STATELINE — Quarterbacks have enjoyed unparalled success in the first 24 years of the American Century Championship.
Three quarterbacks — Billy Joe Tolliver (four times), Mark Rypien and Chris Chandler — have brought home six combined championships in the annual event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course which is in its 25th season, and quarterbacks have 79 top-10 finishes. All told, football players have 113 top-10 finishes.
If you look closely at the ACC’s all-time money list, football players /coaches occupy 12 of the top 20 spots. Nine of those 12 are QBs — Tolliver, Rypien, Chandler, Trent Dilfer, Steve Bartkowski, John Brodie, Joe Theismann, Steve Spurrier, Jim McMahon and Neil Lomax.
Tolliver leads the QB earners with $728,270, with Rypien at $380,201. Chandler is $330,080, Dilfer $188,567 and Bartkowski $179,138.
Depending on who you listen to, the reasons vary, and Tolliver and Rhoden put on a pretty good comedy routine.
“We’re just the best athletes,” said Tolliver, his response drawing laughter from the entire room and smiles from Rick Rhoden and Chad Pfeifer, who were sharing the podium. “I don’t think there’s any question.”
Added Rhoden: “And the best looking.”
“There is no question,” Tolliver said. “We attract an attractive gallery.”
Added Rhoden, “And modest.” More laughter.
Rhoden said the reason could also be traced to the throwing motion.
“The reason is that the quarterbacks and the pitchers and the guys that throw something for a living, that motion is very similar to golf even though it’s overhand,” said Rhoden. “Your body rotates the same way. Most quarterbacks and pitchers actually play golf well.”
Tolliver shared a more serious theory.
“Maybe it’s just hand-eye coordination you develop over the years,” said the former NFL quarterback. “God gave it to you, whatever it is. But the only thing I can chalk it up to is we’re the best athletes. I don’t think there is any question.”