Netflix’s Quarterback: A First Look at the REAL MVPs

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By Ron Johnson

About a week ago, my brother got me hooked into this new Netflix Series. The ironic part is that I used to binge watch Netflix all the time…just haven’t really had the time between work and trying to save my marriage. But somewhere in the middle of it all, I started watching this series mainly because it focused on the life of a quarterback both on and off the field.  There are several things I can say from watching just the first set of episodes of the season, and yes, I hope there is another season. 

That is how invested I am in this show.

Upon viewing the series, and as I got further into it, I learned a few things about the life of quarterbacks:

  1. The wives of these quarterbacks are indeed the real MVPs.
  2. I have a newfound respect for Kirk Cousins and how he navigates his gameplan.
  3. The Inner Circle of these players make the biggest impacts of these guys’ careers.
  4. Trainers, Cooks and Bodywork People are a must for any football players’ longevity.
  5. Neurofeedback is going to be something I am going to try for my mental as well as my physical.

And again, these are just the first set of episodes. Allow me to explain why this series should have a secondary season.

I don’t usually take notes for articles I write. But after watching the lives of Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Vikings QB Kirk Cousins and Falcons QB Marcus Mariota (who I have mad respect for even before all this due to Oregon roots), I now have a bigger respect for all three. The punishment they put their bodies through, and not just physically, has me thinking of things from a non-player side. 

But it is the ones that help them get ready for Sunday that makes it all worth while.

Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs (Wife: Brittany Mahomes)

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I always have said that Patrick Mahomes was indeed a special type of quarterback, but seeing how much work and effort he puts in to get gameday ready is beyond impressive. From seeing Brittany Mahomes getting him into a rhythm outside and away from the field to talking about his new hair style (which he claims he’ll premier this season) to even hearing about the way he practices makes me appreciate being in the generation that got to watch him work.

In one of the episodes, we are introduced to Bobby Stroupe, who has practically been Mahomes’ right hand and fixer. Stroupe has been the man that has put Mahomes through three specific kind of days during the week: A days, which are all about rejuvenation, B days, which are all about movement rhythm and power training, and C days which are running it all at full speed. 

During this specific episode, he showed how quickly he is able to adapt to smashmouth defenses, like Nick Bosa and the Niners. There was a segment in the next episode in which he explained ‘Lab on the Field,’ which is explaining the way that some plays are made up on the field as well as how they come to fruition. We learned about Road Runner, Ferrari, Catching Kelce (the play not the craptastic show, and yes, even Kelce didn’t even like the show) and Piano. 

One of the things I enjoyed most about watching Mahomes during this was that he was a very down-to-earth guy, from having competitions with wife Brittany to even meeting Henry Winkler and taking him up on a dinner. Watching how much effort goes into his preparation, or in some cases how flawlessly effortless he makes it, makes me eager to be able to sit down with him and pick his brain with my son (who is a young AD in my eyes) about how he reads defenses.

There were a ton of nail-biting games in this series up to this point, but to see how cool, calm and collective Mahomes was during most of these makes me respect the body of work he puts in on a weekly basis to get it done. You cannot help but to be impressed with the man who makes it too easy for the Chiefs Kingdom to rise because…IT’S FREE REAL ESTATE!

Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons (Wife: Kiyomi Mariota)

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Mariota is what one considers a journeyman. He was drafted by Tennessee, got benched for Ryan Tannehill and never recovered, sent to Vegas to backup Derek Carr then ended up in Atlanta as a starter once again. While Mariota was humble in his new role, he also knew that getting this chance to shine once again was just as important.

One of the things I loved about Mariota was that he had the fire I once had. When I say that I am referencing what is called Run the Hills. If you have ever played football in your lifetime, you know what that means. After spending a couple of weeks on the west coast, Mariota wanted to make sure that he was ready to shine once back at home. One of the main things about Mariota in this series is that he was preparing for the arrival of his first child with wife Kiyomi, but she never wavered from helping her husband be ready for Sunday.

In the episode in which we met Mahomes’ trainer, we also met Mariota’s chef and longtime friend and teammate Taylor Troy. While they played together in youth football, Troy went on to bigger and better things. But it was COVID that allowed the reunion between the two former teammates. Troy instilled a nutrition plan that allowed Mariota to get right for gameday as well as instill the mentality of ‘Drive That Bus,’ which in English means take the wheel and drive them in.

Despite how the season ended, Mariota was someone I could relate to. He has been cast aside too many times, and teams never gave him the chance to shine and get right. His work ethic throughout the season was on full display and being able to keep his focus all the while preparing for the birth of his first child made it even more respectable. 

Having Kiyomi every step of the way reminds me of how my wife has been with me since day one. Sometimes your biggest supporter is also your right hand. While Mariota’s time in Atlanta may have ended, his time in Philly should be a moment to shine with Jalen Hurts as his partner in crime. 

Expect a new Batman and Robin in the NEW Gotham City known as Broad Street.

Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings (Wife: Julie Cousins)

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If there was anyone that I could never find myself respecting, it was Kirk Cousins. Now most of that was because of what happened during COVID, but it was not before this series. However, after hearing the story of Cousins rise to immortality, I have to say three simple words for Cousins. When it comes to his tenacity and dive: I LIKE THAT!

Cousins opened up about how his wife Julie picks out his outfits, which is exactly what my wife does for me on the weekends sometimes. He also emphasized how much love and respect they have with Washington, D.C. Hearing about “The Room” that Kirk finds himself going into to keep himself motivated, as well as the routine he goes through is enough to make me respect the man.

But it is his dedication to be better than he was the game before that has made me into a new fan of Cousins. 

He started talking about a new method of mental exercise called the Neurofeedback, which is a way to keep the brain where it’s needed to be. I just found out that they have this option at my therapist’s clinic, which gives me the thoughts to try it out on myself. You cannot get better unless you yourself can become better, right?

Seeing the craziness that Cousins puts himself through, between Dr. Bart and Dr. Ann Stark helping him do his bodywork, and doing passes and plays that not many quarterbacks can do, I can take a page out of Good Ol’ JR’s script and say that Kirk Cousins is indeed the toughest S.O.B. in the NFL.

Despite how the season ended for all three, this series brought me more respect for all three men. And I’m not only looking forward to the start of season 2, but I’m also looking up to finish season one.

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