Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The best ever?


It took Joe Montana 9 season to win 3 super bowls, 10 seasons to win his 4th and final super bowl. It took John Elway 16 seasons to win his 2 super bowls & Dan Marino never won a super bowl in his great career. Tom Brady in his 5th season is on his way to a 3rd super bowl in which if he wins it will be 3 super bowls in 5 seasons. If Brady keeps the same pace he can go 1 up on Montana and have 6 super bowl rings in 10 seasons. He might not be the best quarterback ever right now but he sure is on his way.

51 Comments:

Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Now, now. You are getting ahead of yourself here by saying that Brady is or can be the greatest. You have to think about the game and how it has changed. The Patriots have a complete team, super coach, super defense, super running back. they just have a super team. Tom Brady shouldn't get all the credit for this because he didn't carry these teams to the super bowl like Elway did. Elway could have won 5 super bowls if he didn't have the scrubs around him that he did. As for Montana, nobody could throw the ball like Montana, he could have been great anywhere. Brady is just in a good system and by my standards he is a average quarterback. Brian Griese could take that Patriot team to the super bowl and probably do a better job.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Montana didn't do that great in Kansas City, so to say he could be great anywhere would be an incorrect statement.

I will say that Brady and Montana are very similar in their own repective places in history. Most will say Montana was the greatest ever. Some may someday say Brady will be the best ever. They are tremendous QB's who make tough plays and put the ball where it needs to be. They are both a product of a system that works. They both happen to be the Quartbeack of the best team in their days of playing. Does that however mean they are considered to be the best QB?

In my opinion, to rate the best QB in history , one would have to look at the man's ability (as a QB alone) to find out who the best QB is ever. When you look at modern day QB's one would have to mention Favre's ability to improvise and his gun slinger aproach. Favre brought a championship and apeared in another basically by himself. There was nothing special to the Packers in the mid-90's. No superstar running back, no outstanding wide receivers, no great defense. Look at Elway and his rocket right arm, his ability to scramble (especially in his earlier years), his come from behind wins. Don't knock his first superbowl trips until you consider he never had a pro bowl reciever or tight end until Shannon Sharpe. The defense of the Broncos in the mid 80's was good but not great. Then when he gets a running game, Elway was unstoppable in his lasty 3-4 years. Look at Michael Vick, he has modernized the position, and single handedly can win any game any weekend by himself. I understand some may bring up Unitas and old foggies like that but we aren't all 60 years old and remember the glory days.

In my opinion, Brady is a lot like Montana, they will get a lot of press and a lot of votes for the best QB ever. But have they really ever had to do anything by themselves. Have they ever had to put the entire franchise on their shoulders and said "here, I will carry us to the superbowl with my physical ability as a quarterback". We have yet to see that with Brady, and Montana was asked to do that with the Chiefs late in his career and he couldn't bring it home.

12:09 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

You can’t be serious considering this as a topic? That’s like putting Terrell Davis as one of the greatest running backs along with Barry Sanders. Is that right? No. Granted TD was great during his healthy years, but it is WAY too soon to see if Brady is indeed worth mentioning in the same breath as Marino, Farve, Elway, etc. Nobody cares that he has won two Super Bowls all ready. I think everyone who watches football understands the Patriots are built around many key elements, including a dominating defense. Their reason for victory isn’t because Brady is throwing up Pro Bowl type numbers. I will say this Patriots team is one of the best teams ever. It’s just sick going 28-4 in two seasons and possibly winning 2 Super Bowls during that span. I’m not even bringing up the previous two seasons where they had success.

12:39 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:50 PM  
Blogger RED said...

It's hard to take what Elway did and not call him the best quarterback. He carried the Broncos on his back for 3/4 of his career and he was very successful in doing so. He made everyone around him better especially his receivers. I believe that Elway could have had stats that compared to Dan Marino but the system Elway was in with Reeve's at the helm held John Elway back. Dan Reeve's is a Marty Shottenhiemer like coach who loves to pound the ball with a bruiser back and take pressure of the Quarterback by putting him in situations to convert short 3rd down plays. Elway would have to be in my top 3 best quarterbacks.

Tom Brady is comparable to Joe Montana in the sense that he is in a great situation, not always a system. the reason I say a great situation is because the way his team is coached & managed. Bob Kraft is a great GM and has been successful in the past with Bill Parcells. The Patriots defense is also a great situation to be in, they are quick, strong, aggressive and determined to be the best plus they have a lot of veteran leadership. I know from my football days that just because a player does not play on offense or defense they still have an emotional impact on the entire team. there are pro bowlers on that entire defense - Ty Law, Rodney Harrison, Teddy Bruschi & Willie McGinest. Plus they have a damn good clutch kicker in Adam Vinatieri.

