A Brief Investigation Into Whether Brady Quinn Broke The Simone Biles News


There was no avoiding the news yesterday. Simone Biles, one of the greatest gymnasts in history, is coming back to the sport that she has done so much to redefine. Her name appeared on the list of athletes expected to participate in the U.S. Classic in early August, a meet that can function as a sort-of preview for the national championships, which will be held in late August in San Jose. Biles was not the only familiar name on the list; she’s joined by fellow Tokyo Olympics teammates Suni Lee, Jordan Chiles, and Jade Carey. But few stars in the history of the sport have ever shined as bright as Biles. Until she walks away, it will be her crown to lose.

It’s almost too easy to wax on about Biles and all she has accomplished, and for that reason, and also because I need to save something to write about for August, I will not do that now. Instead, today, I would like to discuss why this otherwise momentous breaking news was something less than breaking for some gymnastics fans—and some NFL fans. Strangely enough, this involves Brady Quinn.

Football fans will likely best remember Quinn as a Notre Dame quarterback and Cleveland Browns first-round pick; he played in 24 games over his NFL career, none of which are really worth talking about. But gymnastics fans know him as Mr. Alicia Sacramone, one of the most decorated female U.S. gymnasts in history and current strategy lead for USA Gymnastics’ women’s program. I’m sure Quinn and Sacramone talk about their work at home—who doesn’t?—which might explain a little, shall we say, slip-up that Quinn made May 30 on the Pick Six podcast. During the show, the crew talked about Christian Watson racing Simone Biles at AJ Dillon’s Memorial Day party. (Both are teammates of Biles’s husband, Jonathan Owens, on the Green Bay Packers.) Co-host Katie Mox asked Quinn and CBS NFL writer Will Brinson to guess whom they thought won the race. Quinn guessed that Watson had the edge, but quickly pivoted to something else he seemed to really want to share.

“I mean Watson’s fast fast, so I would say he’s got the edge on this one,” Quinn said. “But! I don’t know if this is public or not. Simone Biles is returning to compete.”

“Oh,” Mox replied, “you would have the insider information.”

“I promise you this much,” Quinn replied. “We’re in good hands if Simone’s back, all right. Hopefully, she’s moved past all the stuff she’s dealt with and the last Olympics, but she is the greatest of all time. And so if she is back, like, to that form, I give her every bit of a shot of beating Christian Watson.”

Brinson never answered the question and instead got to worrying about the headlines this would generate and if Biles’s fans would attack them. “Yeah,” Mox added, “your wife will be real happy about that. Let’s move on!” You can watch the full clip below, starting around the 10:23 mark.

Brinson’s fears would not come true—but this was because gymnastics fans already knew that Biles had returned to training! Well before Quinn’s blurt, word already swirled around gymnastics fans online that Biles was training again. When the NFL podcast dropped, the all-knowing gymnastics podcast GymCastic mentioned that Biles’s return to training was “already confirmed.”

So, in conclusion, Brady Quinn did not fully break the Simone-Biles-is-back news, although he did advance the story by saying she was specifically aiming for competition (though, again, what else would she train for?). More importantly, does this mean that gymnastics fans need to starting listening to the Pick Six podcast for (checks notes) breaking gymnastics news? Or perhaps start following Quinn on social media and search is accounts for clues? I’ll let you decide on that.

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