Baseball and football weirdly seem to have had the most crossover athletes in American sports. Bo Jackson managed to have a pretty decent career in both, while Deion Sanders played in both a World Series and a Super Bowl. Maybe it's because they're played at different times of the year, leading to less of an overlap than there is any combination of other major sports. It seems like baseball and football have generally pretty different skill sets, but it's been done before, so maybe I'm wrong. I'm probably wrong. Anyway, for this week's Pinstripe Q&A, I asked the PSA staff what Yankee they want to see try and play some football?
Q: The Super Bowl is this coming Sunday. What Yankee do you think would best adapt to playing football? Or, what Yankee would make a bad football player, but you would like to see try to play for comedic reasons?
I think "like to see try to play for comedic reasons" applies to Tex in any sport at this point, don't you?
Football's a much simpler game than baseball from an athletic standpoint; very few football players have the hand-eye coordination you'd need to hit a 95 mph fastball much less adjust to a curve. Football players can play with injuries that would sideline a baseball player. But that's my bias.
I can imagine most of the Yankees' outfield as a running backs or wide receivers. Since none of the current Yankees look like Mo Vaughn, I don't know that there's anyone who could play on the defensive side of the ball.
Brett Gardner and Jacoby Ellsbury might have made it as a pair of wideouts.
What would really be fun though, is Alex Rodriguez as a punter. He'll film an Instagram video of himself punting in practice, the media will vilify him for preparing for his offense to fail... Usual stuff but at least a different sport.
I want to see Mark Teixeira try his wrist out as a quarterback and see him attempt to run around. He'd get TRUCKED in no time.
If we're counting former Yankees, then Paul O'Neill: Kicker and Kyle Farnsworth: Linebacker.
A-Rod was a star quarterback in high school and was offered the chance to be a two-sport athlete at Miami. Maybe he can give it a shot again at 39 - he's got the arm strength and prototypical size. Could he be any worse than Geno Smith?
A-Rod would be the most fun to watch as a football player, and it's not even close. Deflating the footballs? Duh. Flopping to cause pass interference? Of course. Yelling 'I'm open!' from the sideline to confuse the opposing quarterback? Done and done.
CC Sabathia might be a world class left tackle and Dellin Betances could be his bookend on the right side. Brett Gardner's patience and speed makes him ideal to be a 3rd down running back while Jacoby Ellsbury's combination of size and quickness could be useful at cornerback or safety. The way A-Rod handles pop-ups it would be fun to see him try and return punts and kicks. Tom Coughlin would have steam coming out of his ears.
Gardner: I think he'd be perfect as a wide receiver for the Patriots. He could join Amendola and Edelman. We all know Brady and Belichick love those speedy white guy receivers. I think Gardy could be a legit punt returner too though.
Betances: Stick him on the defensive line somewhere. He's huge.
Garrett Jones: He's 6'5" 235... something tells me he could throw the football a little bit. Plus, i like his name for a QB.
McCann: If his knees hold up, I could see him being a solid middle line backer. The veteran kind, defensive captain. Making sure all of the unwritten rules of the game get upheld.
Ellsbury: I'd stick him at WR or CB. He's got all that speed to work with. I could see him buring a DB, or hauling in a pick-6.
In light of #DeflateGate, perhaps Michael Pineda would find himself a nice little home in the NFL.
In his prime, the answer would probably be A-Rod since he was apparently a tremendous quarterback in high school. Given his present-day hips, which are held together by what I can only assume are paper clips and bubble gum, the best football player would be Brian McCann since he would probably make a mean left end. Would you want to be shoving against him? I doubt it.
Of course all that being said, the Yankee I most want to play football is Mark Teixeira because he would make such doofy faces at quarterback that Eli and company would be put to shame. Also that would mean he would no longer be on the Yankees' payroll. Win/win.
Brett Gardner would be the best wide receiver in the entire game of Football. Now if you wanna talk Aussie Rules Football, I'd go with Nunez. Cause he's insane!!!
Technically not a Yankee anymore but I'm pretty sure Ichiro channeled Darren Sproles here:
He has been mentioned a lot, but I think the funniest scenario is one where Mark Teixeira plays football. I would love for him to play quarterback. I can imagine him just getting sacked over and over again and the ball flying out every time and him crumpling to the ground in new and interesting ways. Since he probably wouldn't be good enough to play, he would likely be the backup, meaning he might have to help out with play calls. And we all know how good he is at signaling to people several yards away.
Those are our answers and now it's your turn. What Yankee would you most like to see put on some pads and attempt to play football?