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Not only does Lorenzen play, he DOMINATES
February 4, 2014 9:26 AM   Subscribe

Jared Lorenzen briefly played backup quarterback in the NFL and became famous for his unusual size (for a quarterback). When videos of him dominating minor league arena football recently appeared online, SBNation tracked his entire fascinating post-NFL history in Jared Lorenzen: 300+ pound QB, American folk hero.
posted by mathowie (52 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
Didn't we just have a "Breaking Madden" post?

I kid. This is a great story, I read it earlier today and thought about putting it here. Thanks for posting it!
posted by nevercalm at 9:30 AM on February 4


Yeah, when I saw the last youtube video where he bowls over three defenders to score a touchdown, it definitely felt like Breaking Madden come to life.

It's just so great that something unusual about an athlete that gets them ridiculed and made fun of in one aspect of sports equals total domination in another format of the same sport. He is probably too slow for pro NFL, but he's amazing on the smaller arena football field as his drawbacks suddenly become an asset.
posted by mathowie at 9:32 AM on February 4


Didn't we just have a "Breaking Madden" post?

You joke, but Jon Bois says Lorenzen inspired BEEFTANK.

"truth: Lorenzen was an inspiration for BEEFTANK. his high school played mine in the 1998 Kentucky state championship.

my friends were just bouncing off him, trying to tackle him. he just ran whenever/wherever he wanted. we lost 56-7."
posted by gladly at 9:34 AM on February 4 [6 favorites]


I am the Jared Lorenzen of driveway basketball with my friends.
posted by mullacc at 9:42 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


i have nothing worthwhile to add to this but i still want to yell beeftank
posted by mhoye at 9:43 AM on February 4 [8 favorites]


The Pillsbury Throwboy? This guy has so many awesome nicknames.
posted by norm at 9:59 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


This guy and I have as many Super Bowl rings as Peyton Manning and Dan Marino combined. Take that, haters.
posted by Etrigan at 10:01 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


I used to love watching this guy play in the preseason when he was on the Giants. He is so unbelievably nimble for a guy his size.

PS - Battleship Lorenzen is the best nickname.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:01 AM on February 4


Jared is awesome. He is also an off-again-on-again QB/life coach with the Kentucky Wildcats, and does a ton of media appearances and mentoring stuff around the state.

He got short shift in the NFL playing behind Eli Manning, who the Giants spent a fortune in time, money and fan good will to strong arm into becoming a serviceable NFL quarterback, especially over his rocky first 3 seasons. Jared was a legit NFL passer coming out of Kentucky, and probably could have made an impact somewhere else with a chance to actually play.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:03 AM on February 4


Callback to last week; Breaking Madden isn't as funny when it comes to life and you've taken time to make guacamole and stock appropriate beverages and are sitting around with friends.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:10 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


I've hit a beeftank.

I played a game of pickup football in the middle of winter when I was at university and I was probably the oldest and least athletic guy there. There were track and field guys, football guys, weekend warriors, bodybuilders and me. So my team had me counting steamboats and shadowing the QB. Our rules were the QB couldn't rush unless I crossed the line of scrimmage. So I didn't. Until one play where the coverage was so good the QB wouldn't throw. He stopped even looking to throw and lowered his arm and just looked at me. Or, more accurately, looked way down at me because he was huge. Like 6'6" and probably 250lbs and not much of it fat.

Fuck it. I have a crazy streak and used to have a disregard for my own well being. I charged and threw myself at him and completely wrapped him up. I couldn't believe I had done it. Probably because I hadn't. I didn't stop him. I didn't even slow him down. He carried me about 30 yards for a touchdown before anyone on my team could even get to us.

However, he earned nothing from merely achieving what was expected. I on the other hand earned huge respect from guys on both sides of the ball who couldn't believe I had even tried to tackle him.

