Monday morning quarterbacking is the act of using hindsight to judge a person’s actions, often in a negative and critical way. It is commonly used in sports to discuss how a team could have improved their performance. The practice is used by both professionals and armchair athletes, but can be seen as overly critical by teams. While it can be a way to learn from past mistakes, it is often pointless to tell someone what they should have done.
Monday morning quarterback refers to the judgment process when you have hindsight. In one sense the phrase morning quarterbacking is uniquely connected to sports fans. It’s certainly common talk to talk about how a football team could have improved in its most recent game, like the quarterback should have thrown more or the defense should have been better at catching passes. Usually the Monday morning quarterback contains a somewhat critical, negative aspect, and is more often applied to teams that have shown poor performance.
Obviously, Monday morning quarterback in its strictest sense takes place on the Monday after Sunday games played by professional football teams. Criticism After Monday, or now Thursday night, football is still called Monday morning quarterbacking. Additionally, teams use reviewing their games to improve future performance, so the practice is common to pros and armchair athletes alike.
However, teams may accuse the armchair jock of being a little too critical of their Monday morning quarterback. Hindsight is a great gift for improving performance, but it doesn’t matter what “should, should, could” happen after a game is over. The Monday morning quarterback can be quite bitter among disappointed fans, and criticism that isn’t really deserved can run high.
In most common usage, Monday morning quarterback applies to anyone who uses hindsight to judge a person’s actions. Of course, from a removed position, it’s often easier to see what someone “should have” done or said. It’s also relatively negative and often quite pointless to tell someone how they did wrong or what they should have done.
Sometimes, however, Monday morning quarterbacking is a way to improve the way one lives. For example, looking at past mistakes can help you avoid behaving in a way that could cause similar mistakes in the future. It’s not very pleasant when someone else does this analysis without someone asking the person’s advice or opinion.