An In-Depth Look at the Packers’ Don Barclay and Wrestling Jobbers
There’s been some scuttle about the Packers moving T.J. Lang back to left guard and trying undrafted rookie Don Barclay at right tackle.
(Editor’s Note: This article was actually written before this week’s game against the Vikings but never appeared due to a scheduling issue.)
Lang has floundered since moving to tackle after Bryan Bulaga got hurt. Evan Dietrich-Smith hasn’t fared much better filling Lang’s slot at guard. Lang played well before the move, so perhaps moving him back to guard would solidify that spot and the Packers could focus most of their attention on helping Barclay.
Right now, it seems like the Packers have to worry about helping Lang, Dietrich-Smith and sometimes Marshall Newhouse. That’s not going to fly for much longer.
Anyway, I was going to do a post debating the pros and cons of trying Barclay at tackle, but writing about backup offensive lineman is boring.
Instead, I decided to write about my second favorite thing in the whole wide world (behind the Packers, of course): 1980s and 90s professional wrestling.
What’s a Jobber?
Those of you who listen to the radio show Green and Gold Today know that co-host Bill Johnson refers to Barclay as “everyone’s favorite wrestling jobber.” For those of you that don’t know what a wrestling jobber is, what is wrong with you? Actually, you should probably be proud of yourself if you don’t know what a wrestling jobber is.
Back in the 80s and early 90s, wrestling on TV often featured a well-known wrestler beating up a scrub in a match that lasted minute or two. It usually took the well-known wrestler longer to make his ring entrance than it took for him to win the actual match.
These scrubs were known as jobbers. The only purpose jobbers served was to get destroyed by the big-name guys. Doesn’t sound like a very glamourous way to earn a couple extra bucks, does it?
Jobbers were either too small or slightly overweight and were always dorky looking. They resembled insurance salesman or truck drivers more than jacked up professional wrestlers. On the surface, jobbers sound like complete wastes of space. But they served a purpose.
Jobbers existed to make the popular wrestlers look good. Every time people saw Jake “the Snake” Roberts DDT some poor jobber, pin him, then throw a gigantic snake on the poor guy, it made Roberts look good and enhanced the overall wrestling product.
Don Barclay and Jobbers
If Barclay does get a shot at tackle, his goal should be to achieve jobber status. He needs to do just enough to make Aaron Rodgers and the rest of the team look good.
Is this analogy a stretch? It sure is! But it’s a lot more fun than breaking down tape of Barclay from the preseason and trying to figure out if he can cut it in a real game.
By now you are probably asking yourself two things:
- Why am I still reading this?
- If Barclay actually is a wrestling jobber, could he still help the Packers?
I’m glad you asked the second question. Let’s go to some video of actual wrestling jobbers and try to figure out the answer.
Randy and Bill Mulkey
The Mulkey Brothers were so good at getting beat up and losing in under a minute, they developed a cult following. I hope Barclay isn’t anything like the Mulkey brothers. They are too good at being bad.
While the Mulkey’s spent years and years being bad in order to achieve their jobber noteriety, “Special Delivery” Jones reached the Hall of Jobber Fame in just 9 seconds. That’s how long it took King Kong Bundy to beat Jones at the first Wrestlemania. I hope Barclay isn’t anything like Jones. We’ll need Barclay for more than 9 seconds if he gets a chance to play.
My all-time personal favorite jobber is Barry Horrowitz. After getting introduced by ring announcer Howard Finkel, Horrowitz would pat himself on the back and prance around. Then he would get mauled by his opponent. I’d be fine if Barclay turned out like Horrowitz. It’d be nice to have a better end-result, but at least he wouldn’t be lacking confidence.
Jake “the Milkman” Millman
In the opening to Green and Gold Today, there’s a clip of Bill Johnson saying the following about Barclay: “He sounds like one of the guys who used to get stomped by Nick Bockwinkel on Sunday mornings on All-Star Wrestling.” Jake “the Milkman” Millman was one of those guys who used to get stomped by Bockwinkel. I like Millman’s build. He could probably get some good leverage run blocking. But he doesn’t look athletic enough to play tackle. Maybe they could try him at guard in place of Dietrich-Smith?
The Brooklyn Brawler
Now we’re getting somewhere. The Brooklyn Brawler was a jobber without fear. He knew he had little chance of winning, but he went after his opponent anyway. Check out how he tried to sneak attack the Undertaker in the clip below. Guys like Hulk Hogan and Macho Man Randy Savage didn’t even have the guts to sneak attack the Undertaker! But the Brooklyn Brawler didn’t care. He gave it his all before getting taking the Tombstone piledriver and getting pinned by the dead man. I’d be totally fine if Barclay ended up like the Brooklyn Brawler. Guy has heart.
The Packers have several players with long hair or dread locks, but nobody has a mullet. George South has a great mullet and would at least bring that dimension to the Packers. He’s also an ornery guy. I can see him kicking back if Ndomukong Suh tries any funny business. Ultimately, though, South probably wouldn’t cut it and would just end up getting 13 unsportsmanlike conduct penalties per game.
The 1-2-3 Kid appeared to be just another jobber slated to get crushed by Razor Ramon on Monday Night Raw in 1993. Instead, he pinned Razor out of nowhere, elevated himself out of jobber status, and became one of the most well-known wrestlers of the 90s. Imagine if Barclay did the same thing for the Packers. He makes the team after going undrafted. He gets his shot late in the season. Everyone thinks he’s going to get run over. Instead, he shuts down Jared Allen, Cliff Avril, Julius Peppers to end the regular season, then does the same to Jason Pierre Paul and Aldon Smith in the playoffs. The Packers win the Super Bowl. Instead of referring to Barclay as everyone’s favorite jobber, Bill Johnson refers to him as the savior of the Packers offensive line.