The Curse of the "Arm Chair Quarterback

Mike Coval
January 5, 2021

Arm Chair Quarterback = someone who doesn't participate in an action, but still makes judgements about it

This idiom originated from the game of football.  Specifically directed toward the fan who sits there and critiques what their team could have done and what they would have done differently with the belief the team would have won the game had the team executed their plan.

However, you can apply it to any area of life.


Most recently, I read an article in the Free Press about a VERY successful bakery out of Detroit in the Free Press and their struggle during this pandemic.  In the article, the owner raved about a young CFO whom the owner spoke highly of.

Of course, I had to scroll the comments section.  I couldn't help it.  One of the comments made me laugh and shake my head.

"If your business can't sustain a hit, you had no business being in business. Tell that to your CFO beyond his years silliness."

With a comment like that, I would hope the person is an uber successful business owner in the restaurant industry.  Someone who had accumulated enough cash reserve they could sustain a pandemic that dramatically interrupts their business for a long period of time.  Someone who understands the challenges of the industry.  Someone who could have predicted something like we're currently in and who has planned appropriately.

However, I'd be willing to bet every dollar to my name the person who made the comment is anything but that.  That's someone who's bitter about how life has turned out for them. 

Someone who can't be genuinely happy for others when they have success because of various reasons including, but not limited to not actually achieving their own success in life.

Someone who had some failures early in life and couldn't handle failure.  They figured out that it was easier to sit back and never try.  I mean, it's a hard to fail when you don't try, right?   It's better for a fragile ego.  

If you didn't know what "arm chair quarterback" meant before, then you surely do now.  You just met them.

They're "energy vampires".  They suck the life right out of anything that they come into contact with.

How many arm chair quarterbacks do you have in your circle?

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Mike Coval

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