Elizabeth Taggart

MCC’s own Joe Germaine has been to the Rose Bowl, the Super Bowl, the Arena Bowl and is currently the quarterback for Utah’s Arena Football team, the Blaze.Germaine, the Thunderbirds’ quarterback coach, though born in Colorado, moved to Arizona at age six and said he still considers it home.

After graduating from Mountain View High School in Mesa in 1994, Germaine attended Scottsdale Community College for one year before transferring to Ohio State University.

Germaine said he originally had no intentions of moving out of Arizona because he wanted to stay close to home, but after a recruiting trip he fell in love with OSU.

Germaine was voted MVP of the 1997 Rose Bowl game after leading OSU to a 20-17 victory over Arizona State.

“It was cool because as a teen, the main goal is to win and we accomplished a huge goal. It had been over 20 years since OSU won,” Germaine said. “We also played ASU so personally it was a unique game to be a part of.”

In his senior year, Germaine was co-captain and set 11 school records and in 2000 was one of four quarterbacks voted onto OSU’s all-century team.

It was quite an honor and it’s a great tradition so it was pretty neat, he said.

Germaine said that although the Rose Bowl tops his list of favorite memories from OSU, his last game as a senior really stands out.

Before the last game in the Horseshoe against Michigan, the alumni formed a tunnel for the seniors to run through and then announced all of their names before they ran onto the field.

“My mom and dad were at the end of the tunnel and we could all feel the stadium atmosphere.” said Germaine.

After being drafted by the St. Louis Rams in 1999, the team went on to win the Super Bowl.

It was a big adjustment to go to the NFL, Germaine said. There was a new system, a new language; there was more verbage in the offense and in calling plays. These players are the best of the best.

Going to the Super Bowl with the Rams was an unbelievable experience, Germaine said. They were the losingest team of the 90s and in one year turned it around to a 13-3 season.

Germaine said even though he didn’t play, it was amazing because he had the best seat in the house.

“In four years in the NFL, I didn’t really make a dent but I still got to have a ring. There are hall-of-famers that don’t get to do that, so it’s a real honor.”

After moving around in the NFL for a few years, Germaine came back to play for Arizona’s Arena Football team, the Rattlers, in 2004.

Germaine said it was an adjustment to switch because the field is about half the size of an NFL field and there fewer players, as well as some rule differences.

In his first season with Arizona, the Rattlers went to the Arena Bowl where Germaine said he got to meet his favorite football player of all time, John Elway.

There was an event that all of the teams were invited to, including John Elway and Jon Bon Jovi, who both own AFL teams.

“I saw John Elway and Bon Jovi and I went up to say ‘hey Mr. Elway.’ It was the first time I got to meet him and I ended up walking right by Bon Jovi without saying hi.”

Germaine said that although Arizona went on to lose the game it is great just to be a part of a league with such talented players that prides itself on the fans and the kids.

After playing with the Rattlers for two years, Germaine moved to the Utah Blaze in 2006 but still lives with his wife of six years and two sons in Arizona.

“We spend half a year in each place but we have it backwards. We’re in Utah during the winter and Arizona in the summer,” Germaine joked.

This season is Germaine’s second as the quarterback coach for MCC.

“I’m still playing and glad to still be able to play.

“I’ll play for as long as I’m able because I have a passion for football. I’m using this time to see if this is what I want to do and maybe have a career in coaching.”

Germaine said he’s thought about coaches he’s had that he liked or disliked and tried to learn a little from each.

He added that having been a player and still playing professionally affects what kind of coach he is.

Mesa Legend Staff

Mesa Legend Staff

These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.
Mesa Legend Staff

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