Wrap your mind around this foolishness:
http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/preview04/news/story?id=1868175# (SR sez: Those who can, do. Those who could, but can’t anymore make lists about those who did it better than them.)
If you ever wanted proof that NFL analysts are almost all blowhards, this is it. Who the fuck cares what Sean Salsibury has to say about Jerry Rice when he ranked Rice 6th?
If Jim Brown is so great for having compiled huge numbers for so short a career, why isn't Jerry Rice acknowledged as better for having shattered all meaningful records for receiving in a career that has lasted twice as long? Why is career longevity penalized, but walking away from the game at an early age is rewarded? Why is it assumed that Brown would have automatically had better stats if he had continued his career? Let's face it, if you come down on Jim's side of the debate, you should admit to yourself that it's at least partially based on the assumption that Brown's numbers would have been even gaudier if he had a longer career. If that's possible, what's stopping me from using Ricky Williams' college career stats to claim that he was capable of a career comeback that would have catapulted him past Brown if he hadn't retired? (SR sez: Ricky could come back. Right? Please say yes.)
If Jim Brown is so great, why did Barry Sanders get only 5 points, collectively, from these knuckleheads? I'm not saying that Sanders should have been voted #1 over Brown, but if we're accepting the "what a career he could have had if he hadn't walked away" argument is fair game, why the disparity between the two? Let's see--Barry had 3,000 more career yards, was All-NFL all 10 years of his career, missed leading the league in rushing his rookie year by only 10 yards, led it two other times, and gained 2,058 yards in the 1997 season. And again, before you bring your tired generational arguments, let's remember that Barry played in the era of 350-pound defensive tackles who could run a sub-5 second 40 and bench press 450 pounds.
I'm tired of hearing arguments about older players playing in a 12-game season. As far as I'm concerned, the shortening of the average players' productive years caused by the wear and tear of four extra weeks of play, coupled with the huge gap in athleticism between the "old" game and today's, are more than enough to make up for the career difference in stats.
(SR sez: Not only that, but no one seems to factor injuries or bad teams into the equation. A lot is made of the fact that Brown never missed game. Brown played for nine years at a time when a season lasted 12 games. That’s 108 games without getting hurt. Yahoo. Rice didn’t miss a game until 1997 at a time when the season was expanded to 16 games. Rice was drafted in 1985, which means he played 209 games without missing one. Rice beat Brown in that regard by 101 games. This may seem to hurt my argument but here’s the point, Rice got hurt, twice. He missed time, it could happen to anyone at any time (ask Gayle Sayers). Brown may have come back the next year and tore an ACL, which was a career ending injury back then. If that had happened would he still be surrounded by the same aura? I doubt it. Also, what if the Browns had started to suck like the post Young pre mature-Garcia 49ers did? How many more catches would Rice have had if he didn’t go through the Garcia-learning-on-the-job years? Brown was a great player, but the fact that he quit on his own has inflated his legend. Jerry beats Brown across the board in terms of career achievement.)
Joe Theismann's ballot should have been thrown out--he didn't even vote for LT, fer chrissake. Joe--in addition to totally redefining his position and being the best ever at it, he KNOCKED YOUR ASS OUT OF THE GAME FOREVER! You don't have to like it, you pussy, but you have to respect it!
Mark Schlereth made Elway #1 and didn't include Montana! Uh--Montana led 3 different groups of men to 4 Super Bowls and won them all, taking two MVPs in the process, whereas Elway, after a career of getting close but never there, rode Terrell Davis all the way to the Big Game (and an MVP trophy that will always look to me like a sympathy vote) and got his vibrating musical lollipop and heartburn medication ad deals. (SR sez: I’m also sick of hearing about Unitas. How many titles did he win? Was he really better than Jim Otto or Sammy Baugh? Yeah? Prove it! Well he has more passing yards than yer mom too!)
That is all.