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who is considered the best NFL player of all time? (1 Viewer)

Wilt was better than Jordan. They had to change the rules when Wilt came into the league.
You seem to forget, they changed the rules for Jordan too. They just changed them randomly in his favor.
 
Yes, I was kidding with Tom Brady. Maybe some day, but not now.I'm not willing to debate hockey right now, but the bottom line is, at the very least, a good argument could be made for Bobby Orr over Wayne Gretzky.As for basketball, Bill Russell :own3d: Wilt Chamberlain, and won like no other professional athlete that's been mentioned in this thread.

 
Nice dialogue. Overall we can agree to disagree, but I couldn't resist responding to a couple things.

I could counter with the theory that Wilt Chamberlain's accomplishments are actually *more* meaningful precisely because they occurred when there were fewer franchises, ie before expansion. Let's face it, there are a lot of guys on the 30 NBA rosters right now who wouldn't even have been in the league in the late 60's-early 70's; and there were virtually no gimme games when there were only 8-14 teams in the league. I don't know if Wilt got screwed out of any MVPs, but like he said, "nobody roots for Goliath", and when he did win the award it was against competition the likes of Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, Rick Barry, Wes Unseld, etc.
Depends on which accomplishments you're talking about. If you're talking about accumulated statistics, you have a point. However, when it comes to awards (MVP, All NBA teams, etc.) and titles, there is clear benefit to less teams. Jordan had the edge in those categories anyway, despite the handicap.Also, you make it sound as if Jordan had less competition from great players for awards. He had to compete with Magic, Bird, Ewing, Robinson, Olajuwon, Drexler, Malone & Stockton, etc. All of those players were named among the 50 Greatest of All Time in the NBA.

And more to the point, Wilt had to go head to head against the Russells, Nate Thurmonds and Kareems of the world not just once or twice a year, but one after the other all season long. Unseld, Willis Reed, Walt Bellamy, Bob Lanier... Wilt Chamberlain didn't get too many nights off.
As someone else pointed out previously, there is a problem with using this in Wilt's favor. Russell in particular owned Wilt. This argument would work great if Wilt dominated all comers, but he didn't. While you may argue that Jordan faced weaker competition, which is not a given by any means IMO, he dominated everyone he faced. I can't see using this as an argument in Wilt's favor.
Also, yes, Michael was a good rebounder for a guard, (though not a particularly outstanding assist man), but there is no way Jordan could have ever lead the NBA in rebounding. Wilt did lead the league in assists. He was a *great* playmaker at center, as well as the greatest rebounder to ever play the game, and was certainly the better all around athlete.
If the debate is who is/was the better athlete, perhaps it was Wilt. I wouldn't necessarily concede that, but that isn't really my point. I believe we semi-hijacked a debate about who the best player was. That isn't necessarily the same as best athlete. IMO it is probably a mix of who was the best basketball player and who accomplished more in his career. There is no doubt Jordan accomplished more, as evidenced by titles and awards. It is debatable which of them was the better player. Overall, I don't see how Jordan doesn't win the debate, since accomplishments must be considered.
In any case, I'm afraid I can't see much value in any "efficiancy rating" that ranks Shaqille O'Neal ahead of not only Jordan but Wilt, Kareem, Bird, and Oscar Robertson (who BTW averaged a triple-double for his entire career!). Shaq is a very powerful man and is obviously a great player, but he's got several missing facets to his game. Just ask Ben Wallace.
I don't really get the Ben Wallace comment, but that's okay. If you read the definition of PER, it attempts to measure per minute efficiency, taking into account all things a player does well and all things he doens't do well. If you look at Shaq's game, there really isn't much that he doesn't do well, other than shoot free throws. I mean, he doesn't shoot three pointers well, but he just doens't shoot them, so that isn't a negative. I'm not particularly a Shaq fan, but I think he is underrated as a passer and defender. He obviously scores well and shoots well. I'm sure he could and should be a better rebounder, but he is still one of the better rebounders in the league.Anyway, I am not invested in this particular rating, I simply used it because it is a rating that could normalize those positional differences to try to come up with an unbiased overall player rating, thus allowing a center and shooting guard to be compared fairly. I'm sure if it favored Wilt, you wouldn't be complaining about it. ;)

But here's my real point. To my mind Chamberlain is at the top of the list. You say it's Jordan. Fine. Even if I disagree with your final conclusion, certainly I could have no problem with somebody making the legitimate case for Michael Jordan. Wilt? Jordan? Jordan? Wilt? It's just one of those fun arguments that you can have at a bar with nobody having the Final Word. I think somebody could also make a pretty good case for Kareem Abdul Jabbar or Bill Russell; and Oscar Roberston had every bit as much talent as those other guys as well.

