Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Of Super Bowls Past and Present

Terry Bradshaw still maligned

Terry Bradshaw of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Joe Montana of the San Francisco 49ers are tied with four Super Bowl wins each.

Accessed Feb 5, 2013

Bradshaw “played 14 seasons with Pittsburgh, won four Super Bowl titles in a six-year period (1975,1976, 1979, and 1980), becoming the first quarterback to win three and four Super Bowls, and led the Steelers to eight AFC Central championships.”  He also called his own plays. Source - His wiki

Yet Bradshaw doesn’t make the top ten quarterbacks.  Why?  Is it still that sports writers just don’t like him?  Arguably he should be ranked above many who had only one or two Super Bowls to their credit.  It shouldn’t be a popularity contest.  It should be argued on some basis of their performance, of which winning Super Bowls is what matters (in my humble opinion).  Performing when it matters is what sports is all about, not merely putting up impressive statistics.

A blog from the Denver Post [Now who would they root for?] “Ranking the NFL’s top quarterbacks of all-time: Montana vs. Elway” rates the top quarterbacks of all time as below. 

Accessed Feb 5, 2013

[I have added comments of my own or from their Wikipedia articles.]

No. 1 Joe Montana 47 [votes] [I could argue Joe Montana with four Super Bowls is no more impressive than Bradshaw’s four, but OK, there are other factors than just winning Super Bowls.  Perhaps Joe was better… Sports writers think so…]

No 2. Elway 38 “led his teams to six AFC Championship Games and five Super Bowls, winning his last two.” His wiki

No. 3. Johnny Unitas … 34 [votes] [I won’t argue here]

No. 4. Peyton Manning … 30 [votes] “From 1998 to 2010, he led the Colts to eight (seven AFC South and one AFC East) division championships, two AFC championships, and to a Super Bowl championship (Super Bowl XLI).They won.” His wiki

No. 5. (tie) Tom Brady … 22 [votes] “In Brady's ten seasons as a starter, the Patriots have earned trips to the Super Bowl in five of them, winning three.” His wiki

No. 5. (tie) Otto Graham … 22 [votes] “taken the Browns to league championship games every year between 1946 and 1955, winning seven of them.” His wiki

No. 7. (tie) Roger Staubach … 17 [votes] “He led the Cowboys to victories in Super Bowl VI and Super Bowl XII.” His wiki

No. 7. (tie) Bart Starr … 17 [votes] “One Super Bowl II” His wiki

No. 9. Brett Favre … 12 [votes] “He has led teams to eight division championships …, five NFC Championship Games …, and two Super Bowl appearances (Super Bowl XXXI, Super Bowl XXXII), winning one (Super Bowl XXXI).”  His wiki

No. 10. Dan Marino … 11 [votes] “Despite never being on a Super Bowl-winning team, he is recognized as one of the greatest quarterbacks in American football history … Marino led the Dolphins to the playoffs ten times in his seventeen-season career.” His wiki

Terry Bradshaw 9 [votes]

Joe Namath  9 [votes]  “During his thirteen years in the AFL and NFL he played for three division champions (the 1968 and 1969 AFL East Champion Jets and the 1977 NFC West Champion Rams), earned one league championship (1968 AFL Championship), and one Super Bowl victory (Super Bowl III).” His wiki

Why do Peyton Manning, Bart Starr, Bret Favre and Dan Marino or even Roger Staubach deserve to be ahead of Bradshaw or even Broadway Joe Namath?  Are the sports writers voting too young to remember Bradshaw or are they old enough and still bear animus against him?

I watched Montana, Bradshaw and Staubach play.  Yes, Bradshaw wasn’t often particularly pretty to watch, but when he connected he beat these other two.

I argue that Bradshaw at least, and perhaps Namath, ought to be in that list of the top ten quarterbacks of all time.  I doubt Marino should. I’m not sure that Starr or Favre should.

And that friends, is of more importance to me than the last [yawn] Super Bowl. [Why did they turn the lights back on? ;-)]

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