A few people have asked me the last few weeks why I want so badly to see Kellen Moore succeed in the NFL.
I don't normally focus my fanaticism. I love the NFL, but I don't root for a specific team.
So why do I care so much about someone I’ve never met? I've thought about this a bit, and I've decided there's a couple reasons.
The first is the easiest to explain: Kellen Moore represents everything I want to believe about sports.
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On paper, he shouldn't have made it past high school. He's too small. He's too slow. He doesn't have a strong arm.
In an era when nerds try to reduce every aspect of sports to a number, he's an outlier. Through guile, hard work and guts, he overcame his physical limitations and became really good at the most glamorous and important position in American sports.
I want to believe that kind of ascent is possible, even though I know it's unlikely.
But there's another, deeper reason I'm so invested in Kellen Moore, and I don't think I'm the only one.
Kellen Moore is Boise's ambassador, and not just because he played here for four years.
It's the way he snuck up on America's football intelligentsia. It's his affable, unassuming personality. He doesn't brag. He's all substance and no flash — a nice guy in a world of blowhards.
Moore is a perfect representation of Boise as a city and cultural phenomenon.
Every time an analyst proclaims Moore won't make it in the NFL because he's too short or because he can't put enough velocity on the ball to fit it the faster defenders, I hear people from cool places like California or New York City shrugging off Boise as just another nowhere mountain town, even though they've never been here.
I want those people to taste the best Boise has to offer and wonder why they're not here, just like I want Moore to show coaches and coordinators across the NFL that playing quarterback doesn't take Colin Kaepernick's physical tools.
On a football level, I'm optimistic. Moore has already shown what I consider the two most important skills for an NFL quarterback: accuracy and an ability to move his eyes from one receiver to the next. Some quarterbacks never learn that. Kaepernick's undoing has been that his eyes move directly from his first receiver to the pass rush. NFL quarterbacks stand in the pocket, scan the field, find an open receiver and deliver the ball accurately.
Also, the Cowboys offer Moore perhaps the two most important advantages for a new quarterback. The first is a good offensive line. Too many talented quarterbacks — David Carr, Rick Mirer — never get a chance to blossom because they spend all their time getting chased by superior athletes.
The second advantage Moore will have Sunday is a good array of receiving options. Dez Bryant, Cole Beasley and Jason Witten have shown, each in a different way, an ability to get open.
I hope I'm right. I'll be watching and rooting for Moore on Sunday. If he plays well and the Cowboys win, I propose Mayor David Bieter proclaim the Sunday after Christmas to be St. Kellen's Day in Boise from now on.