I'm just saying that now days it's a common but myopic assumption to simply anoint Jordan as the "no brainer" choice for title of Greatest Basketball Player Ever. It ain't necessarily so. Although Michael Jordan is clearly the best *marketed* basketball player of all time, his outright claim to greatest is *very* debatable, and this debate is generally acknowledged by people who know the history of the game prior to say the Bird/Magic era.

I would obviously include you in that category, Just Win. You know your stuff, and thanks again for your well considered arguments.

But uh...what the hell, this was about football, right?
Yes, good discussion. Back to football.
 
Jim Brown

Next question?
I'm still waiting for someone to take up my challenge of naming a player BESIDES Jerry Rice that had two HOF caliber careers in one career.
Dan Marino and Emmitt Smith and Jim Brown. But I thought we were talking about players and not merely statistics.

 
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Jim Brown

Next question?
I'm still waiting for someone to take up my challenge of naming a player BESIDES Jerry Rice that had two HOF caliber careers in one career.
Dan Marino and Emmitt Smith and Jim Brown. But I thought we were talking about players and not merely statistics.
I'd say ONE guy who has TWO HOF caliber careers is more than just statistics yes?You going to do the work and break their careers down into two seperate HOF careers? I just don't see it for Marino. I think you can argue 83-90 as one HOF career, but 91-98 doesn't measure up.

Emmitt Smith from 90-96 would be a lock as a HOFer. 7 year career with 3 SB rings, 1 SB MVP, 4 time rushing leader, 1 league MVP and the single season rushing TD title (at the time). Emmitt Smith 97-04 wouldn't even enter a debate as a HOF career.

 
It's a *major* stretch to claim that Russell "owned" Chamberlain. The Celtics almost always won the final battle vs Wilt's teams, that's true, but head to head it's a different story. Russell and Chamberlain met in the NBA playoffs 49 times and Russell's teams came out ahead there by a margin of 29-20. And in those post season duels Chamberlain averaged 26 points and 28 rebounds while Russell averaged 14 pts and 22 rebounds. If Chamberlain can be considered "owned" while racking up those kind of numbers it's one more testament to just how awesome he was. And by the way I'm the all time supporter of underdogs everywhere, and like I said, I ALWAYS rooted against Chamberlain as a kid. It still bugs me to admit that he was the greatest. I will say this for Jordan though. That playoff game aginst the Jazz when he crawed out of a sick bed with a 102 degree temeperature and basically single handedly willed the Bulls to victory was one of the most impressive displays of the human spirit I've ever witnessed. If this argument were about who most hated to lose, Jordan would win hands down against anybody. One more thing. Just to clarify about my Shaq comments... the guy is a physical specimen, no argument possible there. He's a decent passer and has improved his footwork quite a bit over the last few seasons. He even looks like he hit the weight room last off season instead of the local Baskin and Robbins. But he is now and always has been extremely one dimensional on offense in that can't really do anything except play dumptruck; ie, he gets the ball somewhere around or inside the key and backs up dribbling a few feet (or even outright walks a few steps when the refs let him), then takes the short shot or dunk. Once in a while just to keep you honest he'll kick the ball back out when he draws the double team. But he can be taken out of his comfort zone by opposing big men who make him work hard at both ends of the court. He's not the most athletic guy out there and he really struggles when you force him to move laterally (mainly because he simply can't do it), plus he has zero outside shot, even from eight or ten feet away. I just thought Wallace and the Pistons exposed Shaq's flaws and exploited them nicely in the Finals. It would have been interesting to watch a player of say Abdul Jabbar's calibre go at it against O'Neal. Making Shaq move from side to side and come out high in the post to defend a much quicker guy who's three inches taller (and has an even longer wingspan) with an unstoppable hook shot would have been a blast to watch.

