Football time ! Let's talk about football. No it's not soccer, it's American football.
Many NFL players enjoy their popularity only for a brief period of time. A select few become legends of the game, either for their skills, their personalities or their perseverance. Here are a few players that have stood the test of time and continue to inspire NFL fans today.
Feel free to add players I forgot to mention. (without bitching)
Also, I'd like to know if you guys gather somewhere to watch Football in Beijing. Holler!
Fans will usually focus on their favorites, whether it's a current player or a legend from the early days of the league, and there's no escaping the excitement that current players bring to the field. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are on many fans' short lists, but they're an honorable mention right now next to this group of NFL giants.
Two-Time NFL MVP (1989-90), Won Four Super Bowls (XVI, XIX, XXIII, XXIV), Only player Named Super Bowl MVP Three Times , All-NFL Three Times, All-NFC Five Times, Selected to Eight Pro Bowls, Orchestrated 31 Fourth Quarter Comebacks, Led NFL in Passing 5 Times, Set NFL record with six 300-yard passing performances in the post-season, Set career playoff record for attempts, completions, touchdowns, and yards gained passing, Became just the fifth quarterback to pass for more than 40,000 yards in a career, Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame (2000), Passing - 3,409 Completions on 5,391 Attempts for 40,551 Yards and 273 Touchdowns, Rushing - 457 Carries for 1,676 Yards and 20 Touchdowns.
Although Montana doesn't hold any NFL records, he's second to Marino for most games with 400 or more yards passing in a career (7). Performance under playoff pressure is what puts Montana on top of this list, as he holds the postseason records for career touchdown passes (45), passing yards (5,772) and Super Bowl passer rating (127.8). Montana's legacy as a quarterback can still be seen today. Montana was among the first to adopt a mobile style of passing, moving in the pocket to buy more time for plays to open up downfield.
If I had to choose one quarterback to lead my team to victory in any game, I would choose Montana in a heartbeat. Joe Montana is the greatest quarterback of all-time.
In 1984, Dan Marino really burst into the forefront of the NFL. It took him just eight games to beat Bob Griese's single-season team record for touchdown passes, and nine weeks to top Griese's team record for most passing yards in one season.Marino capped off an incredible season by setting single-season NFL records for touchdown passes (48), completions (362), and yards (5,084). The only thing that could have made this dream season better would have been a Super Bowl victory. Unfortunately for Marino and the rest of the Dolphins, though, they were beaten in the Super Bowl by the San Francisco 49ers.In 1995, Marino broke the NFL record for career passing yards when he eclipsed Fran Tarkenton's mark of 47,003. Just two weeks later, he broke Tarkenton's record for most career touchdown passes by throwing number 343 against the Indianapolis Colts.
The greatest quarterback to never win a Super Bowl.
For 16 amazing seasons – 234 games that included a NFL-record 148 wins – John Elway was the undisputed leader of the Denver Broncos. He will be forever remembered for his 47 game-winning or game-tying drives in the fourth quarter (another NFL record), his spectacular passing statistics, and his enduring competitive spirit, which led him from bitter disappointment to ultimate professional and personal triumph in the Super Bowl.
The first great quarterback of the post-merger NFL era, Bradshaw helped the Steelers dominate the 1970s with four Super Bowl wins 1974, 1975, 1978 and 1979. Although he holds no NFL records, Bradshaw was named Super Bowl MVP twice, in 1978 and 1979. Bradhsaw was a model of toughness on the field, regularly absorbing bruising sacks to keep a play alive and still somehow getting the ball down the field. Bradshaw threw the pass that led to the Immaculate Reception on December 23, 1972, widely hailed as the greatest football pass of all time. During the play, Bradshaw rocketed a pass toward Barry Pearson just before a sack. The ball bounced off the helmet of Oakland Raider Jack Tatum and into the arms of Steeler running back Franco Harris, who ran the ball in for a touchdown and the win.
Much of Unitas' fame is tied to the 1958 NFL Championship game against the New York Giants. This was the first overtime game in NFL history, and Unitas led his team to a heart-stopping 23-17 win in what many consider the greatest NFL game of all time. A tough pocket passer, Unitas holds the NFL record for most consecutive games with touchdown passes (47) and is tied for first place with Len Dawson, Steve Young and Brett Farve for the most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes. Unitas won another NFL Championship in 1959 and helped his team win Super Bowl V in 1970. A lasting part of Unitas' legend is his friendly and easygoing manner off the field.