I also could barely move for about the next two weeks and never played tackle football again.
posted by srboisvert at 10:10 AM on February 4 [14 favorites]


Couple more Lorenzen nicknames:

J-Load
The Round Mound of Touchdown
The Abominable Throwman

But Pillsbury Throwboy is still the best.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:10 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


That's an amazing story. Love that kind of stuff....
posted by ph00dz at 10:15 AM on February 4


Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect.
posted by any major dude at 10:16 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


I remember flipping through the channels one day and watching Kentucky play someone. The guy behind center was this huge dude wearing #22. I immediately thought "they must have knocked out all the QBs and a fullback is playing QB for Kentucky." The QB drops back and rainbows a bomb to a receiver like he was Joe Montana. Wow! I looked him up. Sure enough he's the motherfucking starter! It was Jared Lorenzen.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:21 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Q.O.U.S.? I don't think they exist.
posted by Chuffy at 10:22 AM on February 4 [7 favorites]


He got short shift in the NFL playing behind Eli Manning, who the Giants spent a fortune in time, money and fan good will to strong arm into becoming a serviceable NFL quarterback, especially over his rocky first 3 seasons. Jared was a legit NFL passer coming out of Kentucky, and probably could have made an impact somewhere else with a chance to actually play.

Oh for pete's sake. The guy was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Giants for one season, which means each and every team in the league failed to select him between 6 and 12 times. He's a big ol' dude, but the NFL doesn't suffer any shortage of big ol' dudes, and he's not the sort of freak combination of size and speed that makes guys like Vince Wilfork or Jimmy Graham so terrifying.

Also, that third "rocky season" of Eli's (the one during which Jared was a member of the team, if you recall) ended with Eli hoisting the Super Bowl MVP trophy after defeating the consensus greatest team ever to lace up their cleats. So, yes, show some respect.
posted by Mayor West at 10:24 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Kentucky is the Fire Swamp.
posted by GrapeApiary at 10:24 AM on February 4


any major dude: "Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect."

Although Phil Simms and Lawrence Taylor and Frank Gifford might disagree.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:26 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


I can think of a few franchises that would disagree, too.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:28 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


That's right: in five months, he quit his job as GM of a team in a league, became that team's QB, became that league's MVP, and then was named its commissioner.

Now that's a breakout season. He's like the Mick Foley of semi-pro football.

He is probably too slow for pro NFL, but he's amazing on the smaller arena football field as his drawbacks suddenly become an asset.

I dunno, he seems to be a good pocket passer, with quick decision making skills and a powerful, accurate arm who excels at making something out of broken plays. He's quick enough to elude pressure - if anything, he might have happy feet: too quick to bail out of the pocket. Or maybe he's just showing off.

I don't doubt his unusual build denied him further opportunity in the NFL, though - GM's and coaches don't like short QB's, nevermind ones that look like a nose tackle. Given two QB's of equivalent skill, they'll take the conventional over the novel everytime.
posted by Slap*Happy at 10:28 AM on February 4


All I see is a guy with an 81.2 career passer rating just coming off a 27-INT season, who backed into two of the luckiest runs in NFL history, conveniently after his adoring fans spent years trying to run him out of town.

Although we'll all have to forever thank him for derailing 19-0, so for that I agree.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:30 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


His first MVP is still a joke, though. I hope he bought every member of his defensive line a house after that game.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:31 AM on February 4


The Pillsbury Throwboy? This guy has so many awesome nicknames.

I liked "Jamarcus Russell" the best.
posted by yerfatma at 10:50 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect.

No other NY QB will get respect until Broadway Joe's ceremonial cremation on a funeral barge on the Hudson with his 4000 fur coats.
posted by srboisvert at 10:52 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Oof, Eli Manning as anything more than a bit better than average is a stretch. However, those two Super Bowl wins were against good competition. There's a good article on Football Outsiders today looking at playoff quarterback performance and Eli tops one list. Admittedly, it has nothing to do with him and he's bog standard at best in the rest of the lists, but sure.
posted by yerfatma at 10:58 AM on February 4


Certainly more nimble than this baller
posted by absentian at 11:00 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Still baffled by the Eli hate.
posted by uberchet at 11:05 AM on February 4


"Battleship Lorenzen" is a much better name than "Pillsbury Throwboy."
posted by absalom at 11:13 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect.

