Monday morning quarterback and armchair quarterback

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A Monday morning quarterback is someone who second-guesses a decision someone else has made after the event is finished. A Monday morning quarterback criticizes from the comfort of 20/20 hindsight. The term comes from the fact that most American football games are played on Sunday, and it is easy to criticize a quarterback’s decisions in the heat of the moment from the vantage point twelve or more hours after the football game has ended. Monday morning quarterback is a pejorative term, first used by  Barry Wood, the quarterback of the Harvard football team, in a speech at a meeting of the New England Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools, in 1931.

An armchair quarterback is also someone who second-guesses a decision someone else has made after the event is finished. Monday morning quarterback and armchair quarterback are interchangeable idioms. Presumably, the term armchair quarterback is patterned on the term armchair general, a phrase first used in the mid-1960s.


“I mean, these are law enforcement professionals I’m sure they had a good rationale, but I don’t know it myself and we need to understand what the facts of the situation are,” he said, adding, “the most important lesson I learned from being in combat is it’s very dangerous as a Monday morning quarterback to try to question the judgment of people in the most horrific circumstances imaginable.” (The Boston Herald)

It’s easy to look back with the 20/20 vision of hindsight and play Monday morning quarterback. (The Huffington Post)

I do not agree with playing Monday morning quarterback on what the legislature did in the last session. (The Stillwater News-Press)

We call this epidemic, “Armchair Quarterback:” one who (like me) who doesn’t play the game, has no expertise in the game, and sits in a lazy-boy eating Doritos while telling others how to play the game. (The Trussville Tribune)

“You can go back, you can do that in any sport and second guess and armchair quarterback,” he said. (The Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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