The Electric Commentary

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Answer

On Wednesday I heard a late night Chicago sports talk radio host claim that if his team were in the Super Bowl, he would take Elway, then Montana, then Unitas, then Young, then Aikman, then Brady, then Manning. Bradshaw was in there too. He expressly said that he would not take Favre because he only won one Super Bowl. This brings us to the answers:

1. Brett Favre, in the Super Bowl Loss to Denver.
2. John Elway, in the Super Bowl win over Green Bay.
3. Trent Dilfer, in the Super Bowl win of the New York Giants.

I really hate it when people are absolutists about great players having to win championships. I'm get even more pissed off when analysts attribute great feats to players who had little to do with those feats.

Looking at the numbers above, it is pretty clear that Brett Favre outplayed John Elway in that Super Bowl. It's not even really close. But think about how much John Elway's legacy rests on that game. (It also relies on a Gary Anderson missed field goal and some extra curricular activity from Eugene Robinson.) I don't mean to say that Elway was anything less than great, but it's worth remembering that his Super Bowl wins were almost entirely due to a great offensive line and Terrell Davis.

The fact is that not only did Brett Favre outplay John Elway in their Super Bowl Showdown, but Trent Dilfer put up as good, if not better numbers than Elway in his Super Bowl performance. Is there any reason to consider these Super Bowls as important data points in the "John Elway is great" file?

And Brett Favre should not be penalized heavily for his Super Bowl loss. After all, he doesn't play on the Packer defensive line. The fact is that Brett Favre has performed better in Super Bowls than John Elway has. This is indisputable. He hasn't won as many, but in a team sport like football, even though the QB is the most important player, he is still only a small part of what makes a team successful.

If you were the GM of an expansion team, and you could have either the old John Elway, or the old John Elway's offensive line plus a replacement level QB, what would you take? Ask the same question for Troy Aikman in his prime.

I'd take the offensive line.

Now ask the same question of Favre in his MVP era.

That's why Favre is great.

(And nice work, Scott.)


  • Of course in 10 months these same guys will be saying "Defense wins championships" without blinking.

    By Anonymous Rashid Muhammad, at 6:06 PM  

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