This past weekend, I spent many hours with youth football players that range from age 10 – 12 years old. My son is a youth player, and I noticed at least six different NFL jerseys being worn by him and his teammates. This led me to wonder, who are kids’ favorite NFL quarterbacks today?
I was reminiscing about which athletes kids looked up to when I was 10 years-old. It was simple. Your favorite player was typically one of the stars on your favorite (usually hometown) team. Occasionally, a universal big name like Joe Montana would jump into the mix. However, many of the big Montana fans I knew growing up in New Jersey were then San Francisco 49ers fans. This was usually due to their admiration of Montana. I don’t see that to frequently be the case today.
It is not uncommon for kids to gravitate more towards specific players now as opposed to an overall team. There are two main reasons why I find this to be the modern way of fandom for youth today.
First is fantasy football. In fantasy football, you cheer for individual players. The team winning or losing doesn’t matter, the player on your team putting up big numbers does. It’s great for the NFL to have kids intently invested with so many games per week.
Second, players are digitally accessible. Meaning, you can engage differently with a player much more in our social media universe. Players share a glimpse into their lives and who they are off the field. The NFL as a league leaned into this a partnered with TikTok back in 2019 to give fans even more content.
Why Do Kids Select A Favorite Player?
It’s a question with many answers. 30 years ago I would have said, “I love Phil Simms because he is the New York Giants’ fearless leader.” I asked 30 local youth athletes this as a follow-up question upon them naming their favorite NFL quarterback. Often the answer was related to the Quarterback’s persona. Their style of play, their personality, and even their jersey number was mentioned.
So tallying up the 30 youth football players I asked, here are the kids’ favorite NFL quarterbacks that are active today.