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NFL Week 9: What’s in a number?

November 7, 2010

I recently caught the NFL Network’s list of the 100 Greatest NFL Players and to my shock, amazement, and nausea, the supposed experts picked Jerry Rice as their number one. nothing can diminish Rice’s dominance at the wide receiver position nor the impact he had in the big games nor the role he played in the superiority of the San Francisco 49ers of the 80’s.

You hear the BUT coming? Lists like this are purely for discussion or debates sake because they run into two inherent issues.  First, how do you compare the hard-nosed, play both ways, grunt it out before there were television timeouts era of football against the modern day, modern medicine can rebuild him and if not, drugs can maintain him, and if not, we’ll throw a 15-yard flag and fine him 750K for a flagrant foal era of science-tastical football?

Second, what weight does a player exceeding on a bad team have against a player on a Super Bowl champion team?

Most list shows avoid the simple save for those issues: break out the lists. Don’t try to adjust Jim Brown in his Star Wars spectacular impact for inflation to compare to the CGI-heavy, Celine Dion-singing, glossiness of Jerry Rice. But since this list was intended to cause controversy, was intended to rip the scab off of the old wounds, then ok, I’ll bite.

In my mind, I don’t need a list to highlight the likes of Joe Montana and Jerry Rice with their dominating 49ers. I don’t need anyone to tell me John Elway ranks among the toughest, most talented QBs to take his team all the way. I was there; I watched it all.

What I like about lists is when it shows me a player without the rings, a player who despite everything else around him (or maybe because of it) found a way to excel, overcome, standout.

I like lists to remind me of old school players I didn’t see play so I might marvel again at highlight reels that show the sheer terror that Dick Butkus inspired then (as now, frankly). Night Train Lane, Deacon Jones, Gino Marchetti, and can you see it, Coach Ditka as a fearsome tight end. I like lists because guys like Marino, Sayers, and the original LT, Lawrence Taylor, get their due, regardless of years played or rings won.

But what I like most about lists is the memories. So check out the list and remember the glory of some of the best: http://top100.nfl.com/ Go on, enjoy the memories until your eyes go crazy!

Some Other Numbers

WOO-HOO! Last week netted me an 11- 2 record, the first serious showing all year! It won’t save me in my football pool but it’s still a nice week with a Chargers win added in there. But the prognosis for the NFL: nothing but parity, baby.

Sun, Nov 07 Stadium  
NYJ @ DET Ford Field DET
SD @ HOU Reliant Stadium SD
TB @ ATL Georgia Dome ATL
NO @ CAR Bank of America Stadium NO
CHI @ BUF Rogers Centre BUF
ARI @ MIN Mall of America Field ARI
NE @ CLE Cleveland Browns Stadium NE
MIA @ BAL M&T Bank Stadium BAL
NYG @ SEA Qwest Field SEA
IND @ PHI Lincoln Financial Field IND
KC @ OAK Oakland Coliseum OAK
DAL @ GB Lambeau Field GB
Mon, Nov 08 Stadium  
PIT @ CIN Paul Brown Stadium PIT
Byes: Broncos, Jaguars, 49ers, Rams, Titans, Redskins
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