 
I think that it's interesting that at least in my opinion, there is a group of 4 in each of the major sports that could be called the Greatest of All Time (in my order of preference): Football-RiceBrownMontanaPaytonBasketball-JordanChamberlainRobertsonRussellHockey-GretzkyHoweLemiuexOrrBaseball-RuthMaysAaronBonds

 
Joe Montana.
If you're calling someone the greatest player of all time, then you have to consider how that person would have fared in the two-way player era. Would Joe have done well if he played back then?
Where are you getting this "two-way player era" business from? I don't see a discussion about Jim Brown at LB or Jerry Rice at safety.... :confused:
Jerry Rice isn't a no brainer. It's Jim Brown.

Rice certainly warrants consideration, but Brown was truly a man among boys when everyone knew that the Browns would be running the ball. Who else played on his offensive teams that was of any note? Certainly nobody like Montana, Young, Craig, etc.
Are you kidding? Brown played significant time with HOFs on offense like OTTO GRAHAM, MARION MOTLEY, BILL WILLIS, BOBBY MITCHELL, MIKE MCCORMACK, DANTE LAVELLI, LEN FORD, HENRY JORDAN, FRANK GATSKI. That is 9 Hall of Fame players that Brown played with just on OFFENSE during his career.

How many HOF's did Rice play with? Young, Montana....who else?

Brown = 9 HOF >>>> Rice = 2 HOF

:popcorn:

 
You mean after Slingin' Sammy Baugh? For the uninitiated, the only player to lead the league in passing, punting, and interceptions (as a DB). I believe he still holds some punting records 60-65 years after he set them.Jim Brown second.

 
Re: Football-RiceBrownMontanaPaytonBasketball-JordanChamberlainRobertsonRussellHockey-GretzkyHoweLemiuexOrrBaseball-RuthMaysAaronBondsImpeccable lists. Except that like my friend Just Win Baby you seem to have mixed up Chamberlain/Jordan... ;) And I think I might put The Say Hey Kid up at numer uno in baseball.And of course Muhammed Ali was/is The Greatest. Period.

 
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And of course Muhammed Ali was/is The Greatest. Period.

Sorry. Only one world boxing champion was the best EVERY time he fought.

And it wasn't Ali.

 
The man who changed the way the game is played would be my pick..........L. Taylor
Heck, if you're going to use that criteria you have to say Hutson. His play single-handedly convinced teams to pass the ball.
:goodposting: Here's the facts.

In 1944 he broke the record for leading the league in touchdown catches in consecutive seasons. Who's record did he break? His own of course, as he also led the league from 1935-38. He finished with 99 TD catches, a record not broken til Largent did it in '89. Hutson retired in 1945, which means the record wasn't broken until 44 years later. Babe Ruth anyone?

Another Ruth parallel... 74 receptions in 1942... his nearest competitor that year? 27 catches. Amazing.

Not convinced yet? He also had 30 career picks, all coming over a six-year period. Again we must realize this was a non-passing league, trumped only by the exploits of one Don Hutson.

Still not enough? Hutson scored 193 career points as a kicker alone, and in ONE QUARTER caught four touchdown passes and kicked five extra points for a total of 29 points in one quarter, a record that won't be broken.

Hutson played in an era of 10 and 12 game seasons. Give him 16 a year, and most records probably still wouldn't be broken. As it was, when he died in '97 he STILL held 10 NFL records and 18 team records. He retired with 488 catches and almost 8,000 yards. The next best receiver at the time? 190 receptions and 3300 yards.

If you consider Ruth the best MLB player ever, you'd be crazy not to give the same respect to Hutson.

 
Wilt was better than Jordan. They had to change the rules when Wilt came into the league.
You seem to forget, they changed the rules for Jordan too. They just changed them randomly in his favor.
:goodposting: Chamberlain = best hoops player ever

Jordan = best marketed athlete ever

Edit to add: Mantle deserves a mention for baseball, football is too hard to call based on the amount of changes in the game over time and skill required at each position, but Jerry Rice, LT, Payton & Jim Brown probably are high atop most lists, Hutson deserves mention, as well.