As for Tom Brady achieving the title for best quarterback ever, if they repeat what they have done the past 5 years they will have to put him on top. The guy don't throw a lot of interceptions and he throws for 3,000 a year so by the end of all that he should have close to 40,000 passing yards, 250-300 touch downs and 250 wins. Elway stuck around 16 years to get what he got done, same with Marino to bolster up those stats. Those stats were all inflated because of they're quest for a super bowl. Manning will probably eclipse all of these quarterbacks in his quest to achieve a ring but players that are in great situations like Brady and Montana prove early that they can get it done.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Arvada Mike said...

Perhaps you people forgot about Terry Bradshaw who won 4 super bowls in 6 years. You kids were probably nothing but sperm in my nut sack when he was playing. He was a nitty gritty fighter who led that ugly bunch to 4 super bowls and won every damn one of them. Terry Bradhshaw is actually an old friend of mine who happened to introduce me to Bill Cowher. Terry and I used to play raquetball together back in the early 80's. I pretty much tought him that game, well along with frisby. The man can huck a frisby 200 yards believe it or not. Jamezwp I am sorry i have to put you in your place again but winning championships is what it is all about not just winning games and getting to super bowls. Check your history son.

1:08 PM  
Blogger Hulk said...

Brady doesn't shine in any discernable area with the lone exception of being consistently reliable. He doesn't make huge plays, he doesn't up fantasy numbers, but he can certainly win games and in any sport, that's what really matters.

1:10 PM  
Blogger CosmicPal said...

You know Terry Bradshaw?

Whatever....

Well, I just talked to my old chums, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck about Tom Brady since they are Bostonians themselves. They seem to think Brady certainly deserves to be respected for his intelligence and command on the turf. They also gave me Robin Williams phone number is Aspen, and I think I'll call him up for a few chuckles.

Oh, and Ben told me to tell you- if you make any jokes about his ex's, he's going to give you a beating with his paddle he saved from his role in Dazed and Confused.

Lastly Aravda Mike- they both think you are a very colorful and interesting, but profoundly sad individual. They would like to do a movie based on you and your superior knowledge of sports and all the famous people you know. They haven't come up with a title yet, but I'm sure with the help of others on this blog- they'd love to hear suggestions on what we might think the movie should be called.

You're going to be famous now Mike...better keep that underwear clean.

1:37 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Hulk - Not great stats? Here let me own you real quick.
Brady this season - 28 TD's 14 INT's 3692 yards passing. Those are damn good fantasy numbers! Yea there not Manning like with his 49 Td's which 3/4 were piss poor teams. And even as a career, in the 4 full seasons that Brady played in he has thrown 97 TD's, only 52 INT's and 13,925 YARDS. Multiply that by 4 (ammount of years Elway played) 16... Here let me do the math. 55.700 Yards, 388 TD's. That isn't counting the superbowl trophys he will collect. I think that leaves him #1 All Time in EVERYTHING

1:44 PM  
Blogger quest4facts said...

I have to agree with James. The best QB ever must be taken into context of his team and of the times. Football is the ultimate team game and the Quarterback gets the most love/ hatred more than any other player or coach. The case that Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever is not even a matter of discussion. The best Quarterbacks of the past 20 years are as folllows: 1.John Elway - His athletic ability and his rocket for an arm were secondary to his will to win and his positive attitude. 2. Brett Favre - Very Elway-esque abilities and will to win. 3 Dan Marino - The complete passer, dependent on his running game, it is no wonder he never won a ring. 4. Joe Montana - Cool under pressure, no one made the job of quarterback look so easy. 5. Jim Kelly - No one ever gives this guy much credit. He was a tough guy who could play with the best.

2:27 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Dude, you can't compare current day stats to old'n day stats. The game changes and evolves. By saying that Brady's stats are going to be better than Elways is comparing apples to oranges. Jake Plummer passed for more yards this season than any other Bronco in history. Does that make him a better QB than Elway.

You all really need to quit emphasizing stats, and rings so much. You need to look at the player, and ask, what does that player do for his team. That's how you measure a good QB. Nevermind his "system", or his defense, or his surrounding players. Example: Is Tom Brady the only quarterback that can lead the Patriots to the superbowl? Could another "average" QB come in and do what Brady does with that team? Did another QB win with the Niners - yes (Steve Young).

