points)
Jay Cutler loves to gamble and sometimes that means coming up empty. Black Jack hits 50% of the time, and it is safe to say that's about the same success rate as Jay Cutler. There are days he wins big and there are days you wish he never came to work.
Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton (Madam Yto) Each time a BEER card is played, she immediately draws a card. (4 life points)
Andy Dalton has been flying under the radar his entire career, starting with dominating college football for a non-BCS school and never getting the credit he deserved. Now in the NFL it's no different. While people focus on big names like RG3, Andrew Luck, and Cam Newton, Andy keeps improving and getting back his life points under the radar.
Cleveland Browns: Brandon Weeden (Jesse Jones) During phase 1 of his turn, he may choose to draw the first card from the deck, or randomly from the hand of any other player. Then he draws the second card from the deck. (4 life points)
Getting labeled as a man with potential at 28 is like stealing youth, in the same way Jesse Jones has the ability to steal a card from another player every turn. Brandon Weeden also had the worse first start in NFL history, yet there is little to no chatter about giving Colt McCoy another chance (who, by the way, is two years younger). If this isn't straight up robbery, I don't know what is.
Dallas Cowboys: Tony Romo (Rose Doolan) She is considered to have an Scope in play at all times; she sees the other players at a distance decreased by 1. If she has another real Scope in play, she can count both of them, reducing her distance to all other players by a total of 2. (4 life points)
Tony Romo has great accuracy and stats to die for, and clearly plays extremely hard in the first few months of the seasons, just like Rose Doolan has a great advantage early in the game. But as the game progresses, Rose's advantage seems to become less of a factor. In the same way, Romo has struggled in December and has had very little playoff success. He might have the ability and the stats, but will need to prove late season success before he can shake off the Rose Doolan connection.
Denver Broncos: Peyton Manning (Kit Carlson) During the phase 1 of his turn, he looks at the top three cards of the deck: he chooses 2 to draw, and puts the other one back on the top of the deck, face down.( 4 life points)
King of the audible, Peyton is always one step ahead of the defense. Kit Carlson's ability gives him the edge on getting better cards, and also setting up the next player in line. Peyton might have missed a season, but its only a matter of time before he starts reading the defenses and calling the right plays.
Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford (Pixie Pete) He draws 3 cards instead of 2. In the first edition of the expansion, Pixie Pete draws 4 cards. (3 life points)
Getting an additional draw card might be the biggest advantage in the game, and Matthew Stafford might have the most talented supporting cast and has the best WR in the game in Calvin Johnson. Like Pixie Pete, Matthew has one huge drawback and that is the amount of injuries he has experience, or in Pete's case, the lack of life points. The enemy knows that and will exploit that to their best ability.
Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers (Bart Cassidy) Each time he loses a life point, he immediately draws a card from the deck. (4 life points)
Rodgers thrives on 3rd down conversions, in the same way Bart gets additional ammunition when you take away his life points. Of course, it's never a good idea to wait till 3rd down to try to get that 1st down, but it's good to know that Aaron Rodgers has proven himself time and time again.
Houston Texans: Matt Schaub (Pat Brennan) Instead of drawing normally, he may draw only one card in play in front of any one player. (4 life points)
Matt's career has been up and down, and has really be dependent of those around him. Now that he finally has the weapons around him, like Pat Brennan, he is going to take full advantage of that. With Foster and Johnson to support Schaub, the rest of the league better take notice because the Texans are ready to play.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck (Paul Regret) He is considered to have a Mustang in play at all times; all other players must add 1 to the distance to him. If he has another real Mustang in play, he can count both of them, increasing all distance to him by a total of 2. (3 life points)
Growing up as the son of an NFL quarterback, Andrew Luck has had all the advantages. Some might say he had a leg up, or in Paul Regret's case a Mustang. Although only at the start of his career, Luck will have every edge of being the top pick of the draft, but eventually he will have to earn everything himself. That Mustang won't have much relevance once the big guns come out.
Jacksonville Jaguars: Blaine Gabbert (Jourdonnais) He is considered to have Barrel in play at all times; he can"draw!" when he is the target of a BANG!, and on a Heart he is missed. If he has another real Barrel card in play he can count both of them, giving him two chances to cancel the BANG! before playing a Missed! (4 life points)
Blaine Gabbert clearly has a guardian angel by his side. Or maybe he's just Jourdonnais with his human barrel drawing heart after heart. Blaine was statistically the worse quarterback of all time last year, yet he still has avoided being benched and seems to have the full trust of a bad organization. Lucky for him, MJD made it back for game one of this season.
Kansas City Chiefs: Matt Cassel (Tequila Joe) Each time he plays a Beer, he regains 2 life points instead of 1 (4 life points).
Matt Cassel has been on life support and lucky for him he is Tequila Joe. Getting chance after chance and even a huge pay day after subbing in for Tom Brady for a year. Matt Cassel has got twice the amount of chances other quarterbacks have been getting of late, or maybe he's just lucky no one in Kansas City can throw the ball.
Miami Dolphins: Ryan Tannehill (Lucky Duke) Each time he is required to "draw!", he flips the top two cards from the deck, and chooses the result he prefers. Discard both cards afterward. (4 life points)
Ryan Tannehill seems to always know what's coming. Not only was he well overrated in the draft after a poor season at Texas A&M. His old coach was fired and only to find a job as the offensive coordinator of a team that has questions at quarterback. That's like getting to flip two cards over to find a heart card to get out of jail. Ryan's luck just keeps coming, but eventually it will run out, or will it?
Minnesota Vikings: Christian Ponder (Herb Hunter) Each time another player is eliminated, he draws 2 extra cards. (4 life points)
Christian Ponder is another quarterback that took advantage of the fate of others. After the Brett Favre experiment blew up in the Vikings face and McNabb turned out to be totally washed up. In stepped rookie Christian Ponder!