Honorable mention : Bart Starr,Brett Favre,Matt Hasselbeck,Bobby Layne,John Hadl,Fran Tarkenton,Steve Young,Troy Aikman,Jim Kelly,Norm Van Brocklin,Warren Moon,Dan Fouts,Roger Staubach,Sammy Baugh,Otto Graham,Sonny Jurgenson,Y.A.Tittle,Ken Anderson,Boomer Esiason,Philip Rivers,Daryle Lamoncia,Joe Theismann, Ben Roethlisberger,Earl Morrall,Steve McNair,Donovan McNabb,Bob Griese,Dan Fouts,Drew Brees,Randall Cunningham,Len Dawson,Aaron Rodgers,Michael Vick,Tom Brady,Peyton Manning.
Rushing Yards: 12,312.Rushing AVG: 5.2.Rushing TD: 106.Receiving Yards: 2,499.Receiving TD: 20,Passing TD: 3
Jim Brown has for many many years been considered the best running back of all time. He was said to be the best pure rusher, a man who could carry the ball to the outside and up the middle. At 6ft 2ins and 232 lbs he had the size to brush off defenders, but also the change of pace and agility to make yardage. .Brown finished his career with many accolades and awards. He was voted to the Pro Bowl in everyone of his 9 seasons in the league, he was the NFL's MVP three times, he was the first player to rush for over 10,000 yards and the quickest back ever to reach 100 touchdown. He led the league in rushing 8 times.Very impressive stats for a short career.
Rushing Yards: 15,269, Rushing AVG: 5.0, Rushing TD: 99, Receiving Yards: 2,921, Receiving TD: 10
When most NFL fans are asked about the top running back of all time a large majority will say Barry Sanders. Sanders was electrifying, he had a low centre of gravity which made his cutbacks, half steps, swivels and turns so sharp that he was able to evade the majority of defensemen. He had the vision to spot a gap, power through and out pace the defense for a score. The power in his legs was enough to break tackles and the strength in his arms to hold onto the ball. During his 10 year career Sanders only fumbled the ball 41 times, that's just 1% of all the carries and receptions he made He truely was a top running back.
Some may speculate that, on a better team, Sanders could have become the greatest football player of all time.
Rushing Yards: 18,355, Rushing AVG: 4.2, Rushing TD: 164, Receiving Yards: 3,224, Receiving TD:11
Emmitt Smith is a symbol of durability and consistency at a position that has lacked just that over the years. Even with a relatively small frame at 5'9" and 216 pounds, Smith pounded his way to a record-breaking number of yards. He may not have been the flashiest player ever, but he was a workhorse unlike any the game has ever seen.Smith may not have had the style of Barry Sanders but he did have the vision and the eye for grounding out yards and scoring touchdowns. No one can argue he was a great back but in my opinion he was not the greatest running back of all time.
Rushing Yards: 16,726, Rushing AVG: 4.4, Rushing TD: 110, Receiving Yards: 4,538, Receiving TD: 15
Walter "Sweetness" Payton has on many occasion been cited as the top running back of all time. He had an unusual running style due to the ways his knees bent and he perfected the "stutter step," which was used to draw defenders in before acclerating or cutting back. Payton was also reknowned for never giving up on a play and never running out of bounds on purpose. He always wanted the defender to have to work hard to bring him down. It was this work ethic and "Never Die Easy" attitude that gained Payton a lot of respect with fans and team-mates alike.
Rushing Yards: 13,259, Rushing AVG: 4.4, Rushing TD: 90, Receiving Yards: 2,137, Receiving TD: 6
NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year (1983), UPI NFL-NFC Rookie of the Year (1983), NFL Offensive Player of the Year (1986), UPI NFC Offensive Player of the Year (1983-84, 1986), Named to Pro Bowl Six Times (1983-84, 1986-89), First-team All-Pro Selection (1983-84, 1986-88), Named to NFL 1980s All-Decade Team, No. 29 Retired by Rams Franchise, Enshrined in Pro Football Hall of Fame (1999), Set an NFL Record With 2,105 Rushing Yards in a Single Season. Enough said.
