NASA Gives Vikings QB a New Nickname

NASA's Horizontal Integration Facility located on Wallops Island. It is a place where they bring the multiple stages of rocket together in preparation for launch. © MEGAN RAYMOND/SALISBURY DAILY TIMES.

It’s one of those moments in Minnesota Vikings history that simply boggles the mind.

Whether the Metrodome collapsed, Randy Moss returned via trade, or Brett Favre signed on the dotted line twice, the franchise is no stranger to outlandish events, and the latest chapter was scripted in the last six days.

NASA Gives Vikings QB a New Nickname

In short, his name is Josh Dobbs.

NASA Gives Vikings
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Dobbs led the Vikings to an improbable comeback win on Sunday, joining the franchise via trade on Halloween and given about four days to study the playbook. Then, against the Atlanta Falcons, rookie quarterback Jaren Hall was concussed, thrusting Dobbs into action with skimpy notice.

And all Dobbs did was tally 158 passing yards on 20 for 30 completions versus attempts, 66 rushing yards, 3 total touchdowns, a couple of fumbles, and a safety. He wasn’t perfect, but Dobbs engineered a Vikings comeback that will now live in a folklore realm.

The four members of NASA/SpaceX Crew-6 pass by Kennedy Space Center, FL as their Dragon capsule Endeavour reenters the earth’s atmosphere Monday, September 4, 2023 The four astronauts, who spent six months on the International Space Station, splashed down in the Atlantic off Jacksonville. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

Across the country, NASA noticed, if that can be believed. Dobbs spent an internship program with NASA in 2020 after earning a degree at the University of Tennessee. The announcers for Falcons-Vikings jokingly called it “rocket surgery,” but Dobbs is an actual rocket scientist.

So NASA claimed one of its own Monday morning, applauding the Vikings quarterback and granting him a new nickname — The Passtronaut.

Wednesday morning was the official unveiling of the new Kennedy Entry Experience, an enhancement to the entrance plaza at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. The LED spectacular features a 3,000-square-foot video display that tells the story of NASA: past, present, and future, with attention-grabbing technology that makes images appear to leap off the screen. © MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY / USA TODAY NETWORK.

NASA’s Glenn Research Center tweeted Monday, “Congratulations, Josh Dobbs, on yesterday’s big win! Looks like you rock(et) on and off the field. We heard you’ve even got a new nickname, the ‘Passtronaut.’ If the suit fits, wear it.🚀.”

Here’s the full tweet:

Dobbs was commended coming out of Tennessee in 2017 for intelligence — go figure — and some tantalizing athletic traits during the draft lead-up. But then he fell to Round 4, was chosen by the Pittsburgh Steelers, and became a journeyman passer in the last six years.

Here’s his NFL resume to date:

  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2017–2019)
  • Jacksonville Jaguars (2019)
  • Pittsburgh Steelers (2020–2021)
  • Cleveland Browns (2022)
  • Detroit Lions (2022)
  • Tennessee Titans (2022)
  • Cleveland Browns (2023)
  • Arizona Cardinals (2023)
  • Minnesota Vikings (2023–present)
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports.

Now, Dobbs’ resume can include the NASA shoutout, and the man can claim The Passtronaut moniker forever.

Vikings fans have also called him Josh Dubs since Sunday.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

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