I was watching the Los Angeles Avengers against the Arizona Rattlers in Arena Football League action last night and it occurred to me that the most thankless job in sports might be that of a defensive back in the AFL.

Last night, the quarterback for L.A., Sonny Cumbie, threw for seven touchdowns. The guy for Philadelphia, Tony Graziani, threw for five. The QB for New York, Rohan Davey, threw for six. And so on. The game between Utah and Cleveland had a combined 129 points. The passes are flying so fast and furious, those d-backs must develop twitches.

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And so I was pleased to see one game decided when a defensive back for New Orleans, Keon Raymond, tipped away a two-point conversion to help beat Orlando, 54-53. Raymond also returned an interception for a 42-yard touchdown.

It reminds me of an apocryphal Branch Rickey story where the old man was once told that there was this fabulous pitcher in the minors who threw so hard that in one game, just one batter hit a foul ball off him. Rickey supposedly said, "Get me the guy that got the foul, we need hitters."

So in a league where every quarterback is Peyton Manning, that one DB who can win a game deserves some close scrutiny.

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