Mark Rypien gets less credit than he’s deserved. The first Canadian born quarterback to start in the NFL, Rypien was a traditional drop back passer with a cannon arm and a touch for the deep ball. Selected in the 6th round by the Washington Redskins in 1986 by Charlie Casserly, Rypien would sit on injured reserve for roughly two seasons, while Jay Schroeder and Super Bowl MVP Doug Williams slugged it out. When the dust settled Jay was in Los Angeles and Doug was ailing from back injuries. Making the best of his limited starting assignment, Mark became the fulltime starter and was named to the ProBowl in both 1989 and 1991. In 1991 Mark led the Redskins to a victory in Super Bowl XXVI and was named the MVP after throwing for 292 yards and 2 touchdowns. Plan B, free agency and the salary cap eventually took their toll on the Redskins. With the retirement of Joe Gibbs, the Redskins went through a transitional period and by 1994 the team was already looking in another direction for a quarterback and drafted Heath Shuler, essentially ending Mark’s tenure with the team. He’d then go on to become the true definition of a journeyman quarterback spending no more than 1 season at any location over the next 5 teams playing for the Rams, Browns, and Eagles. Signed by the Falcons in 1998 he retired briefly after the tragic passing of his son. He’d emerge again 3 years later in 2001 with the Colts, and then be cut after playing briefly in the preaseason for the Seattle Seahawks in 2002.
In 2006 Mark would play briefly as a promotional appearance for the GLIFL for the Rochester Raiders and is an avid golfer and fan of NASCAR. After losing a son in 1998 to cancer, Rypien would establish the Mark Rypien Foundation, to which he devotes a significant amount of his time.
( www.markrypienfoundation.org )
I met Mark Rypien at the CGA Youth Golf Tournament in 1992. At the time I’d give players each a 13×19 drawing I did of them as thanks for their autograph. Mark was the first player who didn’t want his and I was confused by his ‘modesty’ but he was still nice enough to sign 2 cards for me.
Games 104 Att 1466 Comp 2613 Pct 56.1 Yds 18473 Td 115 Int 88