When did Eli Manning play for the Packers?
posted by Kwine at 11:16 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


Eli's a serviceable quarterback in the Trent Dilfer mode that lucked into a coach that can build around him rather than a world beater like Peyton, which makes it doubly ironic that he has more rings. He's sort of your kid brother that gets away with everything by pure luck.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 11:21 AM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Jared blocking 30yds down field in the NFL preseason
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:22 AM on February 4 [3 favorites]


This post is not about Eli Manning.
posted by FreezBoy at 11:32 AM on February 4 [7 favorites]


So, er, is there anywhere online one might keep up with this fellow's games?
posted by ominous_paws at 11:42 AM on February 4


This guy deserves props.

Also, from his wikipedia page: Despite all the turmoil, Lorenzen set school records in total offense, passing yards, and passing touchdowns, eclipsing many marks set by 1999 NFL No. 1 overall draft pick Tim Couch.


And he has a super bowl ring!

We need video of him running gassers. It would be an inspiration to us all.
posted by bukvich at 11:44 AM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Jared blocking 30yds down field in the NFL preseason

It's utterly unreal that a man that big can move that fast - the RB has a running head start in the clear, and the QB who handed off to him not only runs him down, but tosses a stone-cold leveling block at a DB trying to intercept. It's like teleporting in a left-guard halfway to the goal line.

On the one hand, he chose the wrong DB to block. (In his case, the correct one could conceivably be "both of them, and all their lunch money") On the other hand, how do you properly coach a QB who has to be double-or-triple-teamed when blocking for his rusher 30 yards downfield?
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:46 AM on February 4 [5 favorites]


So, er, is there anywhere online one might keep up with this fellow's games?

Well, they're not exactly on ESPN 3 or anything... I heard from some Kentucky friends planning on going to the next one Sunday that the "field" last night was literally duct taped down to the floor. So online streaming is probably out. But here's the Northern Kentucky River Monsters website, and Jared is a big fan favorite and sometimes co-host of Kentucky Sports Radio, I'm sure that KSR will have some video from at least Sunday's game vs. the Erie Explosion.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:50 AM on February 4 [2 favorites]


Here is a former NFLer doing the opposite. Defensive lineman drops 70lbs and runs marathons.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 12:14 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


It's a shame this guy wasn't born a few decades earlier and playing in the 70's or something, because it seems like he'd have been a huge deal back in the days when things were a little looser and all the other players weren't the finely-tuned machines they are today.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:27 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect.

When did Eli Manning play for the Packers, Patriots, Cowboys, Niners?


(Sorry my red and gold is showing)
posted by bitdamaged at 12:29 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


This guy's gotta get together with Butterbean and go on tour or something.
posted by Flunkie at 12:37 PM on February 4


Funny how Niner's fans conveniently forget the Steelers in their math.
posted by OHenryPacey at 12:39 PM on February 4


"He's a big ol' dude, but the NFL doesn't suffer any shortage of big ol' dudes..."

That assertion applies to the NFL but not to the to the league that has the Northern Kentucky River Monsters. There are some players that can play two positions, few can play three. Seems he could probably play seven positions on offense [QB, fullback, halfback, maybe center, guard, tackle and tight end], and three on defense [nose guard, defensive tackle and defensive end].

Football is fun amateur game to play if a bit rough.

Way way back in the seventies in high-school gym class Mr. Townsend and Mr. Mohawski used to have us jog down to the football field and play flag football. [And shower afterward, ugh.] The teams were randomly composed at the start of the season, i.e. semester. There were giant jocks galore in a gym class of perhaps sixty people.

The team I was with had a smaller Philipino named Tito who had permed hair [then weird], another Philipino named Junior, a Korean dude, a guy who fucked up signing up for second period gym and me.

IOW, we're fucked.