On the flip side, could another QB lead the mid 90's Packers to the same success they had? No! Could another QB other than John Elway lead the 86' 87' & 89' Broncos to the Superbowl? Hell No!. Would another QB be able to lead the 04' Falcons to the NFC title game? Not a chance!

2:28 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

Interesting discussion, but as has already been scientifically established on our blog www.personalfoul.blogspot.com Troy Aikman is the greatest QB and the Patriots wouldn't be able to hang with the 90's Cowboys. Troy got 3 out of 4 Super Bowls and that is unmatched. Please keep us posted on the BenAffleck/MattDamon Arvada Mike movie. It sounds great!

2:42 PM  
Blogger RED said...

That is right the game has changed so could Fran Tarkenton be better then Elway? He rushed for more yards then Elway, he took his team to 4 superbowls on his back. The Eagles have been carried by Donovan McNabb the past 3 years to the NFC Championship. There are a lot of apples and oranges to compare but when it's all said and done it comes down to 3 main catagories I believe - #1 - Super bowls, You gotta be great to win a superbowl. #2 - Wins, Great one's win #3 - Stats, unfortunatly they count.
Elway is my #1A in my list of great quarterbacks with a slight lead over Joe Montana who is my #1B. Here is my ranking of the great one's.
#1A - Elway - 5 Super bowls, 300 wins
#1B - Montana - 4 Super bowl wins, 3 Super bowl MVP's, Highest passer rating in history in the playoffs. By the way 11 TD's no interceptions in the Super bowl.
#2 - Dan Marino - The stats speak for themselves, and he played in 1 super bowl.
#3 - Favre - 50K passing, 2 Super bowl appearances 1 win
#4 - Fran Tarkenton - 47K passing, 4 Super bowls
#5 - Saving it for Brady...

2:43 PM  
Blogger quest4facts said...

Paul,
If Troy Aikman is so good why are you the first one to mention the scrub?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Jamezwp said...

Troy Aikman is worth mentioning, the Cowboys were a great team. But once again, they had an arsenal of playmakers. They had perhaps the best o-line ever, the leading rusher of all time, the "playmaker" himself Michael Irvin, a stellar defense, "Primetime" Neon Deion. I hardly believe Troy Aikman "carried" that team.
What happened to Aikman after free agency tore apart their "dream team" from 96' to 00'. Nothing, they went 39-41 under the wimpy headless walking concussion Aikman! Aikman - lol, that is the first time I've ever even heard his name mentioned in a best QB discussion. Nice try though Cowboy fan!

2:56 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

I dunno Rich. He did whip your boy Jim Kelley a coupla times. He never lost a Super Bowl like Favre. And really, what's so great about Marino? Manning wiped him from the record books before he blew it last week in New England. And Tarkenton only went to 3 Super Bowls and lost them all. Joe Kapp QB'd the Vikes to SB4.

2:58 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

Jameszwp.. Elway got those 80's Broncos to Super Bowl in a very weak AFC and then got destroyed. He needed a team to get his super Bowls too. Favre couldn't beat Aikman in the playoffs. Maybe if Shottenheimer had been in the NFC Aikman would have gotten there several more times.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Hulk said...

Paul, don't listen to Rich - he's a fag.

3:33 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Pauly, Pauly , Pauly- Troy Aikman! Cmon! Yes he is undefeated in superbowls but the greatest? Now that is a little too much man. No way Troy Aikman is the greatest...
Joe Kapp that's right. Tarkenton's numbers and SB apearances are still damn impressive. Aikman will never go down in the top 5 though.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

I probably misspoke RED. 8Ball was a great QB on the Greatest Team of All-Time, and no other SB team could have beaten them. The Pats are making a push, but Jimmy Johnson & the Cowboys would defeat them 58-14.

4:26 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

And you're right about Tark's #s. They were off the chain at the time and I saw him put a lot of them up. BUT almost every pass he threw was less than 5 yards or thrown behind the line of scrimmage and the back or receiver would get RAC yards. I've seen at least 10 better QBs come along since. Even Jim Kelly.

4:34 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Name them then...

6:51 PM  
Blogger Comrade X said...

I did RED. check them out on my blog: www.personalfoul.blogspot.com
I listed my top 10 QBs of all time. Let me know if I went wrong.

7:02 PM  
Blogger Drizztdj said...

People put too much on statistics and not on results and leadership quality.

