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Thread: Biggest NFL star ever

  1. #31
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Montana, Unitas, Simpson, Payton, Rice. You can make a case for all of them.

    But if he stays around along enough, it will be Manning.
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  3. #32
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Quote Originally Posted by oneupper View Post
    Montana, Unitas, Simpson, Payton, Rice. You can make a case for all of them.

    But if he stays around along enough, it will be Manning.
    I think you nailed it. But you have to throw Namath in there too (not for his fame now, but for his popularity back in the AFL days).
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  4. #33
    Danger is my business! oneupper's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Namath was the Sandy Koufax of football. Brilliant for short time, plagued by injuries.
    Favre would be a better addition, IMO and Marino had he ever won a super bowl.
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  5. #34
    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Quote Originally Posted by RFS62 View Post
    Namath was the perfect player for the perfect era in television. His endorsements were legendary. The white shoes, shaving his fu manchu, wearing the pantyhose..... seems silly and insignificant now but were big stories back in the day. He was Broadway Joe, the spokesperson for the sexual revolution and the Playboy lifestyle.

    His prediction of victory in Super Bowl III was legendary. Lying poolside in Miami Beach and calmly guaranteeing the win while the media didn't give the Jets a ghost of a chance was the essence of "cool".

    Plenty of players were better, but no player ever had the social impact that Broadway Joe had, IMO. Maybe OJ because he was a black man accepted by the whole world in his endorsement deals was more socially significant, but I'll still give the nod to Namath.
    I agree, RFS62. The things that Namath did at that time in history was totally against the norm. We were used to Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas. Namath was totally different. With two healthy knees, he would have been something. Never saw a quicker, smoother release of the football. Yes, Joe was smooth.....
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  6. #35
    Member improbus's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Quote Originally Posted by RANDY IN CHAR NC View Post
    I agree, RFS62. The things that Namath did at that time in history was totally against the norm. We were used to Bart Starr and Johnny Unitas. Namath was totally different. With two healthy knees, he would have been something. Never saw a quicker, smoother release of the football. Yes, Joe was smooth.....
    But, isn't it strange (a maybe a little sad) that the NFL's biggest star ever is a marginal HOF player (who had a short career with suspect numbers) and not one of the all-time greats. Perhaps it speaks to the dullness of NFL players, especially QB's. I was listening to Dan LeBatard's Miami radio show and they were discussing this very issue. They were claiming that there have only been two successful eccentric QB's. Namath and McMahon. Everyone else falls much closer to the "robot" category. They don't have one of those Ruth-like bigger than life characters who was both great/transcendant and interesting. It seems like you are one or the other.
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  7. #36
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Quote Originally Posted by improbus View Post
    But, isn't it strange (a maybe a little sad) that the NFL's biggest star ever is a marginal HOF player (who had a short career with suspect numbers) and not one of the all-time greats. Perhaps it speaks to the dullness of NFL players, especially QB's. I was listening to Dan LeBatard's Miami radio show and they were discussing this very issue. They were claiming that there have only been two successful eccentric QB's. Namath and McMahon. Everyone else falls much closer to the "robot" category. They don't have one of those Ruth-like bigger than life characters who was both great/transcendant and interesting. It seems like you are one or the other.
    Joe Namath had charisma in spades and a wonderful arm. Bear Bryant called him the best athlete he ever coached. Namath had great courage, playing with the knees he had. Namath guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III and made good on the guarantee in the NFL's greatest upset. He lead the AFL in passing yards three times and was the first QB to throw for 4000 yards in a season (1967). I agree he rightfully is in the NFL Hall of Fame.
    What Namath did not have was particularly impressive passing stats, even for his era. In his Super Bowl season of 1968 he completed less than half of his passing attempts, and his career percentage was only 50.1%, which isn't outstanding even for his era. His average yards per passing attempt of 7.4 in his career is mediocre. He threw 173 TDs but also tossed 220 interceptions in his career, and only twice (1965, 1969) in his career did he throw more TD passes in a season than he did picks. There are a host of QBs in the 1960s and 1970s who had better stats than Joe Willie and who are not in the HOF.
    An interesting comparsion can be made between Namath, who was Alabama's QB in 1962-64, and Ken Stabler, who was Alabama's QB in 1965-67.
    One threw right and one threw left, both partied hard, and both were suspended by Bear Bryant. Both played on national championship teams at 'Bama.
    Namath played in the NFL from 1965 through 1977 and Stabler played in the NFL from 1970 through 1984. During the latter years of Stabler's career he played when the rules were altered to help the passing game, but by then Stabler was a shell of who he had been in his prime seasons of 1973-77.
    Passing percentage favors Stabler, 59.8 to 50.1.
    Passer rating favors Stabler 75.3 to 65.5. Stabler had a rating of 94.9 in 1974 and 103.4 in 1976, while Namath never had a season rating as high as 80.
    Stabler threw for 27,938 yards, Namath for 27,663.
    Both QBs had an average of 7.4 yards per attempt.
    Both threw interceptions. As noted above Namath had 173 TD passes and 220 interceptions. Stabler had 194 TD passes and 222 interceptions.
    Namath made five Pro Bowls, while Stabler made four.
    Each QB was voted league MVP by somebody (AP and/or the Bert Bell award) in two different seasons-Namath in 1968 and 1969, Stabler in 1974 and 1976.
    Namath had a career playoff record of 2-1 and Stabler had a career playoff record of 7-5.
    Each QB won a Super Bowl, Namath going 17 for 28 with 206 yards and no TDs in the Jets 16-7 win in Super Bowl III and Stabler going 12 for 19 for 180 yards and a TD in the Raiders 32-14 win in Super Bowl IX.
    Namath is in the HOF. Stabler is not.
    Last edited by RedsBaron; 09-11-2010 at 02:50 PM.
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  8. #37
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    The last episode of Mad Men had a subject on suitcases. The idea by the Ad Agency was to get Joe Namath in a commercial showing the toughness of the suitcase, comparing it to his Offensive Line. Don Draper said, "He hasn't won anything, yet", where the ad gal said, "But, he's already so popular".

