Quarterback of the Future of the Past

Yeah, I really miss Chad Hutchinson--especially that winning grin that asked, "Exactly how do you a throw a football?"

Tony Romo threw the crap outta the football on Saturday night. Quarterback of the future; you read it here first or thereabouts. Course, I think I said the same thing about Chad Hutchinson once upon a time, and if I didn't, Jerry Jones sure as hell did; Jerry was all over The Man The Ticket Called "Chuch" like a teenager on a prom date after six shots of J�ger. Didn't give him $3.1 million to quit the St. Louis Cardinals just because he thought Hutchinson was pretty, though his odd resemblance to a dorkier version of Troy Aikman probably didn't hurt a danged bit. But whatever became of Chuch? Did he suffer the same fate as Quincy Carter and wind up getting cut from the Canadian Football League? Or did he and former roomate Richmond Flowers take their show on the road after torturing HBO audiences with what sounded like a strangulated version of Pearl Jam's "Black" on Hard Knocks?

Actually, it says here this morning that the former Dallas Cowboys quarterback has gone back to college--to Stanford. Again. Ya know, the school for which he played football (led Stanford to a 38-0 win over Michigan State in the Sun Bowl) and baseball (pitched in the College World Series that same year) a decade ago. He's 29 now. Not playing football anymore. Never will. Says The San Francisco Chronicle this morning:

"Hutchinson will admit there were a lot of low points along the way. His natural cheerfulness and intense competitiveness helped ease the pain -- as did the $3.5 million bonus he got from the St. Louis Cardinals to leave Stanford and the $3.1 million bonus he later got from the Dallas Cowboys to leave baseball.

Now he's in an international-relations class made up mainly of brainy kids getting a head start on college. His other courses include U.S. Foreign Policy and Chinese/American Relations. He'll have his degree in political science in a couple of weeks, and he already has a job with a Dallas-based commercial real-estate firm that will let him work in the Bay Area.

It's possible that Hutchinson's two-sport versatility doomed him in both sports. He might have returned to the big leagues for keeps if he hadn't heeded football's siren song. If he hadn't played baseball, maybe he wouldn't have developed a slight windup before he threw a football, a habit he had to break in the NFL.

Hutchinson looks at it another way: He thinks he was rushed, to some degree, in both sports before he was ready, mainly because teams felt the need to justify the money they had invested in him."

So he was the David Clyde of the Dallas Cowboys; I buy that. No, wait, he's the Drew Henson of the Dallas Cowboys. I mean...uh...well...did I mention Tony Romo's gonna be awesome? --Robert Wilonsky