With that being said, Brady deserves a lot more praise then what he's getting.

7:06 PM  
Blogger RED said...

I'm going to check it now Paul. I will tell you what I think.

As for Brady i agree he should be getting way more props then this. But you know what that's how he wants it, along with the Pats, they don't want to be this media overage like the Colts & Manning got all season. They want to be the under dog with something to prove. That is what made Elway great.

7:32 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This is Pauls TOP 10 Quarterbacks:(I put MY comment next to the player)

1)Favre- Okay how is he #1 on your list if he has only won 1 superbowl? Yes he has some great number but the only thing that seperates Favre and Marino is that 1 superbowl.

2)Bradshaw- You say Bradshaw because he won 4 superbowls in 6 years. That is a great accomplishment but why not have Brady here for that reason. Brady will win 3 in 4 years and he threw up better numbers. The Steelers teams were so great because of the steel curtain defense and not to mention 3 other Hall of famers Lynn Swann, John Stallworth & Franco Harris.

3)Elway- You got Elway ranked in the top 3, okay I can agree with that but on this list he might as well be #1 if your gonna have Favre and Bradshaw above him. Most list would have had Montana or Unitas or maybe Marino.

4)Aikman- I see Aikman possibly in the top 10 but 4th! he was ojn a great team that was lead by Emmitt Smith and Michael Irvin and a great defense and not to mention the greatest line ever probably. No way he goes #4

5)Montana- Come on man he won 4 superbowls, he was MVP in 3 of them. 8 pro bowls and 273 TD's to only 139 picks anmd a career rating of 92.3. Why is isn't in your top 3 makes me laugh.

6)Vick- Unproven, enough said.

7)Staubach- played in 4 , won 2. I can't argue with your 7 spot

8)Brady- That's fine too

9)Marino-Should be higher.

10)Manning- Would never make my top 10 today...

7:46 PM  
Blogger Adeel Ahmad said...

I don't think the Patriots will be winning Super Bowls at the same rate through Brady's career. I don't think they'll be winning one for a long time after this year, if they win this year to begin with.

9:01 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Why not? The Colts are not going to stop them. If they keep the team together they can run the table for a few more years I'm sure. Even if they don't they are a modern day dynasty and have a shot at being the 1st team since the Broncos to win back to back super bowls.

9:47 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hey guys, this my first at this site and it is great. My site is mdsportsfans.blogspot.com.

Red, I don't see a link list on your site, how do you want to link our sites?

I was reading all these comments and I wanted to know why Unitis,Nameth or Starbaugh wasn't on the top ten list. Vick isn't a QB, he is another running back.

Brady is overrated by all means. He is the benifit of a system. He reminds me of Trent Dilfer for the Ravens in 2001. His task is to not lose the game. If Brian Billick had not gotten rid of Dilfer, the Ravens would have probably been in the playoffs again.

I will visit again and put your site on my links list Red.

12:04 AM  
Blogger ATL falcon girl said...

Dear god the world is coming to an end I actually agree with Mike (oh the horror!!) Terry Bradshaw hands down. The man was amazing.

Chris get off Vick. As long as he stays healthy he could end up being one of the best. He has the throwing ability and the running just makes him that much more exciting. At least if he doesnt ever become best quarterback he will be the most exciting and best running. LOL

6:52 AM  
Blogger RED said...

Speaking of Vick it doesn't matter if he runs all day or not. He is still a quarterback and he gets the job done. He has a great shot at being one of the best and he has a chance to prove it this weekend if he can take his team to the super bowl.

7:56 AM  
Blogger Trudatman said...

To those who say it is too early to call Brady the best quarterback ever... are you waiting until he loses in the postseason? Maybe next year, then.

10:23 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow, did YOU open a can of worms!

Here's my $0.02. Brady is well on his way to being this generation's answer to Joe Montana. Given the vast differences in the eras they've played in, though, of course the two will never be exactly the same.

Still, Brady is only 28 years old. He has a long, long way to go before he can be considered an all-time great--but he also has a lot of time to leave some records in the dust if things go his way.

So while all this is moot, as most sports arguments are, the thing that really irks me is the contention that Brady is being created by the system. First of all, if it's the system, how come Drew Bledsoe didn't win the Super Bowl in Belichik's first year?

And why is Brady Belichik's creation, but Peyton Manning gets the credit over Tony Dungy? Why is Peyton Manning not the product of the "system"? Because he puts up gaudy numbers? Okay, how about the idea that if Belichik went for an offense-heavy system based on throwing the ball downfield a lot, Brady would have gaudy numbers, too? Still doesn't answer the question of why PM is supposedly the best thing since sliced Christ but Brady is just Belichik's puppet...

