Today the Bears (3-3) are playing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2), their former division rival. Both QB's (Jay Cutler and Josh Freeman) are having good years. It's nice not to hear cries for the backup quarterback for once, although I am a big fan of the backup quarterback in general.
Continuing my plight to give recognition to the backup quarterbacks of my youth, I am featuring Mike Rae. Rae starred at USC, leading the Trojans to an undefeated season, a Rose Bowl win and the National Championship in 1972.
Rae was drafted by the Oakland Raiders, but played three years in the CFL before playing in Oakland. With the Raiders, he backed up Kenny Stabler for two years, before moving on to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he backed up Doug Williams. He finished his NFL career with one season with the Washington Redskins, backing up Joe Theismann. He moved on to the USFL, playing two seasons before he retired.
Rae is one of only a handful of players who played for the CFL, NFL and USFL. He was part of the 1976 Super Bowl Champion Raiders.
Rae sent me the signed 8x10 below when I wrote him a note asking for an autograph. I am grateful for the photo, I just wish it was color to show the cool creamsicle jerseys of the old-school Buccaneers. You all remember Stabler, Williams and Theismann. Now, hopefully you will remember Mike Rae!