Eason isn't eager to relive his day in the spotlight
Tony Eason would rather not discuss his day as the only Super Bowl starting quarterback to fail to complete a single pass, writes Rudy Klancnik.
Their Shot At Glory
Of the first 41 Super Bowls, 51 different quarterbacks have started. Some, like Joe Montana, Terry Bradshaw and Tom Brady, are legends. But whatever happened to some of the lesser-known starters? Take a look:
"Tony doesn't like to speak with anyone in the media, especially this time of year."
A call to a member of the University of Illinois sports information department to ask what Eason, a former Illini, is doing today drew a similar response.
"That's a good question. We have no idea. He did come back for a game not too long ago, but that's about all we've heard from him."
Don't blame Eason for not making himself available to the media in January -- not to mention the other 11 months.
Back in January 1986, Eason had the unfortunate task of going up against the Chicago Bears' fabled "46" defense in Super Bowl XX. It wasn't a pretty sight -- Eason became the only Super Bowl starting quarterback not to complete a single pass, misfiring on all six attempts (while being sacked three times and fumbling once) before he was replaced by Steve Grogan in the second quarter of the 46-10 loss in New Orleans.
Eason In The Super Bowl
In ESPN.com's rankings of the 82 performances by starting quarterbacks in the first 41 Super Bowls, Tony Eason's performance for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX ranks 82nd. Here are his stats:
Super Bowl XX
Certainly, Eason shouldn't shoulder the entire blame for the loss. The Bears made lots of quarterbacks look bad that season.
But as the 15th selection of the fabled quarterback class of 1983, Eason was expected to lead his team in big games like this. The results, of course, were supposed to be different.
Credit Eason for bouncing back from that dismal day. Three games into the next season, Eason threw for a then-team record 414 yards (albeit in a loss to Seattle). He eventually quarterbacked the Patriots to an 11-5 record and the AFC East title.
But nobody remembers that. They only remember Super Bowl XX. That explains his reluctance to relive that day.
Still, not everybody has a negative image of Eason. At least he can count on his family.
His brother, Bo Eason, also a former NFL player, is starring in a one-man off-Broadway production that he wrote. The play is autobiographical. Called "Runt of the Litter," Bo's play focuses on the life of a young man who always was trying to compete against his bigger and better older brother.
"If you talk to my brother, he would tell the story completely differently, because it was from his point of view," Bo recently told Newsday. "The first time [Tony] saw it, he said, 'I didn't know you thought of me like that.'"
According to Bo, Tony has seen multiple showings of his brother's play and tells Bo that he's very excited about the results.
Good to know Tony is talking to someone.
Rudy Klancnik is a freelance writer based in Texas.
SUPER BOWL XLII
Game coverage• Belichick ready to move on from Super Bowl loss
• Nevada sports books lose record $2.6M
• View to a thrill: Record 97.5 million watch XLII
• Giants' win shatters viewership records
• Clayton: Can the Giants repeat?
• Simmons: Free fallin'
• Giants spoil Pats' perfect season
• Wojciechowski: Blame Pats for this debacle
• Wickersham: Brady dazed and confused
• Clayton: Eli lets instincts take over
• Clayton: N.Y. 'misfits' harass Brady
• Sando: Was Brady rattled?
• Mosley: Belichick left a second early
• Chadiha: Ten things we learned
• Garber: Tyree's catch one for the ages
• Zoom galleries 1 | 2 | Great SB upsets
• SportsNation: Best Super Bowl?
• SportsNation: Biggest SB upset?
• SportsNation: Your favorite commercials?
