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Still, he set all the records, took his Minnesota Vikings to three Super Bowls which made his coach, Bud Grant, proclaim that Tarkenton was the toughest and most competitive quarterback ever. “A quarterback’s greatest ability is durability,” Grant told me at the Viking headquarters in Minneapolis a few years ago. No NFL quarterback was more durable than Tarkenton. “Stetson is a fine SEC quarterback, but the critics focus on his height and his arm strength. He led his team to the national championship. What more do you want in a quarterback? I don’t care how good a quarterback looks in warmups, I don’t rate him off the charts for his arm strength. I prefer to rate him on his ability to make plays, to understand the game of football and to win games. This kid has all those qualities,” Tarkenton says.

The chip, by the way, in Tarkenton’s view is using the brain to master it all. Youmusthavetalent in football, yes, but the key to succeeding in this game for a quarterback is the brain not a cannon arm.

Tarkenton, a multimillionaire, studies quarterbacks, but he also studies titans in business and can rattle off the names of brilliant CEO’s who were not college graduates. “Bill Gates didn’t finish college,” he says. “Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, was a college dropout, Michael Dell of Dell Technologies was also a dropout. What did these billionaires all have in common? They had the chip. They didn’t need a college education.

“The one I find to be so intriguing is Sam Walton. He started his first Wal-Mart store at age 51 and died at 74, the richest man in the world. He developed the biggest company in the world, an unbelievable empire in 25 years. Mr. Sam did go to college, but nobody had a greater chip than he did.

“The best quarterbacks in history had the chip. Guys like John Unitas, Joe Montana, Tom Brady all were late draft picks but they had the chip. Just look at their records.

“I think Stetson Bennett has the chip and have no reason to think this young man cannot play in the National Football League.”

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