The Braveheart McNasty Phenomenon
One of the more enjoyable aspects of being a sports fan is having a player on your team that is unique and captures your imagination. For various and somewhat difficult to pinpoint reasons, Paul McQuistan has sparked the interest and fascination of the Raider Nation. I realize McQ hasn’t played a single down of professional football and hasn’t earned a starter’s role on our O-Line. Yet, there seems to be a sense of hopefulness and promise attached to his future. McQ seems to embody the characteristics of Art Shell’s ideal football player: A big, tough, physical offensive lineman from a small college who plays with a nasty streak and LOVES football. Paul McQuistan (aka "Braveheart McNasty") was an unknown 3rd round draft selection of the Raiders from Weber State University. In the past 2 weeks the Raider Nation has adopted Paul McQuistan as one of their new favorite sons.
Here are my 10 reasons for the interesting and curious Paul McQuistan phenomenon:
1. Appearance: 6’6”, 313 lbs, flaming red mullet, pasty white skin. One look at McNasty and you know he is unique, different, and a bit of a misfit. I would equate the fan’s curiosity of McQ with Clipper fan favorite Chris Kaman (see photo). Fans see these guys as an everyday person and as the underdog.
2. The hiring of Art Shell as Head Coach: Shell wants to re-make the Raiders into a physically and mentally tough football team with an intimidating presence.
"I expect to be a tough football team," Shell said. "When you walk out there, when you walk into that stadium, you walk out there with a presence. Mr. Davis (Al, managing general partner) called it a swagger. Yeah, a swagger."
"If there is one thing the Raiders learned during their mini-camp over the weekend it is that their new coach seeks toughness. He values it, admires it and believes it lights the path to building a more competitive team."
"With the points that Art Shell and (offensive line coaches) Jackie Slater and Irv Eatman are getting across," defensive tackle Warren Sapp said after the last practice on Sunday, "I can tell you our offensive line will be a lot meaner about what they're doing." "If we're going to make a run, it's gotta be an O-line and D-line dominated team." Sapp said. "We're only going to go as far as those two lines can take us. And that's where the toughness starts."
"Shell spoke highly of McQuistan's tenacity and suggested the club will look at him at guard, as well as tackle."
3. Scouting Report and video:
"Paul McQuistan has a great deal of experience, having started the past four seasons at left tackle for Weber State. He is a good leader and a hard worker who always strives for continuous improvement. He has the "mean streak" you like to see in an offensive lineman. He has good size with long arms that allow him to keep defenders away from his body. He is a strong, physical player who can be a dominating run blocker at times." (Watch the play at the :29 mark on the video as McNasty cleans off the pile)
4. Twins: Paul McQuistan has a twin brother (Pat) who played side-by-side with him at Weber State. Pat was drafted in the 7th round by the Dallas Cowboys. This picture (click here) is a classic!
5. Mini-Camp: Earning the Raider veterans respect and attention, here are a few quotes derived from mini-camp:
"Two days ago, third-round draft pick Paul McQuistan was known as "the goofy looking big dude with the red-headed mullet," according to one teammate. Now, he is the offensive lineman defenders are most wary of after two days of watching McQuistan throw around defensive linemen as if they were blocking dummies.
"Obviously, he has a long ways to go, but he and all the rookies on the line have done a good job," veteran offensive lineman Barry Sims said Saturday. "They seem to be further ahead of the game than the other groups we've had."
"He gets better every time you take a snap," Raiders coach Art Shell said. "He has a chance to be a pretty good football player. That's why we took him in the third round."
6. Nicknames: The numerous nicknames assigned to Paul McQuistan is staggering but here is a short list so far;
McNasty: This nickname is based on Paul’s nasty streak and physical style of play
McQ: (reference to the John Wayne movie character McQ; click here for image)
Malachai: (courtesy of Stickem; reference to the character from the movie Children of the Corn; view image here)
Quiz: (courtesy of Stickem; reference to Steve Wisniewski aka “Wiz”; image here)
Shrek: (reference to movie character; image here)
Braveheart: (reference to Sir William Wallace; image here)
The image at the top of this page is also of William Wallace (1270-1305), one of Scotland's greatest national heroes. William Wallace was the undisputed leader of the Scottish resistance forces during the struggle to free Scotland from English rule. William Wallace represented the spirit of the common man striving for freedom against oppression.
Here is a short passage describing William Wallace: “His stature was lofty and majestic, rising head and shoulders above the tallest of men in the country. Yet his form, though gigantic, possessed the most perfect symmetry, and with a degree of strength almost incredible, there was combined such an agility of body and fleetness in running that no-one, except when mounted on horseback, could outstrip or escape from him when he happened to persue.”
7. The New Wiz: Here is a an excerpt from Stickem’s article:
"Legend has it, the name "McQuistan" comes from “Mac Uist” meaning "Sons of the Isle of Uist" an island to the northwest of Scotland. The legend goes "Nothing good comes from Uist, just a pack of wild men." Picture the Highland Games with helmets and pads.
For everyone who thought Art Shell was having an On Golden Pond moment going on and on about the way the Raiders USED to be nasty and tough...Art ain't just talkin'. He's DOING something about it.
When Shell talks about linin' up, smiling, punchin' 'em in the mouth, askin' 'em how their wife is doing...then linin' up, smiling, and smackin' 'em in the kisser again...
This is how he played. We saw it, over and over again. This is how the Raider O-linemen will play or they will be replaced by someone who will. McQuistan is just the first example of this philosophy under the ‘new’ Shell Raiders."
8. Autumn Wind is a Pirate: Here is an excerpt from a recent Football365 article
"The Autumn Wind is a pirate, blustering in from sea. With a rollicking song he sweeps along, swaggering boisterously. His face is weather beaten. He wears a hooded sash. With his silver hat about his head...
And a bristly mullet of fiery red.
He growls as he storms the country, a villain big and bold. And the trees all shake and quiver and quake...
As Paul McQuistan tallies another pancake.
When Paul McQuistan was selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft, he was one of those "I'll have to look him up players." Then, a couple days later, when he entered the Oakland Raiders ' minicamp, he was "the goofy-looking big dude with the red-headed mullet.
But after a few days down in the trenches, he is a Raider."
9. 1st Annual Paul McQuistan Haiku Fest was launched by Raider Take. I bet most of you didn't realize just how many soulful poets existed in the Raider Nation!
10. The Paul McQuistan Fan Club (click here): You know that you are in the midst of something special when a 3rd round draft choice from a small college has a fan club in less than 1 week after being drafted.
Yes Raider fans. It is a dawning of a new era. I raise my pint of McEwan Ale to our new rising red son, Paul McQuistan. Cheers!