Two of my favorite mediocre movies of all time are The Replacements and Point Break. They serve as two of the most reliably re-watchable movies that ever come on cable and serve as a reminder of the last time that Gary Busey was actually considered somewhat sane and as a marker for when Gene Hackman’s career officially jumped the shark. Believe me, that is tough for me to say about the man that immortalized Coach Norman Dale. However they also hold something else in common. They both feature Keanu Reeves portraying two different former Ohio State Buckeye quarterbacks. It is by far one of the more bizarre yet enjoyable movie related facts that I love. Which is why I am surprised that I have spent almost three months working on an Ohio State blog and I have yet to do a full breakdown of the two fictional Buckeye quarterbacks and make the call of who is the best fictional Buckeye quarterback of all time. So without further ado……
Shane Falco (The Replacements)
By all accounts Shane Falco was one of the most talented quarterbacks in all of college football. A rocket arm, above average mobility, and an ah-shucks leadership quality that would make Brett Favre jealous. His achilles heel ended up being a confidence shaking Sugar Bowl loss to end his college career. Shaken to his core he was still drafted, but was about as stable as Ryan Leaf as a rookie. He quickly washed out of the league until the fictional football league went on strike and Gene Hackman was convinced he could salvage a few games out of the head case.
Official IMDB Profile – Quarterback for the Washington Sentinels, #16. Played college football for
Ohio State University. Lost the 1996 Sugar Bowl by 45 points to the Florida State Seminoles. Nicknamed “Footsteps Falco”. Drafted professionally by Seattle and played one year before playing during the players strike. Lives on a houseboat and scrapes hulls of boats for a living.
Football Highlight in the Movie – In the defining game of the movie, Nigel “the leg” admits he succumbed to his bookie friends and was about to throw the game. To save him Falco takes the snap and runs an impromptu fake field goal in which he runs approximately 25 yards while breaking 2-3 open field tackles from linebackers and d-linemen, then leaps into the end zone helicoptering John Elway style for the score. This would have been a great ending, but is called back due to a holding call. The following play did actually win the game, but was nowhere near as impressive.
Best Quote in the Movie – “I wish I could say something classy or inspirational, but that just wouldn’t be our style.” (I’m honestly not sure if that was the character’s actual line or just something the filmmakers caught Keanu saying by mistake, either way it worked for the movie.)
Johnny Utah (Point Break)
With Point Break being more of a cops and robbers movie that served as the obvious inspiration for Fast and the Furious, than it was a sports movie, we only have a small amount of info about Johnny’s football playing career. What we know for sure is that he had a solid college career only to be derailed by a horrific Willis McGahee style knee injury during the final quarter of a Rose Bowl victory his senior year. Two years of surgery later he had officially missed his window to be a pro quarterback. So he decides to go to law school and eventually lands in law enforcement with the FBI and is inserted into a high profile robbery investigation as an undercover agent. Because you always want the lead investigator to be someone that is massively recognizable. There isn’t an official IMDB or Wiki profile specifically for the character Johnny Utah. But I promise you; with as many times as I’ve seen this movie, you’ve just read all you need to know about the man’s college career.
Football Highlight of the Movie – Again, since the movie doesn’t revolve around football there is little to choose from. But this beach football scene is where it’s at. Just as Johnny is integrating into the gang of bank robbers he finds himself picking apart the defense as QB, but after being sacked by Bodhi he needs to establish some toughness. So as Bodhi is racing for a touchdown Utah barrels through roughly 5 blocks and tracks him down only to go sprawling into the ocean. Only to avoid getting his ass kicked by the rest of the gang when Bodhi lets them all know that he is in fact Johnny Utah. Again, great job putting the highest profile guy in the FBI on this case. Shaq wasn’t available?
Best Quote of the Movie – “I AM AN FBI AGENT…I SHIT YOU NOT!!!” (Forget best lines of the movie, this quite frankly may be my favorite movie quote of all time. I defy anyone to watch this movie and not laugh hysterically when it happens.)
By all accounts both characters were considered top notch college signal callers with pro potential. To me the decision as to who the better QB is comes down to what always matters when evaluating the position. Wins and losses. While Falco was able to make a comeback and lead the Sentinels to the playoffs he folded under the pressure Steve Bellisari style while wearing the scarlet and grey and took a 40 plus point beating in a bowl game. Johnny Utah was lights out leading the Buckeyes to a Rose Bowl victory against USC. So much so that even though he was injured in the final quarter Ohio State still rolled to the win. He didn’t get the chance to shine in the pros but as Bodhi says and eventually finds out, on the shores of Australia, Johnny Utah always gets his man.
In the battle of Falco vs. Utah. Who do you got? Find me twitter and let me know @hewls