…The Greatest???…(part one of four)

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Michael Cupples

mercenary bear for hire, all around musicologist and fan of sports. old school statistician, and number manipulator. born near saint francis but east bay fan of raiders, a's and dubs (plus sharks). adored by minions, and cool like johnny depp. but most people who really know me, will tell you i'm a punk.
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Let me preface this column with I would really like to hear your thoughts. My email is at the bottom of this article, so feel free to contact me there. Or on here.

After the Mayweather McGregor fight, and the multiple lauding of Mayweather with being the only 50-0 fighter in his weight class, I am sure to think there are those that will call him, “the greatest.”

Is he? Ali, during his prime, was called the greatest. And I stop short of calling anyone the greatest, except for Gretzky, and even then I will discuss, why I stop short of it. I’m going to take a look at the four major sports in America, and come up with arguments for and against even him. Without further ado, let’s look at those that have been called or implied to be “the greatest.”

NFL

I think that everyone around me will argue that New England’s Tom Brady, is perhaps “the greatest” in football. And before anyone hollers about the deflate-gate conspiracy theory, I’m going to say look past that. Most people will measure a player by not only their performance during the regular season but through the post season and the Super Bowl. Clearly, Brady has five rings. That is number one in the books. Let’s face it, he does have those rings, but he’s far short on the QB ratings, wherein other quarterbacks have had higher ratings and even better fantasy points. If it wasn’t for Carroll’s erroneous play calling in Seattle’s loss to the Pats, or the total Atlanta fallout last year in the second half, would Brady be sporting those five rings? Unequivocally, and undeniably, no.

Who would also fall into this “greatest” category? Let’s see: Montana from the 49’ers, Aikman or Staubach from Dallas, Bradshaw in Pittsburgh. All of these QB’s didn’t lose a Super Bowl. What about Tarkenton from the Vikings or Kelly from the Bills? Both of these quarterbacks have a 0-and-4 record in the Super Bowl. And let’s not forget Dan Marino, who was probably the best quarterback without a ring. And let me also speak of Bob Griese, who went a perfect season from beginning to end, which Brady has never accomplished. There are even other quarterbacks, from a different era that could also be considered.

I can already hear someone yelling…what about Manning? “Which one?” Would be my reply.

Let’s also not forget that in Griese’s day, football was even tougher and more relentlessly physical than that of today’s game. Parity could also take into consideration of today’s NFL.

The bigger question today is this: who would you draft first? Brady, Staubach, Marino, Montana, Kelly or Tarkenton?

My answer would be this: I would go with Roger Staubach or Marino.

And of today’s quarterbacks, who would you draft first? Brady, Rodgers, Brees or Ryan?

I’ll be honest, I would choose either Rodgers or Brees over Brady. And Brady already has lost a familiar target this season in Edelman. That’s going to perhaps change the view with New England.

And I’m sure there will be some detractors in asking why I chose the position of quarterback. Well, how often do you hear about an offensive lineman, or a safety when it comes to being called “the greatest?” Yeah, that’s right. The focus is only on the QB.

One last thing to consider is the team itself. Could Marino have won with the team Montana played with? Absolutely. Or let’s just switch the teams around with Montana a Dolphin, and would he have won a Super Bowl there? I absolutely believe so. Could Brady step in for Montana and win in 82? I, have my doubts, and that’s honest. I used to love driving around Seattle when I lived there and looking at the Space Needle near my apartment and seeing the 12 flag on game day. The “fans” suited up and were just as important as the players on the field, and to a point, it’s true.

Football is a unique sport that centers on one primary position, the quarterback, and that’s a fault that is hard to repair and or replace. Even, Michael Wilbon of ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption agrees with this thought.

And that’s part one on the question of considering a football player “the greatest.”

Hopefully, I hear from you on here, or you can contact me directly at:

Email: greycloudbear@gmail.com

Follow me on twitter: @greycloudbear

Reddit: greycloudbear

Cheers!

GCB


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Michael Cupples

mercenary bear for hire, all around musicologist and fan of sports. old school statistician, and number manipulator. born near saint francis but east bay fan of raiders, a's and dubs (plus sharks). adored by minions, and cool like johnny depp. but most people who really know me, will tell you i'm a punk.

Michael Cupples

mercenary bear for hire, all around musicologist and fan of sports. old school statistician, and number manipulator. born near saint francis but east bay fan of raiders, a's and dubs (plus sharks). adored by minions, and cool like johnny depp. but most people who really know me, will tell you i'm a punk.

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