Honorable mention : Bo Jackson,Herb Adderley,Marcus Allen,O.J.Simpson,Clarke Hinkle,Jerome Bettis,Marshall Faulk,LaDainian Tomlinson,Roger Craig,LaDainian Tomlinson,Larry Csonka,Ahman Green,Jim Taylor,Franco Harris,Earl Campbell,Thurman Thomas,Gale Sayers,John Riggins,Tony Dorsett,Floyd Little, Lawrence McCutcheon,Lydell Mitchell,Chris Johnson,Earnest Byner,Corey Dillon,Adrian Peterson,M. Jones-Drew,Arian Foster.
Receptions: 1,549 Yards: 22,895 Touchdowns: 197
3 time Super Bowl Champion,1987 Offensive Player of the Year,Super Bowl XXIII MVP , 1993 Offensive Player of the Year,13-time Pro Bowler, 10-time First Team All Pro.
Receptions: 488 , Yards: 7,991 ,Touchdowns: 99
3-time NFL Champion , 4-time Pro Bowler,8-time First Team All Pro.
Receptions: 819 , Yards: 13,089 , Touchdowns: 100
7-time Pro Bowler ,1-time First Team All Pro
Receptions: 1094 ,Yards: 14,934 , Touchdowns: 100
9-time Pro Bowler
Receptions: 1,102 , Yards: 14,580 , Touchdowns: 128
1-time Super Bowl Champion,8-time Pro Bowler ,3-time First Team All Pro
First player to record 2 seasons of 1,600 yards receiving in NFL history, (1999 & 2002)
First player to have 50+ receptions in his first 11 seasons in NFL history.
Honorable mention : Charles "Mean Joe" Greene, Randy Moss,Cris Carter,Isaac Bruce,Andre Reed,Don Maynard,Lance Alworth,Rod Smith,Torry Holt,Sterling Sharpe,James Lofton,Art Monk,Raymond Berry,Jimmy Smith,Chad Ochocinco,Gary Clark,Hines Ward,Reggie Wayne,Herman Moore,Larry Fitzgerald,Andre Johnson,Roddy White,Greg Jennings.
John Mackey,Tony Gonzalez,Jackie Smith,Shannon Sharpe,Ozzie Newsome,Kellen Winslow,Dave Casper,Pete Retzlaff,Wesley Walls,Ben Coates,,Mike Dikta,Heath Miller,Alge Crumpler,Desmond Clark,Jeremy Shockey,Antonio Gates,Todd Heap.
Bruce Matthews, Gene Hickerson,Jim Otto,Chuck Bednarik,Jackie Slater,Gene Upshaw,Joe DeLamielleure,Jim Ringo,Frank Gatski,Bob Brown,Roosevelt Brown,Lou Creekmur,Dan Dierdorf,Jim Langer.
Bruce Smith,Reggie White,Art Donovan,Junious Buchanan,Merlin Olsen,Bob Lilly,Doug Atkins,Elvin Bethea,Willie Davis,Fred Dean,Richard Dent,Joe Greene,Justin Tuck,Trent Cole,Jared Allen,Julius Peppers,Shaun Rogers.
Dick Butkus,Chuck Bednarik,Junior Seau,Dick "Night Train" Lane,Mike Singletary,Lawrence Taylor,Jack Ham,Nick Buoniconti,Harry Carson, George Connor,Bill George,Chris Hanburger,Ted Hendricks,Patrick Willis,James Harrison,DeMarcus Ware, Clay Matthew,Ray Lewis.
I'll leave the defensive backs,kickers,punters and returners for you guys.
Vince Lombardi,Don Shula,George Halas,Joe Gibbs,Tom Landry,Bill Walsh,Bill Belichick,Sid Gillman,Hank Stram,Bill Parcells,Chuck Noll,Bud Grant,Jimmy Johnson,Mike Holmgren,Curly Lambeau,George Allen,John Madden,Mike Tomlin,Andy Reid.
And these guys deserve credit for adding some excitement to Monday Night Football :