*Posted July 31, 2008*
Professional football is finally around the corner, and the focus should be on the ways all 32 teams are preparing for the season.Instead, ass-hole Brett Favre is still the center of attention.I thought it would be fitting to honor some of the NFL’s best players in this week’s top ten list.Don’t worry, Favre is not number one.
10.Fran Tarkenton (1961-1978),
The name Fran Tarkenton generally does not come up when there is debate about this topic.The biggest knock against him was his performance in big games, 0-3 in the Super Bowl.But if you look beyond that, you can see that he did win more playoff games that Dan Marino and his 3 Super Bowl opponents were the Dolphins, Steelers, and Raiders, all 3 dynasty type teams of the 70s.Individually, Tarkenton was ahead of his time as a quarterback.He led the NFL in all career passing categories until Marino came around and is often considered to be the first great scrambling quarterback.No matter how many Super Bowl wins, it is tough to argue with the stats and results that Tarkenton put upthroughout his career.Arguably the second best quarterback of the 70s and very deserving to be on this list.
9.Steve Young (1986-1999),
The only left hander on the list.Young signed with the fledgling USFL after college, signed with
8.Peyton Manning (1998-present), Indianapolis Colts
Peyton Manning or Ryan Leaf?Seems so simple now, Manning is on his way to the hall of fame and Ryan Leaf is considered to be the largest bust in history.The positives - as accurate as hell, excellent at reading defenses, and never gets hurt, well until now.The durability factor does lend itself to the fact that the Colts’ offense has short quick passes, in other words, Manning never gets sacked.The negatives - never runs and sometimes has trouble in big games.Even with that run a few years back, I still don’t think Manning has ever had it when the lights are bright.He never beat
7.Brett Favre (1991-present), Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers
I think I have exhausted myself in talking about Brett Favre recently.In the mid nineties, he was the best player in the NFL.He had a rocket of an arm and could scramble away from pressure.The Packers were in two straight super bowls as heavy favorites, winning and losing one.As the Packers came back to Earth, so did Favre, interceptions began to rise and super bowls seemed like a distant memory.So every year Favre contemplated whether this would be it or not , and this happened, and happened year after year.Until, he finally did retire after last year, coming off the season ending loss to the Giants after throwing an int in the NFC Championship.Now he wants back.It is not fair to Aaron Rodgers, it is not fair to the Packers, and it is not fair to the NFL.Nobody is above the game.You were once a great quarterback, a future hall of famer, and on this list, but it is time for you to finally retire.Go away.
6.Terry Bradshaw (1970-1983),
Two men have won 4 Super Bowls, Joe Montana and Terry Bradshaw.Bradshaw does not get as much credit as he probably should.He was as fiery as Favre was and even called plays like Peyton Manning.In an era that shied away from passing, Bradshaw contributed to the hall of fame careers of 2 Steeler wide receivers.The 1970s Steelers is probably the greatest collection of football talent ever assembled on a field.They did make things easier for Bradshaw, but somebody also had to drive the bus.Bradshaw has had an estranged relationship with the Steelers.He had not been in
5.Dan Marino (1983-1999),
It is so tough to rank Dan Marino.On one side he is probably the greatest pure tosser of all-time, the perfect combination of the smarts of Manning and the cannon of Favre.But then there is the other side, zero Super Bowls and only one appearance.Marino should fall, as he does, somewhere in the middle of this list.In 1983, Marino’s hometown Steelers were rumored to be searching for a replacement for Terry Bradshaw.But instead of drafting Marino, they settled for defensive tackle Gabe Rivera.The Steelers had a lackluster decade in the 80s and
4.John Elway (1983-1998),
I never really liked Elway.He seemed like a pure asshole, was drafted by the Baltimore Colts, but didn’t want to play there, a la Eli Manning and was eventually traded to
3.Joe Montana (1979-1994), San Francisco 49ers and
If you read the article I posted in my weekly column, then you would obviously associate cool with Joe Montana.So calm under pressure.Did not have the strong arm like Elway, the pinpoint accuracy of Marino, or even the escapability of Steve Young, but 4 Super Bowls later, did it really matter?
2.Tom Brady (2000-present), New England Patriots
As a Steelers fan, you learn to hate this man.Flair after flair for 5 yards, 6 yards, 3 yards, and then a ball fake that leaves Anthony Smith 20 yards behind wide receivers.As stated above, Tom Brady is the present day Joe Montana.Calm, cool, collected, a pure winner.I remember when he won his first Super Bowl, after videotaping, oh I mean upsetting the Steelers in the AFC Championship.After driving down the field to set up the game-winning field goal, John Madden said he got goose bumps by essentially watching Brady calmly and effortlessly throw the ball down the field.Brady was essentially a rookie.The reason I put Brady so high is look at his teammates.
1.Johnny Unitas (1956-1973),
Why put him number one?He was a winner.One Super Bowl and 3 NFL Championships before the Super Bowl existed.He was calm and poised like