Commentary/Features• Clayton: Top five contenders for the next SB
• '72 Fins breathe sigh of relief after Giants win
• Chadiha: Giants enjoy underdog role
• Sando: Coughlin, Giants made it work
• Super Bowl picks: Our experts weigh in
• Merrill: Nine previously perfect Patriots
• Merrill: Harrison deals with his rep just fine
• Clayton: Giants' O-line worthy of accolades
• Pasquarelli: Tip Sheet
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• Wojciechowski: 15 reasons Patriots will win
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• Sunday Countdown
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• Garber: Injured war vet inspires Giants
• Pasquarelli: The Pats' crucial cameos
• Garber: In Brady's world, insecurity remains
• Merrill: Hixon's traumatizing season
• Football Outsiders: SB numbers crunching
• Pasquarelli: Patriots' silent sentinel
• Wojciechowski: Unflappable Eli
• Sando: Brady rising among all-time QBs
• Chadiha: Giants' rookies playing prominent role
• Fleming: Cardinals/Pottsville Curse
• Clayton: Youth serving Giants well
• Chadiha: Ranking the best QBs by decade
• Klancnik: Top QBs by jersey number
• Hashmarks: Media day coverage | Gallery
• Pasquarelli: Pats' old-school LBs
• Helyar: Marketing windfall for Eli Manning
• Garber: Seau's ring quest
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• Animated plays
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• Wojciechowski: Explaining Bill Belichick
• Helyar: Recession? Not at Super Bowl!
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• Klosterman: All too perfect
• Crown Jewels: A look at Super Bowl rings
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• Helyar: Patriots will drive TV ratings
• Clayton: First and goal
• Chadiha: Giants' glory road
• Mosley: Brady's ankle saves the week
• Woj: Preseason predictions revisited
• Merrill: David Woodley's dark spotlight
• Former SB QBs: Plunkett | Rypien | Ferragamo
• More: Morton | Humphries | Hostetler | Eason
• Starting matchups of Super Bowl QBs
• Ranking the QB performances: 1-40 | 41-82
• Jaworski: Six Super Bowl surprises
• Joyner: Brady's bad decisions
• Clayton: Eli's managing fine
• Chadiha: Focused Giants
• AccuScore simulation: Pats to prevail
• Chadiha: First Look at the Super Bowl
• Playoff schedule
• Vermeil doubts spying made difference for Pats
• Fish: Ex-Ram Warner suspicious of Pats in SB XXXVI
• Report: Pats taped Rams' SB walk-through
• Specter to Goodell: Let's talk
• Fish: Possible 'Spygate' witness surfaces
• Easterbrook: NFL can blame itself for scandal's timing
• Munson: Congressional interest serious
• Pasquarelli: Specter should stick with politics
• Clayton: Spy saga won't distract Patriots
• Hashmarks at Goodell's news conference
• Specter to Goodell (.pdf)
• Goodell to Specter (.pdf)
Page 2• Gallo: Five stages of heartbreak for Pats' fans
• Hill: Best Super Bowl parties
• Hill: Teflon Tom Brady
• Popculture roundtable on the Super Bowl
• Hill: Raiders quit on Moss
• Flem File at the Super Bowl
• Fleming: Defining greatness
• Best teams never to win a title
• TMQ: Title-game analysis
• Why Boston teams are so good
• Gallo: Countdown to kickoff
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• Carey named first black Super Bowl referee
• Brady practices in Pats' first Super Bowl session
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• Security high for Super Bowl
• Williams to be honored during Super Bowl
• Bootless Brady departs for Arizona
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• Burress: Giants' receivers are better
Scouts Inc.• Roundtable: Seven scouts weigh in
• Super Bowl XLII X Factors
• Coaching comparison: Styles vary, results same
• Defensive line breakdowns
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 5)
• Matchups to watch in Super Bowl XLII
• Running-game breakdown
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 4)
• QB tale of the the tape
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 3)
• Ranking NFL QBs 1-64
• Take II on Super Bowl XLII
• Giants' DBs overmatched or underrated?
• Horton: Notes from film room (Day 2)
• Horton: 10 things to watch in SB XLII
• Horton: Notes from the film room (Day 1)
• A tale of two underrated O-lines
• Take I on Super Bowl XLII
• Players ranked Nos. 1-106
SportsNation• Vote: Which team will win?
• Vote: Who wins the head-to-head matchups?
• Vote: Which team are you rooting for?
• Conversation: Talk Super Bowl XLII
• Map: Which states are picking the Giants?
• Quiz: 42 Super Bowl history questions
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Hello from Arizona!
• Chat: Buzzmaster: Live from Media Day
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• Rank: Super Bowl's best individual performances
• Rank: Super Bowl coaches
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• Rank: Super Bowl teams
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• Rank: Greatest all-time quarterbacks
• Vote: Potential for QB greatness?
• Quiz: Greatest quarterbacks
• ABCNews: Super Bowl or Super Tuesday?
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• Pulse: What is SportsNation saying about XLII?