Turned out Tito could throw a nice spiral, the rest of us could run a pattern and block, especially downfield.

The look on the faces of the jocks when Mr. Townsed announced at the end of the semester to all that our team of foreigners and at least one long-haired stoner had won the most games and hence the championship was priceless.
posted by vapidave at 1:19 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


It's too bad he didn't find a way to become an NFL fullback. Think about the short yardage play-calling possibilities when you have a guy in the backfield who can push a pile like the Refrigerator OR throw a 50 yard completion. (I was secretly hoping Michael Robinson would do that in the SB...)
posted by rouftop at 1:51 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


JohnnyGunn: "Here is a former NFLer doing the opposite. Defensive lineman drops 70lbs and runs marathons."

I have a friend who played a ton of Madden with his friends a few years ago, so much so that playing with the normal teams got dull, so they started drafting new teams out of the existing players that they would play with just as a change of pace. Most of them were picking the best players available, but one guy was such a huge Jets fan that he couldn't bring himself to pick anyone other than a Jet with his first pick. The problem is that the roster for the Jets circa 2009 isn't exactly overflowing with obvious stars. It didn't matter to that guy, though, he would just spend the first round worrying that someone might take the one Jet he always took with his first pick, until eventually his turn would come up and he would intone, "GET ME ALAN". No matter if Brady's on the board or Peyton Manning, Alan Faneca, Jets guard was his guy, and I'm guessing his teams always had above-average line play for a Madden game. He might have lost more than his share, but they were 9-3 losses Vince Lombardi would have been proud of.
posted by Copronymus at 3:01 PM on February 4


any major dude: "Eli Manning is not a serviceable NFL Quarterback. He's the most legendary player for the most storied franchise in NFL history. Show some respect."

For this comment, I care not a jot or a Tittle.

And I always liked Lorenzen, he had careers' worth of fantastic nicknames as mentioned above. My fave was The Hefty Lefty.
posted by Sphinx at 4:54 PM on February 4 [1 favorite]


I totally forgot about him, which is weird because when he was at Kentucky he was my favorite player at the time. Another favorite oversized QB at the time was Byron Leftwich, who also snagged a Super Bowl ring as a backup with the Steelers.

If you've never seen a Super Bowl ring in person, they're pretty damn impressive. There was a guy who would come into the store where I worked that had won one playing lineman for the Redskins. Mountain of a guy with hands the size of catcher's Mitts, and yet that ring was unmissable.

Also, I've now made it my life goal to own an Arena League football team.
posted by billyfleetwood at 7:19 PM on February 4


I've hit a beeftank.

Me too. I played guard and center in high school. I played against this guy in two games when he played defensive tackle.

Our senior year, the college scouts were at the game to see this beast play. On the first play of the game, at the line of scrimmage before the first snap, I said "Hey Jonathan!" "What!" "Remember me when you're famous, cause I'm gonna make you look good today."
posted by peeedro at 9:03 PM on February 4 [4 favorites]


Many years ago I knew a man who played football for some university in Texas. I don't know anything about football, but whatever position he was in he had to run into and be run into by a member of the opposing team - one-on-one. They had a game in which he looked up and saw Dan Blocker was his opponent. He said he was very loyal to his team but "when that guy touched me I was just going to lie down on the ground and curl up in a ball."

Blocker was a big dude, too.

This was a great read - thank you.
posted by aryma at 10:42 PM on February 4


This picture of Ogden in high school is great. He looks like a honest to God giant. Peedro, I look at that, and I'm just glad you made it out alive.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:08 AM on February 5 [3 favorites]


Just heard Lorenzen interviewed on the radio. He said he's done 20 interviews since yesterday at 2:00 pm. Most interesting bit: on the New York Giants he was 288# - 292# and the fine for being overweight was 450$ per pound per day so he always made weight. Also he was 13.5# at birth. He is very good at giving interviews.
posted by bukvich at 12:47 PM on February 5


Sadly, Lorenzen was carried off the field after an injury last night.
posted by Etrigan at 2:05 PM on February 9


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