New England Patriots: Tom Brady (Belle Star) During her turn, cards in play in front of other players have no effect. (4 life points)
Tom Brady has been playing the same way for over a decade now, and during that time none of his teammates have really stuck around. Every few years he has a new wide receiver and another set of running backs. It doesn't really matter what you put in front of him, his results remain solid and his team just keeps on winning.
New Orleans Saints: Drew Brees (Willy the Kid) He can play any number of "Bang!" cards. (4 life points)
Drew Brees is always ready to pull the trigger again. It takes many complete passes to break the season record for passing yards. If you give Drew the opportunity he will go out and unload on your defense, in the same way Willy the Kid could end your turn on his first turn.
New York Giants: Eli Manning (Vera Custer) For a whole round, she gains the same ability of another character in play of her choice. (3 life points)
There is no quarterback that plays up or plays down to the competition more than Eli Manning. In the same way Vera Custer is only going to be as good as the other players in the game. Eli Manning will always make things interesting, from throwing 25 interceptions to winning 2 Superbowls. In the end picking Vera Custer is never a boring round of BANG!
New York Jets: Mark Sanchez (Suzy Lafayette) = As soon as she has no cards in her hand, she draws a card from the draw pile. (4 life points)
Mark Sanchez seems to be out of luck in the city that has no patience, yet he just keeps getting second chances. You would think Tebow and a few weak starts would lead to a benching, but Sanchez still has the backing of his coach and team. No cards left? no problem...
Oakland Raiders: Carson Palmer (Elena Fuente) She may use any card as Missed!. (3 life points)
Carson Palmer has proven to have longevity in this league, what he has failed to do is win any meaningful games. Sometimes its just not good enough to stay alive in this league, eventually you will have to go on attack and always using cards as misses won't cut it.
Philadelphia Eagles: Michael Vick (Chuck Wengam) During his turn, he may choose to lose 1 life point to draw 2 cards. (4 life points)
High risk, high reward, that is how I would describe both Michael Vick and Chuck Wengam. Sometimes it means getting that much needed card or touchdown, or you might just end up with nothing good and bad fumble. The same people taking Vick in fantasy are the same one's willing to sacrifice a life point for two more cards.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Ben Roethlisberger (Bill Noface) He draws 1 card, plus 1 card for each wound he has. (4 life points)
For some quarterbacks seem to wilt under the physical toll of a long game, Big Ben seems to only get stronger where other players wear out. Bill Noface's ability to draw an extra card for every missing life point is exactly how defenses must feel when they have their arms draped over Roethlisberger in the forth quarter to only see him complete a big pass.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers (Doc Holyday) Once during his turn, he may discard 2 cards from the hand to shoot a Bang!. (4 life points)
Always has the ability to shoot an opponent, but as the game goes on the cost of a desperate BANG! might just be too high, especially if your short on cards. Rivers has always proven to be a successful regular season player, but when things get tight in the post season, he usually come up empty.
San Francisco 49ers: Alex Smith (El Gringo) Each time he loses a life point due to a card played by another player, he draws a random card from the hands of that player (one card for each life). If the player has no more cards, he does not draw. (3 life points)
As an opponent, there is nothing more annoying to see a sub par quarterback continue to find success in this league. Alex is a game manager, nothing more, but he doesn't put his team in a bad position and before you know it, you are losing in the 4th quarter and can't score on the Niners' defense. Don't sleep on Alex though, with his new coach he seems to be connecting with Vernon Davis for touchdowns every week.
Seattle Seahawks: Russell Wilson (Sid Ketchum) At any time, he may discard 2 cards from his hand to regain one life point. If he is willing and able, he can use this ability more than once at a time. (4 life points)
Russell has given up one big advantage in life, and that is his height. In the same way Sid Ketchum can give up cards to gain back life points. Although Russell should have been passed up on, he just keeps coming back and proving us wrong.
St. Louis Rams: Sam Bradford (Apache Kid) Cards of Diamond played by other players do not affect him. (3 life points)
Alright, I admit it, I am clearly racist on this one. But to be fair this was way too easy of a pick, with Sam being part Native American and from Oklahoma too, he is obviously Apache Kid. Also with the way his career is going, it is clear Bradford is only good 1/4 of the time, just like Apache Kid's ability. Let's just hope next year the defenses is playing a diamond card.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Josh Freeman (Sean Mallory) He may hold in his hand up to 10 cards. In the first edition of the expansion, he had no limit at all to the cards in his hand. (3 life points)
The possibilities are endless when there isn't a limit to the amount of cards you can have. In the same way, that is like Josh Freeman's potential. Yet potential doesn't always lead to results, and we have seen Josh succeed and fail in his short career. In the same way, playing as Sean Mallory could being a huge advantage, or no advantage at all.
Tennessee Titans: Jake Locker (Greg Digger) Each time another player is eliminated, he regains 2 life points. (4 life points)
Jake Locker is an opportunist, just like Greg Digger. It took the mismanagement of Vince Young and the injury of Matt Hasselback for Jake to get the start. Jake Locker thrives in the chaos of failure, I guess that explains how he survived playing for the University of Washington for 4 years.
Washington Redskins: Robert Griffin III (Big Spencer) He starts with 5 cards. He cannot play Missed! cards. (9 life points)
New character from one of the more recent expansions brings whole new dynamic to the game. In the same way RG3 is doing exactly that to the NFL. With a fast start and advantages like accuracy with mobility is just like starting a game with 5 cards and 9 life points. The question is, how long can RG3 continue to take the hits he took in week 3 before he regrets having no misses.
Let me know what you think and if other characters are better fits for any of the starting QBs in the league!
Photos courtesy of Getty images, Bang!, and NFL.com