The title of Best Ever in sports is silly, really. It’s foolish to compare two players’ statistics when at least one hasn’t finished his career, and it’s impossible to measure how players from different eras compare against one another.
Yet we, as sports fans, love to do it anyway. There’s nothing wrong with that; it’s all in good fun and can make for hours of healthy debate. But if there’s one argument that needs to be put to rest, it’s the case for Best Quarterback Of All Time.
If you remember, last year at this time many were prepared to anoint Peyton Manning as the unquestioned greatest, provided he took down the New Orleans Saints and won his second Super Bowl in three tries. A mostly pedestrian performance with one touchdown, and a pick-six in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter robbed Peyton of his chances to assume the crown. This season, Manning had one of the worst statistical performances of his career including a stretch in which he tossed 11 interceptions in three games.
Manning went from next in line as the greatest ever, to maybe not even among the top three QBs currently playing.
But that’s OK, because with a marvellous 36 touchdown, four interception performance this season Tom Brady’s turn to become the best of all time arrived. Entering the playoffs Brady’s Patriots seemed unbeatable, and with a chance to win his 4th Super Bowl, it became difficult for people to think of someone that had been more dominant than Brady.
Except that he turned in an abysmal performance against the New York Jets in his first and only playoff game this season and was easily rattled by Rex Ryan’s defence.
That’s alright though, because there wasn’t an athlete alive that has played better over the last two months than Aaron Rodgers. He didn’t have the career resume´ to match up with Brady or Manning, but going into this weekend there was no one hotter than Rodgers, and a case could be made that he was playing better than any other QB. But Rodgers turned in a zero touchdown, two interception effort yesterday in which he had only a 55.4 quarterback rating, hardly worthy of the best QB alive award.
Nevermind, because later yesterday evening Ben Roethlisberger had a chance to lead his Steelers to their third Super Bowl in the last six years. Roethlisberger’s Steelers won, and Roethlisberger extended his playoff record to 10-2, making him won of the best postseason clutch performers ever. Except that Roethlisberger’s stats show that he wasn’t quite on his game yesterday. He also had no touchdowns and two interceptions, and an ugly QB rating of 35.5.
Still, if Roethlisberger does win another Super Bowl, he certainly deserves to be mentioned with Brady and Manning among the best ever, right? There might not be anyone better when it really counts, and with a virtuoso performance Roethlisberger might ascend to the top of the Best QB ladder.
For now. But, watch out. Drew Brees looks like he’s in for a big year in 2011.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.