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What is Monday Morning Quarterbacking?

Tricia Christensen
Updated May 23, 2024
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Monday morning quarterbacking refers to the process of passing judgment when one has hindsight. In some ways the phrase morning quarterbacking is uniquely connected to sports fans. It is certainly common watercooler talk to discuss how a football team might have improved in their most recent game, how the quarterback should have thrown more, or the defense should have been better at intercepting passes. Usually Monday morning quarterbacking contains a somewhat critical, negative, aspect, and is most often applied to teams that exhibited poor performance.

Of course, Monday morning quarterbacking in its strictest sense takes place on Monday after Sunday games played by professional football teams. Criticism after Monday, or now Thursday night football is still called Monday morning quarterbacking. Further, teams do use review of their games to improve future performances, so the practice is common to both professionals and armchair athletes alike.

However, teams may accuse the armchair athlete of being a bit too critical in their Monday morning quarterbacking. Hindsight is a great gift for improving performances, but it matters little what “woulda, shoulda, coulda” happen after a game is over. Monday morning quarterbacking can be quite bitter among disappointed fans, and criticism that is not really deserved can run high.

In more common usage, Monday morning quarterbacking applies to anyone who uses hindsight to judge a person’s actions. Naturally, from a removed position, it is often easier to see what someone “should” have done or said. It is also relatively negative, and often quite unhelpful to tell someone how he or she erred or what should have been done.

Sometimes, however, Monday morning quarterbacking is a way of improving the manner in which one lives. For example, looking at past mistakes can help one avoid behaving in a manner that would cause similar mistakes in the future. It just is not very pleasant when someone else does this analysis without one asking for the person’s advice or opinion.

Sports n' Hobbies is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Tricia Christensen
By Tricia Christensen , Writer
With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia Christensen is based in Northern California and brings a wealth of knowledge and passion to her writing. Her wide-ranging interests include reading, writing, medicine, art, film, history, politics, ethics, and religion, all of which she incorporates into her informative articles. Tricia is currently working on her first novel.

Discussion Comments

By Inaventu — On Sep 23, 2014

One of my co-workers just loves Monday morning quarterbacking after every college football game. It's spooky how much he remembers about every play during every game. I enjoy watching sports, too, but I can't remember much except the big plays that went wrong or the starting quarterback's name.

I really don't see the point of rehashing something that has already happened and cannot be changed, but apparently there are a lot of people out there who enjoy playing Monday morning quarterbacks after the fact.

By Ruggercat68 — On Sep 23, 2014

I once had a boss who was a big fan of Monday morning quarterbacking. After our entire sales and marketing team made a big pitch to a potential client, he would call us into the conference room the next morning and criticize everything we did. It all boiled down to how HE would have done things if HE had been in our shoes. He would have brought more visual aids and graphs. He would have spent more time researching the client. He would have scheduled the meeting at a different time, and so on.

It didn't even matter if we won the contract or not. He just enjoyed playing the role of Monday morning quarterback. I can take some constructive criticism, but this was just too much.

Tricia Christensen

Tricia Christensen


With a Literature degree from Sonoma State University and years of experience as a Sports n' Hobbies contributor, Tricia...
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