Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Garcia's Career Resume Has Just One Little Flaw; Sharks Quarterback, 40, Is Missing a Title as a Capper to Arena Career

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Garcia's Career Resume Has Just One Little Flaw; Sharks Quarterback, 40, Is Missing a Title as a Capper to Arena Career

Article excerpt

Byline: Don Coble

Nobody knows if Aaron Garcia's next loss will be his last, including Garcia.

He faces the inevitable decision to walk away from the Arena Football League someday. But for now, the only thing commanding his attention is beating the Orlando Predators on Friday night at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena.

At 40, nobody knows how many throws are left in his arm. He already holds every significant AFL record for a quarterback, but there's a glaring void in his hall of fame career - a championship.

The quest to win an ArenaBowl championship is why Garcia keeps coming back. The just-completed regular season was his 16th, and it was his best.

"I love having Aaron," AFL commissioner Jerry B. Kurz said. "I wish Aaron will play until he's 50."

For years, Garcia deflected any idea of retirement, saying as long as his body doesn't hurt and his family can manage financially, he will continue to come back for more. That mind-set hasn't changed.

"It's strictly on what my family can handle," Garcia said. "I have no huge desire to do anything other than playing football. I've talked to enough people in the league who said they wish they played a couple more years.

"I wouldn't stay in the game if my body wasn't healthy and my family wasn't committed to winning a championship."

He knows he's the catalyst for much of the team's success. He threw six interceptions in a three-game stretch - all losses. In 14 wins, Garcia had nine interceptions. In four losses, he had eight.

"But look at his touchdown-to-interception ratio," Sharks coach Les Moss said. "What is it, 116 to 17? I'll take that. That's almost seven touchdowns for every interception. Aaron's had a great season."

Garcia also surpassed several milestones this year.

He became the only player in professional football history to throw for more than 1,000 touchdowns in a career. His jersey and helmet immediately were sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

He passed the 50,000-yard mark in last week's season finale. He also holds league records for completions (3,984) and games (248).

His playoff record, however, hasn't been as celebrated. …

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