 
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Re:

Football-

Rice

Brown

Montana

Payton

Basketball-

Jordan

Chamberlain

Robertson

Russell

Hockey-

Gretzky

Howe

Lemiuex

Orr

Baseball-

Ruth

Mays

Aaron

Bonds

Impeccable lists. Except that like my friend Just Win Baby you seem to have mixed up Chamberlain/Jordan... ;)

And I think I might put The Say Hey Kid up at numer uno in baseball.

And of course Muhammed Ali was/is The Greatest. Period.
Thanks, but I'd put Joe Louis ahead of Ali, and maybe Jack Johnson as well.
 
Wilt was better than Jordan. They had to change the rules when Wilt came into the league.
You seem to forget, they changed the rules for Jordan too. They just changed them randomly in his favor.
:goodposting: Chamberlain = best hoops player ever

Jordan = best marketed athlete ever
man, and I thought you were smart... :P
:lmao: Potential sig material here!
Seriously, Chamberlain is one of the most overrated "greatest" players in any sport. He couldn't dribble that well, couldn't create his own shot, had the height advantage, but still wasn't as good a defender as Russell. He makes Shaq look like JJ Redick at the free throw line. He wasn't half as good as people think. The NBA has usually been about height advantages in matchups. Here's my favorite stat:Average Height of an NBA player when Chamberlain (7'2") played: 6'6"

Average Height of an NBA player when Jordan (6'6") played: 6'9"

I'll take the guy who dominated guys 3 inches taller than him than the guy who dominted guys 8 inches shorter than him.

 
There's no good argument for any other hockey player vs Gretzky. Lemieux played at his level for short periods of time, but never could sustain it because of his injuries. Missing from his other accomplishments that were listed is what I consider his most amazing stat... he has 11 of the top 12 seasons in terms of # of assists all time. That's just freakish.Football, hands down it has to be Jerry Rice. LT would be second in my book, while Jim Brown would come in a close third to LT.Though it's worth mentioning that at this point in their career, Randy Moss is ahead of Rice in everything except for TDs, which he trails by 3. Only thing is, can he sustain this level for the next 6 years of his career like Rice did, and then put up decent numbers in another 8 years after that. Doubtful, and why Rice will probably stay on top for a long, long time to come.

 
Wilt was better than Jordan. They had to change the rules when Wilt came into the league.
You seem to forget, they changed the rules for Jordan too. They just changed them randomly in his favor.
:goodposting: Chamberlain = best hoops player ever

Jordan = best marketed athlete ever
man, and I thought you were smart... :P
:lmao: Potential sig material here!
Seriously, Chamberlain is one of the most overrated "greatest" players in any sport. He couldn't dribble that well, couldn't create his own shot, had the height advantage, but still wasn't as good a defender as Russell. He makes Shaq look like JJ Redick at the free throw line. He wasn't half as good as people think. The NBA has usually been about height advantages in matchups. Here's my favorite stat:Average Height of an NBA player when Chamberlain (7'2") played: 6'6"

Average Height of an NBA player when Jordan (6'6") played: 6'9"

I'll take the guy who dominated guys 3 inches taller than him than the guy who dominted guys 8 inches shorter than him.
OK, I'll pull out the trump card:Wilt bagged something like twenty thousand chicks

Beat that! :excited:

 
Jerry Rice isn't a no brainer. It's Jim Brown.

Rice certainly warrants consideration, but Brown was truly a man among boys when everyone knew that the Browns would be running the ball. Who else played on his offensive teams that was of any note? Certainly nobody like Montana, Young, Craig, etc.

Brown's one of the few guys from his era who I know would be a star today too.
I didn't know who he played with, so I went to look it up.He played with the following pro bowl players

1957: 3 defense, 1 OL, 1 WR

1958: 4 defense, 1 OL

1959: 2 defense, 2 OL

1960: 1 defense, 1 OL, 1 QB, 2 WR

1961: 1 defense, 3 OL, 1 QB

1962: 3 defense, 2 OL

1963: 3 defense, 2 OL

1964: 3 defense, 1 QB, 1 WR

1965: 2 defense, 2 OL, 1 QB, 1 WR

Conclusions... he may not have played with guys who ended up as the greatest of all time, but he played on teams with plenty of other talent, both offensive and defensive. In nine years he had at least 1 pro bowl linemen every year he played, and had 2 or more 5 of the 9 years. He had a pro bowl QB 3 of the years, and had a pro bowl WR 4 years (once having two of them). All in all, he had a pro bowl QB or WR 5 of his 9 years in the league.

