If there’s one man you should know, it’s Hugh Millen. Out of all the dudes out there, he is your guy. Forget about Barack Obama, or Ryan Seacrest, or even Y.E. Yang. If you’re not following Hugh Millen, you aren’t truly living life. And that’s a scientific fact. Hugh can prove it to you, because Hugh’s a genius.
Some of you may remember Hugh when he was a quarterback, first at Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, then at Santa Rosa Junior College, the University of Washington, and finally the NFL.
Hugh was damn good at what he did back in the day, tossing footballs to receivers of varying talent like pebbles into the ocean. He helped the Huskies win the 1985 Orange Bowl as a junior, and backed up Hall of Famers like Troy Aikman and John Elway when he ultimately made it to The League.
A fool would attribute the successes of the Aikmans and Elways of the world to hard work, perseverance, and God-given ability. A much smarter individual would credit the likes of Hugh Millen for lighting a fire underneath their first-string counterparts and thus enabling the greats of the game to play at such a high level.
Hugh retired from the NFL in 1996 after nine years as a pro. A spring chicken at just 33 years of age when he walked away from the game, Hugh had arguably a century or so of living to do before his body clock would expire. Oh, you didn’t know? Hugh is going to be the oldest living human being in the history of the world. I know, because Hugh told me.
With so much time to kill and so little to do, Hugh decided it was in his best interests to become the universe’s most profound football analyst of all-time. Good decision.
Appearing on both radio and television, Hugh took to the airwaves at 950 KJR AM Seattle, as well as local Fox TV affiliate Q13. In awe of his wisdom, hapless sports fans in the Emerald City could only sit and listen as he spoke with remarkable aplomb about Cover Two formations, spread offenses, the ever-so-tricky Wildcat, and even the importance of a guy as nameless and faceless as a Mike Teel. Yes, THE Mike Teel.
Armed with what some have dubbed a “nerd machine,” Hugh diligently toted a laptop full of football knowledge everywhere he went, bestowing any and all willing listeners with free information on anything and everything one could possibly want to know about America’s greatest game. What’s a mike blitz? Why do they call it a sack? Where’s Peyton Manning’s weak spot? Are John Elway’s teeth real? Only Hugh possessed all the answers.
Labeled an outcast for his endless pool of enlightenment, Hugh was cognizant enough to realize his gift would not be interpretable to the weak of mind. He often spoke slowly, with conviction, enunciating every word clearly so as to keep his listeners on track. When lesser humans would appear glazed, dazed, or confused by his verbage, the always congenial gridiron guru would offer a simple question to the befuddled: “You follow me?”
Like a hand from Jesus, himself, extended unto you, the unworthy, direct from the gates of heaven, Hugh’s brief and inviting inquiry served as a guide to understanding. “No, Hugh,” you might think to yourself, “I don’t understand you. But damn if you aren’t the best looking balding football analyst I’ve ever met in my life.”
Fact is, you could listen to the man talk all day and come away with no better grasp on the quarters defense than you had previously. But whatever. Being in the presence of Hugh Millen was akin to walking side-by-side with Socrates as he corrupted the youth of ancient Greece with his misunderstood philosophy. You might not know exactly what you were doing there, or even what this crazy guy was babbling on about, but deep in your heart of hearts you knew you were safe from harm just by being in the presence of this old sage as he carved out a reputation as both an aloof kook and a prominent fixture in history books for millenia to come. Or something like that.
We are not worthy of such brilliance. We are but ants that stroll aimlessly around the picnic blanket of airspace that Hugh Millen inhabits. Clearly, we are inferior. And we know it. And we understand that no amount of perception or lucidity can ever alter this fact of life that we must live by.
But does it really matter? Answer: No.
This is Hugh Millen’s world, and we’re lucky to be a part of it.
So next time you kneel down beside your bed, clasp your hands together, close your eyes, and pray to whatever God, beast, or force of nature you pray to, you better damn well bless Hugh Millen for all the things he does for you, me, and all the globe’s children. Bless you, Hugh Millen.
And for the record, we do follow you.
*Editor’s Note: In Hugh’s spare time, he helped Adidas and Baden develop a better football. Effing A. What a saint.