These are the facts about Tom Brady: he can take a punishing hit, get up, and call the next play perfectly. In fact, he has been given more and more responsiblity for calling plays in the huddle on his own or checking off at the line of scrimmage. He is cool under pressure and best among all quarterbacks at moving in the pocket and coping with a pass rush. In fact, his yards after completion numbers are the highest of any active quarterback. This is essentially the statistic that people are referring to when they call him "clutch."

Using these strengths, Tom Brady has twice led his team to a Super Bowl Victory with less than two minutes on the clock. And as the above post points out, he's accomplished this in less time than other quarterbacks recognized to be "great".

I'm not sure what else he has to do to prove he's a great--or POTENTIALLY great--quarterback. he can't play without a team or a coach or a system. football's a team game, after all.

10:51 AM  
Blogger Web said...

I think its too easy to say Tom Brady is the best quarterback ever, yet. BUT I don’t think its unspeakable to think that he could be.

The "best quarterback ever" will have a lifetime of achievements to look back upon. Right now we only have 3 seasons with Brady.

I will tell you one thing, he is off to a damn good start and even if the rest of his career isn’t as good as these first 3 seasons I still think he’s got a good shot at obtaining that title.

Vick is no where near the best QB ever, maybe the best running QB ever? But I still think he needs to be smarter and throw much better.

All great QB's had someone great/good catching .. its half the equation. I throw, you catch. You can throw the best damn pass ever .. if the receiver misses it .. its just an incomplete pass.

I’m out, nice read .. thanks all.
/web
http://www.ericwebster.net

10:52 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

edit: meant to say "yards after contact" above instead of "yards after completion".

10:55 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Beth-per your response...interesting reading. You bring up very great points and I applaud you for it. I just want to make a clarification. When we refer to "system QB." We are talking about a QB coming into a situation where he has an All-Pro RB, All-Pro Receivers, Outstanding Defense, etc. Lets be honest, the Patriots are one heck of a well rounded team, in all phases of the game. This is also why Manning isn't really considered one of the best all time, because the numbers don't mean much if you can't win. I'm not saying that Brady is a "system" QB, he sure as hell is a good QB, but I'm curious to see how he would perform outside his system? For instance, if he were in Cleveland this season, would they be 14-2, #2 seed? Would they be in the playoffs? Hypothetical questions of course, that can never be answered, but opinions are formed off those theories.

Here's the bottom down truth of it all, there is no correct way to identify the #1 QB of all time. There is no immediate rule on which mathematical formula we have to use. Everyone is going to have their own opinions and their own basis for their opinions, yet we've had about 10 different QB's named #1.

Here is a team builder for everyone. Put 5 stats in order of importance. See if everyone here can agree to the same 5 stats in the order of importance. This will give you a "formula" to use to determine the Sports Junkies Best QB All-Time Ever.

11:47 AM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:10 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:10 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:13 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:14 PM  
Blogger RED said...

Here is what I think a Quarterback should be judged on:
Super bowl wins, super bowl appearances, over all wins, Yards passed over career, TD's over career. actually winning percentage in playoffs and season would be nice.

1:14 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:14 PM  
Blogger RED said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

See now I just can't agree to put more emphasis on Super Bowl wins and appearances then overall wins. This is the reason. That is basically giving Trent Dilfer more shine as the greatest QB more so than Dan Marino. Not saying that Super Bowl wins aren't important, but is winning the Super Bowl the #1 ranked criteria in determining whether or not you should be considered the best all time? I don't think so! There are so many other important variables. In order to get to the Super Bowl you play 16 games…how do you fair in those 16 games? Does it matter that you go 15-1 vs. 1-15? Sure, because the 1-15 team has no chance of getting that “Super Bowl Berth”. I know it all boils down to the playoffs, but in reality, playoffs are out of the question for 20 teams at the beginning of the season, and it’s your play during the regular season that makes you one of the elite 12 teams. You do something to earn something. Just like in golf, if you don’t win on the tour, you can’t play in the Tour Championship at the end of the season. You can’t win the Tour Championship if you played like crap during the regular season right? Same difference. Which is why I think more emphasis should be put on wins (not including playoffs), then playoff wins (including the SB).

2:12 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I got an interesting question for all. Should Steve Young be in the Hall of Fame or did he just take over Montana's great team?

