TEMPE, Ariz. -- It had the makings of a heartwarming story.
Stan Gelbaugh, the former Maryland quarterback who was selling copying machines in suburban Maryland a year ago before becoming the most valuable player in the World League of American Football, was within 30 minutes of the highlight of his short NFL career.
Completing nine of 16 passes for 105 yards, Gelbaugh drove the Phoenix Cardinals to a 14-0 halftime lead over the Washington Redskins. He had the shot at pulling off the biggest upset of the season.
But it all unraveled in the second half for Gelbaugh.
In his first three series of the second half, he got a net of 7 total yards and no first downs.
On his fourth series, he was intercepted by Brad Edwards, a play that set up Chip Lohmiller's second field goal that gave the Redskins a 20-14 lead.
Coach Joe Bugel then yanked Gelbaugh for Chris Chandler, who produced two first downs and 33 yards in his only series.
Gelbaugh was so frustrated by the move that he got out of the locker room before any reporters could talk to him. That's unusual for Gelbaugh, who's noted for being cooperative with the media.
But Gelbaugh has been around long enough to know the way the game works.
Although Bugel said he'd make a decision later in the week on his starter, he did say that Chandler will "get some shots in the next two weeks."
"We want to get settled on the quarterbacks. That's the big thing," Bugel said.
Which means Chandler is likely to start the final two games. Gelbaugh probably won't start again until the Monarchs play their first WLAF game.
It was a bitter ending to a day that started on such a good note for Gelbaugh.