For this discussion, I don't think it matters as much whether it is Montana, Brady, Peyton, or John Kitna putting up a Pro Bowl year... I'd say he had plenty of offensive talent around him.

He's still obviously one of the best ever given how he dominated compared to his peers, but I don't buy the "guys that he played with" argument. He looks to be closer to having had Emmitt's Cowboys teams surrounding him than he did having Sander's Lions teams.

 
Wilt was better than Jordan. They had to change the rules when Wilt came into the league.
You seem to forget, they changed the rules for Jordan too. They just changed them randomly in his favor.
:goodposting: Chamberlain = best hoops player ever

Jordan = best marketed athlete ever
man, and I thought you were smart... :P
:lmao: Potential sig material here!
Seriously, Chamberlain is one of the most overrated "greatest" players in any sport. He couldn't dribble that well, couldn't create his own shot, had the height advantage, but still wasn't as good a defender as Russell. He makes Shaq look like JJ Redick at the free throw line. He wasn't half as good as people think. The NBA has usually been about height advantages in matchups. Here's my favorite stat:Average Height of an NBA player when Chamberlain (7'2") played: 6'6"

Average Height of an NBA player when Jordan (6'6") played: 6'9"

I'll take the guy who dominated guys 3 inches taller than him than the guy who dominted guys 8 inches shorter than him.
OK, I'll pull out the trump card:Wilt bagged something like twenty thousand chicks

Beat that! :excited:
LOL! Jordan can't beat that! :pics:
 
I didn't know who he played with, so I went back and read a post that told me.
Brown played with HOFs on offense like OTTO GRAHAM, MARION MOTLEY, BILL WILLIS, BOBBY MITCHELL, MIKE MCCORMACK, DANTE LAVELLI, LEN FORD, HENRY JORDAN, FRANK GATSKI.

That is 9 Hall of Fame players that Brown played with just on OFFENSE during his career
:bag:
 
I didn't know who he played with, so I went back and read a post that told me.
Brown played with HOFs on offense like OTTO GRAHAM, MARION MOTLEY, BILL WILLIS, BOBBY MITCHELL, MIKE MCCORMACK, DANTE LAVELLI, LEN FORD, HENRY JORDAN, FRANK GATSKI.

That is 9 Hall of Fame players that Brown played with just on OFFENSE during his career
:bag:
No, I looked it up. Sorry if you posted it previously, I must have missed it.
 
Jerry Rice isn't a no brainer.  It's Jim Brown. 

Rice certainly warrants consideration, but Brown was truly a man among boys when everyone knew that the Browns would be running the ball.  Who else played on his offensive teams that was of any note?  Certainly nobody like Montana, Young, Craig, etc.

Brown's one of the few guys from his era who I know would be a star today too.
I didn't know who he played with, so I went to look it up.He played with the following pro bowl players

1957: 3 defense, 1 OL, 1 WR

1958: 4 defense, 1 OL

1959: 2 defense, 2 OL

1960: 1 defense, 1 OL, 1 QB, 2 WR

1961: 1 defense, 3 OL, 1 QB

1962: 3 defense, 2 OL

1963: 3 defense, 2 OL

1964: 3 defense, 1 QB, 1 WR

1965: 2 defense, 2 OL, 1 QB, 1 WR

Conclusions... he may not have played with guys who ended up as the greatest of all time, but he played on teams with plenty of other talent, both offensive and defensive. In nine years he had at least 1 pro bowl linemen every year he played, and had 2 or more 5 of the 9 years. He had a pro bowl QB 3 of the years, and had a pro bowl WR 4 years (once having two of them). All in all, he had a pro bowl QB or WR 5 of his 9 years in the league.

For this discussion, I don't think it matters as much whether it is Montana, Brady, Peyton, or John Kitna putting up a Pro Bowl year... I'd say he had plenty of offensive talent around him.

He's still obviously one of the best ever given how he dominated compared to his peers, but I don't buy the "guys that he played with" argument. He looks to be closer to having had Emmitt's Cowboys teams surrounding him than he did having Sander's Lions teams.
I have used this argument before when arguing Payton over Brown. Some info from those old posts:
Brown joined a dynasty.

