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Gus’s 12 Steps to QB Subbing Recovery

I know people in 12 step programs, know the immense benefit they can have, and even volunteer my time to serve at some of their meetings. Please don’t take offense.

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Butch Dill-USA TODAY Sports

I was so proud of Gus Malzahn publicly admitting that the three quarterback thing didn’t work out so well. I was even happier to hear him say he won’t be continuing that experiment. As they say, the first step to recovery is admitting there’s a problem.

It’s almost like Gus found a 12 step program over the long holiday to help him get through this issue of his.


“Hello, my name is Gus Malzahn and I am a quarterback substitution addict.”

“Hello, Gus!”

“Please read the 12 steps to recovery with me.”

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our addiction to constant substitutions — that our game plans had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a football philosophy greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our playbook and our play calling over to the care of the HUNH.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of tendencies in our offense.
  5. Admitted to the HUNH, to our players, and to the beat writers the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have the HUNH remove all of these tells our offense has.
  7. Humbly asked the HUNH to remove our delay of game penalties.
  8. Made a list of all opponents we had gifted games to, and became willing to learn hard lessons from them all.
  9. Made direct vows of revenge to such opponents wherever possible, except when to do so would require scheduling Jacksonville State again.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we tried to sneak three quarterbacks on the practice field at the same time, promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through late nights in the office and doodling plays on napkins at lunch to improve our conscious contact with the HUNH, seeking only for knowledge of the HUNH's will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having been deemed an offensive guru by the media again as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other high school coaches, and to practice the HUNH in all our affairs.