10:01 PM  
Blogger Firestarter said...

"the best ever?" There are too many factors involved to 'rate' a QB-it all depends on what you're looking at. Is it individual stats? Should his team's performance be included? Obviously, winning a superbowl is a big deal, especially when you consider the odds. But there are also the guys who throw up all the stats-the Marino's, etc. Would anyone dispute that he was an excellent quarterback? No. But if the ultimate goal in the NFL is to win a superbowl, obviously it's part of the equation. Brady may not be a flashy QB, and he might not be breaking records left and right, but his stats are up there, and have been consistently since he took over as starting QB. And if he was a mediocre player, I don't think the Pats would've won two superbowls. It's chemistry-when you mix an excellent & efficient QB with a solid, versatile team, then you're going to win. Brady could very well be one of the best-but he's still young. When the guy's at the end of his career, then let's take a look at his stats.

9:03 AM  
Blogger Trudatman said...

He plays the worst season of his short career and heads back to the Super Bowl. What?!

11:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The greatest quarterback to ever play the game was selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame this week.
Yes I said quarterback, not passer.
See, I've never subscribed to the subjective notion that great quarterbacks are judged mostly by how many championships they've won. Football is a team sport; it takes talent and leadership on both sides of the ball to win the whole enchilada.
If you don't have those things, you don't win…it’s as simple as that.
Where would Tom Brady be today without that marvelous defense and that genius of a head coach?
Precisely. That is why no one should ever indict Marino's career as less because the Miami Dolphins didn’t win a championship during his career. Blame this failure on the team’s inability to assemble a talented defense or running game during those 17 fabulous seasons he gave us.
Yes, a quarterback’s job is to be a leader on his team. He also has to make the people around him better. Marino did both.
But are we to expect that Marino should also have drafted better players, run the ball himself 25 times a game, and lined up at free safety?
Of course not, no more than we'd have expected Joe Montana, John Elway, or Brady to have done the same.
Don Shula’s got it right. People should judge Marino's greatness by his accomplishments as a player and his contributions in helping his team win. These are the things that a player has total control over. These are the objective measures upon which no speculation can be introduced, upon which fair judgment can be given.
Objectively speaking, no quarterback contributed more, or was more productive, in trying to win a team championship than Marino.
He did his share and then some.
We all know that Marino has passed for more yardage than any other guy. Rather than telling you how many trips up and down the Washington Monument 61,361 yards is equaled to, consider that it is almost 6 miles (about 10,000 yards) more than second-place Elway and almost 11.5 miles (20,000 yards) more than Montana.
Want to talk touchdown passes, the prime barometer for quarterback productivity? Marino has 420, which is 78 (or 468 points) more than Elway and 147 (or 882 points) more than Montana.
Oh, and Montana and Elway played only one less season than Marino did.
Now some folks argue that had Elway or Montana been in the same offensive scheme that Marino had been in most of his career that they'd have put up similar totals.
Maybe. Maybe not. To speculate along those lines makes for vigorous debate but little else. There's just no way to factually prove or disprove the contention, just as there's no way to prove or disprove that Marino would have won a ring had he been surrounded with the talent that Elway and Montana had in winning theirs.
Now I fully recognize that my entire line of thinking is in the minority. Most folks in most polls that I have seen over the years believe that Montana was the greatest ever, undoubtedly because of the four Super Bowl championships his teams won.
But there's that word again...TEAM.
Look, if football were more like baseball with the heavy dependency on good pitching to win, to the point where pitchers have individual won-loss records for emphasis, I could go along with the majority argument.
Pitch poorly in baseball and you don't win, period. Pass poorly in football and you will still win if you can run the ball and play good defense.
As I reflect on Marino’s career and the times I saw him in person, be it at St. Thomas University, the Orange Bowl, Davie, Dolphins Stadium, or even at Buffalo for Shula’s last game, I wonder if Marino feels less about his career given that he never won a championship.
When Marino retired, he said that he didn’t. I guess I can believe that. Still, we all know that winning the Super Bowl is what drove him in his final years in the game.
Bottom line is that he should never worry about his legacy being less for it. Now that he is in the Hall of Fame, his greatness as a quarterback has been validated for all time.
For in him we saw a rare and special talent that we may not witness again in our lifetimes.
In him we saw the greatest quarterback to ever play the game.

5:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

dekoto(me)says that Brady is on the way to being the greatest ever, and nothing is going to stop him from doing so, sure the whole team is awsom but Brady is the leader of big NE

6:39 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home