1950-56 (pre-Brown): 63-20-1 (.759), 6 postseason appearances in 7 years, 6 championship games, 3 championships

1957-1965 (with Brown): 79-34-5 (.699), 5 postseason appearances in 9 years, 3 championship games, 1 championship
It seems very hard to support the notion that the Browns were not already a very, very good team when Brown joined them, which naturally implies that he was surrounded by a talented group of teammates. Remember, there was no free agency (or draft?) at that time, so it would be very hard for me to see how the talent level of a team that appeared in 6 championship games in the 7 years prior to Brown's rookie season had suddenly dropped to average or worse. This is supported by the number of Pro Bowlers Brown played with:

- Browns QBs made the Pro Bowl 4 times in Brown's 9 seasons: Milt Plum (1960, 1961), Frank Ryan (1964, 1965).

- Browns WRs made the Pro Bowl 5 times in Brown's 9 seasons: Ray Renfro (1957, 1960), Bobby Mitchell (1960), Paul Warfield (1964), and Gary Collins (1965).

- Brown played with the following Pro Bowl offensive linemen: Art Hunter (1959), Mike McCormack (1957, 1960, 1961, 1962), Jim Smith (1958, 1959, 1960, 1961, 1962), John Morrow (1961, 1963), **** Schafrath (1963), Gene Hickerson (1965), John Wooten (1965). That's 7 different linemen for a total of 15 times in 9 seasons, and only one season without a Pro Bowler--1964. In 6 of his seasons, Brown had 2 or more Pro Bowlers on the line.

To be fair, there were fewer teams when Brown played, so it stands to reason he would have played with more Pro Bowlers. Still, the difference is too big to be accounted for simply by that IMO.
BlueOnion posted this in an older thread:

I actually like Jim Brown quite a bit, probably more so now as a person. But Jim Brown had it easy.

Not that I am saying he is not the best running back of all-time, but if I was to make an argument he was not, here is what I would start with.

1) He played in an era where all the great 'athletes' played on offense. The football players that were not athletic enough to make the offensive team but still showed a lot of heart or toughness were put on the defensive side of the ball. The thought that a defensive line could potentially have better athletes than the offensive line (in any given game) would be very, very unlikely.

2) Pursuit angles. Back in Jim Brown's era, coaches did not understand the importance of pursuit angles or containment and did not teach it to the same magnitude of today's game. Defenses were basically, "just go get the ball carrier".
I certainly can't verify whether these are valid points, but I found them interesting.
I think Brown was obviously one of the best ever, I just happen to think Payton was better. Which means he isn't in the running for greatest NFL player for me.
 
Football, hands down it has to be Jerry Rice. LT would be second in my book, while Jim Brown would come in a close third to LT.

Though it's worth mentioning that at this point in their career, Randy Moss is ahead of Rice in everything except for TDs, which he trails by 3. Only thing is, can he sustain this level for the next 6 years of his career like Rice did, and then put up decent numbers in another 8 years after that. Doubtful, and why Rice will probably stay on top for a long, long time to come.
:unsure:
 
No Brainer best in any sport, Michael Jordan. No one took over a game like him in any sport..EVER

Football.....Jerry
Sorry, Chubbs but you are very wrong about MJ. (Please see my little synopsis on a guy you might have heard of named Wilt Chamberlain). I might agree with you about Rice though. We'll all be long gone before anybody comes close to achieving what #80 has in the NFL.
I thought Moss was at or above Pace at this point? Or has he fallen off some?
 
No Brainer best in any sport, Michael Jordan. No one took over a game like him in any sport..EVER

Football.....Jerry
Sorry, Chubbs but you are very wrong about MJ. (Please see my little synopsis on a guy you might have heard of named Wilt Chamberlain). I might agree with you about Rice though. We'll all be long gone before anybody comes close to achieving what #80 has in the NFL.
I thought Moss was at or above Pace at this point? Or has he fallen off some?
Moss missed 3 games last year and ended the season with 767 yards. It's actually a pretty fair apples to apples comparison at this point because Rice played 12 games in 1987, so over their first seven seasons, they're within one game of each other in games played:Receptions (First 7 Seasons) -- Moss (574) vs. Rice (526)

Yards -- Moss (9142) vs. Rice (9072)
TDs -- Moss (90) vs. Rice (93)
Pro Bowls -- Moss (5) vs. Rice (6)
Post Season Apps -- Moss (4) vs. Rice (6)
 
You mean after Slingin' Sammy Baugh? For the uninitiated, the only player to lead the league in passing, punting, and interceptions (as a DB). I believe he still holds some punting records 60-65 years after he set them.

