Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

Obscure Spotlight: Bubby Brister

One of the greatest meetings of minds the early 90's NFL could have possibly had to offer

So last week we celebrated our 50th post, in what culminated in one of the more successful days in the history of Obscure Athletes. We responded by doing what God would want us to if he were real, by observing not only the sabbath in the Christian faith, but making sure to blow off Friday and Saturday too. So naturally we’re looking to avoid the post-50th-post hangover this Thanksgiving week by announcing that in addition to all the great musings you’ve come to expect from Obscure Athletes, we’ll have simply an all-star cast of Obscure Spotlights to bring to you this week. And that starts with legendary obscure quarterback Walter Andrew “Don’t call me Bubba” Bubby Brister.

Brister was a star at then-named Northeast Louisiana University, before the school changed its name to Louisiana-Monroe–I suppose it rolls off the tongue just a bit better. Out of college he was drafted in the third round in 1986 by the Steelers, for whom he would see the vast majority of his actual playing time over his 14-year career. Bubby’s best season came in 1990 for Pittsburgh, when, as the starter all season, Brister threw for 2,725 yards to go with 20 touchdown passes. It would be his last year of full-time action. Brister’s run as the starting quarterback of the Steelers ended with the regime of Chuck Noll, and Bill

How much mediocrity CAN you fit on the back of a single football card?

 Cowher wanted nothing to do with a Bubby Brister-run offense, and instead Neil O’Donnel became the next in a string of obscure quarterbacks employed by the Pittsburgh Steelers during their semi-successful 90’s years.

Brister’s next two stops, in Philadelphia and New York, saw Brister start just fourteen games over three seasons, and in 1997 Brister signed on with the Broncos as a firm second-stringer to future Hall of Famer John Elway. Brister won both of his Super Bowl rings as a backup for Denver, though he did start four games during the ’98 season. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen was famously quoted after the Super Bowl that year as saying “This one’s for John.” Pat Bowlen may think so, but fans of obscure athletes know who it was really for.


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