  9. #38
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsBaron View Post
    Joe Namath had charisma in spades and a wonderful arm. Bear Bryant called him the best athlete he ever coached. Namath had great courage, playing with the knees he had. Namath guaranteed a win in Super Bowl III and made good on the guarantee in the NFL's greatest upset. He lead the AFL in passing yards three times and was the first QB to throw for 4000 yards in a season (1967). I agree he rightfully is in the NFL Hall of Fame.
    What Namath did not have was particularly impressive passing stats, even for his era. In his Super Bowl season of 1968 he completed less than half of his passing attempts, and his career percentage was only 50.1%, which isn't outstanding even for his era. His average yards per passing attempt of 7.4 in his career is mediocre. He threw 173 TDs but also tossed 220 interceptions in his career, and only twice (1965, 1969) in his career did he throw more TD passes in a season than he did picks. There are a host of QBs in the 1960s and 1970s who had better stats than Joe Willie and who are not in the HOF.
    An interesting comparsion can be made between Namath, who was Alabama's QB in 1962-64, and Ken Stabler, who was Alabama's QB in 1965-67.
    One threw right and one threw left, both partied hard, and both were suspended by Bear Bryant. Both played on national championship teams at 'Bama.
    Namath played in the NFL from 1965 through 1977 and Stabler played in the NFL from 1970 through 1984. During the latter years of Stabler's career he played when the rules were altered to help the passing game, but by then Stabler was a shell of who he had been in his prime seasons of 1973-77.
    Passing percentage favors Stabler, 59.8 to 50.1.
    Passer rating favors Stabler 75.3 to 65.5. Stabler had a rating of 94.9 in 1974 and 103.4 in 1976, while Namath never had a season rating as high as 80.
    Stabler threw for 27,938 yards, Namath for 27,663.
    Both QBs had an average of 7.4 yards per attempt.
    Both threw interceptions. As noted above Namath had 173 TD passes and 220 interceptions. Stabler had 194 TD passes and 222 interceptions.
    Namath made five Pro Bowls, while Stabler made four.
    Each QB was voted league MVP by somebody (AP and/or the Bert Bell award) in two different seasons-Namath in 1968 and 1969, Stabler in 1974 and 1976.
    Namath had a career playoff record of 2-1 and Stabler had a career playoff record of 7-5.
    Each QB won a Super Bowl, Namath going 17 for 28 with 206 yards and no TDs in the Jets 16-7 win in Super Bowl III and Stabler going 12 for 19 for 180 yards and a TD in the Raiders 32-14 win in Super Bowl IX.
    Namath is in the HOF. Stabler is not.
    Great post!

    The further it gets from those who were born after 1955, the harder it will be for the masses to recognize just how great Joe Willie Namath was. When it comes to Football, especially Quarterbacks, throw all statistics out the window. Winning football has nothing to do with statistics. It's about attitude. Joe Namath had that attitude, as did Kenny Stabler, Terry Bradshaw, Sonny Jurgensen, and dozens of others.

  10. #39
    Member cincrazy's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Can't think of a bigger "star" in my lifetime than Prime Time himself, Deion Sanders.

  11. #40
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    Dick Butkus and Bubba Smith changed beer commercials forever.

    And they were in Blue Thunder.

    nuff said.
    Suck it up cupcake.

  12. #41
    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    An impossible task, unless it's broken down by decade, and even then it would be a very hard task because players - before every household had a TV - didn't get the same type of exposure.

    1920s - Red Grange, Jim Thorpe
    1930s - Bronko Nagurski, Don Hutson
    1940s - Sammy Baugh
    1950s - Otto Graham
    1960s - Johnny Unitas, Bart Starr, Jim Brown, Broadway Joe
    1970s - Walter Payton, Lynn Swann, Terry Bradshaw, and .....

    YouTube - Coca-Cola Classic ad: Mean Joe Green [Full Version] (1979)


    1980s - Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Eric Dickerson
    1990s - John Elway, Brett Favre, Deion Sanders
    2000s - Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Ray Lewis
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

  13. #42
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Biggest NFL star ever

    In my lieftime nobody in the NFL was as big a star as OJ Simpson was. Montana, Unitas, Namath were all big stars, but nobody dominated the national scene the way OJ did.

    At least not until Peyton Manning. I'd say now that Manning is the answer.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS


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