Jim Brown second.
If it matters, I am sure that Randy McMichael and Michael Pittman would both vote for Jim Brown as #1 all time.
 
Good freickin' gracious, is there any NFL player more overrated than Tatum Bell?

The guy didn't even gain 500 yards last year, and he couldn't stay healthy to save his life.

...and now he's got to battle against these guys for carries:

Q-Griffin

Mike Anderson (who's supposedly moving back to HB)

Ron Dayne

and Maurice Clarett

What up wit dat?
If you want to make a point based on inexperience or health, fine, but don't exaggerate it by throwing Dayne, Clarett and Griffin in there. It reduces the credibility of your argument.
There a reason Jerry Rice's nickname is G.O.A.T. :yes:
:confused: about the Denver Running back post.. but :thumbup: on the G.O.A.T.
 
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The man who changed the way the game is played would be my pick..........L. Taylor
Heck, if you're going to use that criteria you have to say Hutson. His play single-handedly convinced teams to pass the ball.
:goodposting: Here's the facts.

In 1944 he broke the record for leading the league in touchdown catches in consecutive seasons. Who's record did he break? His own of course, as he also led the league from 1935-38. He finished with 99 TD catches, a record not broken til Largent did it in '89. Hutson retired in 1945, which means the record wasn't broken until 44 years later. Babe Ruth anyone?

Another Ruth parallel... 74 receptions in 1942... his nearest competitor that year? 27 catches. Amazing.

Not convinced yet? He also had 30 career picks, all coming over a six-year period. Again we must realize this was a non-passing league, trumped only by the exploits of one Don Hutson.

Still not enough? Hutson scored 193 career points as a kicker alone, and in ONE QUARTER caught four touchdown passes and kicked five extra points for a total of 29 points in one quarter, a record that won't be broken.

Hutson played in an era of 10 and 12 game seasons. Give him 16 a year, and most records probably still wouldn't be broken. As it was, when he died in '97 he STILL held 10 NFL records and 18 team records. He retired with 488 catches and almost 8,000 yards. The next best receiver at the time? 190 receptions and 3300 yards.

If you consider Ruth the best MLB player ever, you'd be crazy not to give the same respect to Hutson.
:goodposting: :thumbup: I thought I was the only one fighting the good fight!

:thumbup: to Hutson, the Babe Ruth of football. A nice little snippet (from here) that I've posted here before:

"Hutson Does It Again!"

"Don Paces Packers to World Title!"

"Amazing Hutson Can't Be Stopped!"

Headlines of this nature were commonplace during the 11-year reign of Don Hutson with the Green Bay Packers from 1935 through 1945. They tell, in a few short sentences, why "the Alabama Antelope" is still considered by many as the greatest pass receiver who ever lived.

Without question, Hutson is the "yardstick" player of the pass-receiving profession. He caught a touchdown "bomb" on his very first play as a rookie and wound up with 99 touchdown receptions, a record that stood for more than four decades. When he retired after the 1945 season, Hutson had caught 488 passes. The second-place receiver at the time had just 190 receptions. The other marks Hutson set once filled pages and he still has several notations in the NFL record book.

By any interpretation, his marks, when compared with his contemporaries, clearly demonstrate just how much "a man ahead of his time" Hutson really was. Along with Sammy Baugh, the great passer who joined the Washington Redskins in 1937, two years after Hutson became a Packer, Don was a dominant factor in the offensive evolution of pro football. When Hutson and Baugh first entered the NFL, pro football was a run-oriented game with the forward pass being used only in desperation or as a surprise play. By the time the two retired, the forward pass had become a major part of every NFL’s team offense.

