July 19, 2019 10:20 AM   Subscribe

Former college and professional football quarterback Jared Lorenzen has passed away at the age of 38. Known as "The Pillsbury Throwboy" and "The Battleship Lorenzen" for his size as a quarterback, his most notable contribution to pop culture was serving as the inspiration for CLARENCE BEEFTANK in Jon Bois' Breaking Madden series. Unsurprisingly, Bois has written a touching eulogy for Lorenzen and the feats he was capable of on the field.
posted by NoxAeternum (11 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Jared Lorenzen had a Super Bowl ring, which is no small feat even for a backup QB. The most notable thing about him was his weight -- it's certainly where he got his many, many excellent nicknames (seriously, you could make a top-10 list just of the really great ones) but one thing that doesn't get stated often enough is that it's fucking hard to be a professional quarterback with that build. It's fucking hard to be a professional quarterback at all, granted, but it was basically unprecedented for a QB of Lorenzen's size to perform well enough to stay on an NFL roster when -- and as a backup, meaning there was no incentive to build around him instead of making him conform to the system.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:01 AM on July 19, 2019 [6 favorites]

See also this 2014 profile of Lorenzen by Tommy Tomlinson, whose writing on his own struggles with obesity was noted earlier this year on MeFi.
posted by Mr.Know-it-some at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

(seriously, you could make a top-10 list just of the really great ones)

You can't say this without putting out such a list. The ones I've heard I put in the OP - what were your favorites?
posted by NoxAeternum at 11:55 AM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

The Hefty Lefty - RIP
posted by bwvol at 12:02 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Lifelong Giants fan here, who was elated when we signed him. It was a complicated relationship--the only times he saw the field, it meant we were going to run a gadget play, or that Eli Manning had gone down with a torn shoulder. I didn't follow his career until he became a Giant, and I went back to watch his college football highlights, but goddamn was he fun to watch play, and fun to root for. He never really made an impact in the NFL, where EVERYONE is 300 pounds and runs like an Olympic sprinter, but he had an indelible impact on high school and college ball, and was an impossibly big guy, both in stature and in demeanor.

RIP, big guy. We'll never forget the Round Mound of Touchdown.
posted by Mayor West at 12:09 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Jesus that 2014 profile from Tommy Tomlinson gutted me. I'm 100% crying at my desk.
posted by Uncle at 1:24 PM on July 19, 2019 [2 favorites]

posted by notyou at 5:45 PM on July 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by Joey Michaels at 7:22 PM on July 19, 2019

Yeah in one hand I thought it was really cool to see his success such as it was, and to even step on that stage is better than 99% of anyone else. And there was cheering, but it was disheartening how close and how quickly it often it came close to laughter.
posted by Carillon at 8:27 PM on July 19, 2019

Yeah, I read the Tomlinson story just now, and it’s terrifying how much I can identify with both the writer and Lorenzen. So many things would be easier in life if I could just lose, say, 20 kilos, but I can’t remember a time when that wasn’t the case.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:52 AM on July 20, 2019

I attended one of the SEC schools he QB’d against. No one was laughing at him on gameday. His impressive girth instilled a fear that maybe this big bastard was going to make Kentucky good. The absolute incongruity of watching someone born with a pro lineman's body, which is a rare gift, play quarterback pretty darn well just melted brains.

Too soon, and much respect from the rivals, big guy.
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 2:04 PM on July 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

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