When an NFL quarterback steps onto the field for a game, no one knows what goes on behind the scenes all week long – but now a new show on Netflix pulls back the curtain.
This 8-episode show called The Quarterback goes behind the scenes of three current NFL quarterbacks – Patrick Mahomes (Kansas City Chiefs), Marcus Mariota (Atlanta Falcons), and Kirk Cousins (Minnesota Vikings). Executive produced by Peyton Manning, a Hall of Fame former quarterback, the cameras follow these three professional players during the highs and lows of the 2022-2023 season.
One episode, called “King of Pain,” highlights the swelling, bruises, ankle sprains, inflamed joints, and other injuries that must be endured as the season grinds on. To help the body heal and prevent further injuries, these elite athletes employ cold plunges to reduce swelling, special massage treatments, stretching, intense training sessions and brain games to improve focus and attention.
In another episode titled “Win or Go Home,” we witness a touching scene. After a devastating playoff loss, Kirk Cousins debriefs with his wife in the car and shares his intense disappointment. The cameras are allowed in his home to capture him and wife getting the kids ready for bed. Cousins reads a bedtime story to his son, turns off the light, and sings a verse of “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.”
What really comes across in these eight episodes is how human these amazing athletes are. On Sunday when we see them play, dressed in their uniforms and faces partially shielded by their helmets, it’s easy to forget that these players are also spouses, fathers, friends, and sons. Like all of us, they have responsibilities at home and are constantly trying to balance the different pieces of their lives.
And like all of us, they struggle with confidence. The big difference, however, is that while they struggle, millions of people watch every little decision they make on the field – resulting in soaring success or crushing defeat. The stakes couldn’t be higher. (Netflix, Rated TV-MA for explicit language)
About the Author
Sam Gutierrez is the Associate Director at the Eugene Peterson Center for the Christian Imagination at Western Theological Seminary. More of his creative work can be found at printandpoem.com