When Hutson joined the Packers as a rookie, there were many who doubted that the skinny athlete could stand the pounding he was certain to receive in pro football. It wasn’t long, however, before his mere presence on the field had changed the defensive concepts of the entire NFL. Such measures as double coverage and triple-teaming were unheard of before Hutson came on the scene.

When he retired, Hutson had rewritten the NFL record book and held nearly every major receiving record.
EDIT: Here's a list of receiving records. If you look at the "years leading the league" categories, Hutson's #1 in all of them. Meaning that if you adjust for the era and rule changes, Hutson dominated his competition like no other.Of course, the raw numbers of Rice are superfically more impressive and that's why Rice is considered to be #1 universally and why some people laugh when you say Hutson.

 
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It's a *major* stretch to claim that Russell "owned" Chamberlain. The Celtics almost always won the final battle vs Wilt's teams, that's true, but head to head it's a different story.

Russell and Chamberlain met in the NBA playoffs 49 times and Russell's teams came out ahead there by a margin of 29-20. And in those post season duels Chamberlain averaged 26 points and 28 rebounds while Russell averaged 14 pts and 22 rebounds. If Chamberlain can be considered "owned" while racking up those kind of numbers it's one more testament to just how awesome he was.

And by the way I'm the all time supporter of underdogs everywhere, and like I said, I ALWAYS rooted against Chamberlain as a kid.

It still bugs me to admit that he was the greatest.

I will say this for Jordan though. That playoff game aginst the Jazz when he crawed out of a sick bed with a 102 degree temeperature and basically single handedly willed the Bulls to victory was one of the most impressive displays of the human spirit I've ever witnessed. If this argument were about who most hated to lose, Jordan would win hands down against anybody.

One more thing. Just to clarify about my Shaq comments... the guy is a physical specimen, no argument possible there. He's a decent passer and has improved his footwork quite a bit over the last few seasons. He even looks like he hit the weight room last off season instead of the local Baskin and Robbins. But he is now and always has been extremely one dimensional on offense in that can't really do anything except play dumptruck; ie, he gets the ball somewhere around or inside the key and backs up dribbling a few feet (or even outright walks a few steps when the refs let him), then takes the short shot or dunk. Once in a while just to keep you honest he'll kick the ball back out when he draws the double team.

But he can be taken out of his comfort zone by opposing big men who make him work hard at both ends of the court. He's not the most athletic guy out there and he really struggles when you force him to move laterally (mainly because he simply can't do it), plus he has zero outside shot, even from eight or ten feet away.

I just thought Wallace and the Pistons exposed Shaq's flaws and exploited them nicely in the Finals. It would have been interesting to watch a player of say Abdul Jabbar's calibre go at it against O'Neal. Making Shaq move from side to side and come out high in the post to defend a much quicker guy who's three inches taller (and has an even longer wingspan) with an unstoppable hook shot would have been a blast to watch.
Everyone seems so caught up in personal statistics. Bah. Chamberlain was a pesonal stats machine who didn't make his team better. Russell and Jordan did.I watched all 3's entire careers. Russell was the best.

Back to football, I can't say who was the greatest of all time but of the ones I saw play: 1. Jim Brown

2. Jerry Rice

3. Lawrence Taylor

3. Lawrence Taylor

 
As a know-it-all kid I used to argue with my father that Payton was best ever. Dad said no one compared to Brown (and Dad had even seen him play live a couple times). 30 yrs later, despite how LT changed the game & how dominant Rice was, I would still have to vote for Payton as best I ever saw.However, if I was to consider those I hadn't seen, the exploits of Don Hutson might vault him to no 1 on my list. Those stats are definitely in the Ruth/Gretzky category of ridiculous.

 
Of those I saw, I'd have to go with Joe Montana.

I think his 1993 season was what clinched it for me. I mean, he did go to a fairly good team, and he did get Marcus Allen that year.

But seriously, he took the Chiefs to the AFC Championship game with some incredible games -- including going on the road and knocking out the 12-4 Oilers, who had won 11 straight games. Pretty impressive stuff.

Isn't it amazing that that was the last playoff win for the Chiefs? 1993? They've had 3 13-win seasons since then!

EDIT: But obviously there are a lot of historical guys (Brown, Hutson, Graham, Unitas to name a few) that are in the discussion for sure.

 
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