clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

The Greatest Quarterback Ever

New, comments

There's been a lot of talk this weekend about Brett Favre coming into the Metrodome this weekend and setting some sort of record that's allegedly going to cement him as the best quarterback of all time.  I'm sure you've heard all the same nonsense, unless you've been living under a rock for the past two or three days.

The assessment of him being the "best quarterback of all time" is pretty much a steaming pile of BS.  First off, Captain Overrated isn't even the best quarterback in the history of his own franchise.  Seriously, there's this guy by the name of Bart Starr that I'm not sure the majority of the national media has ever heard of, by the sounds of it.  Starr played in 10 post-season football games.  He won 9 of them.  Oh, and he has an MVP trophy and a couple of Super Bowl MVP awards sitting on his mantle, too.  In the 10 post-season games that he played, he threw three interceptions.  THREE!  Captain Overrated has had two separate playoff games where he's thrown more than three interceptions, including the last post-season game that the Packers played in.  (Who was that against again?)  Bart Starr is among the top post-season quarterbacks in NFL history, alongside such names as Tom Brady, Otto Graham, and Joe Montana.  Captain Overrated is. . .well. . .not.

So, Starr is arguably the best QB that's ever been part of the Packer/Viking rivalry.  And the argument for who's the best isn't between Starr and Captain Overrated.  It's between Starr and someone that all fans of the beloved Purple hold near and dear to their hearts.

Yes, I speak of Sir Francis of Tarkenton, the greatest quarterback in Minnesota Vikings' history and one of the 4-5 greatest quarterbacks in the history of the National Football League.  How great was Fran Tarkenton?  Let me supply you with the explanation that the folks from ArmchairGM.com used in their article from this pre-season when they named #10 the third greatest quarterback of all time:

Some people may be shocked to see Tarkenton ranked this high on a greatest quarterbacks list. You shouldn't be. Purely looking at regular season performance, Fran Tarkenton is the greatest quarterback of all-time, and it's not even close. He was one of the first scrambling QBs to be successful in the NFL, amassing 3674 career rushing yards, a record for the position that stood until Randall Cunningham broke it in the late eighties. More importantly, though, Tarkenton could beat teams with his arm -- he still ranks 5th all-time in raw (unadjusted) passing yards, and third in TD passes. When adjusted for his era, he looks even more impressive; using PAR stats from last year as a reference, Tarkenton put up the equivalent of Carson Palmer's 2006 season (roughly 70 PAR) 10 times over the course of his 18-year career! The only knock on Tarkenton is that he never won a championship in his career, losing three Super Bowls. But a handful of playoff disappointments should not cause him to drop any lower than third place on this list. His consistently outstanding play during the regular season is often overshadowed by his Super Bowl failures, but we shouldn't forget what a truly great quarterback Tarkenton was.

No, we shouldn't.  It doesn't matter if Captain Overrated managed to get Reggie White and Desmond Howard to carry him to a ring while guys like Sir Francis and Dan Marino never got one.  Favre couldn't lift either of their jockstraps, let along carry them.  Hell, Trent Dilfer has a Super Bowl ring. . .should we be utterly ludicrous and suggest that he's a better quarterback than Fran Tarkenton, too?  I don't think so.  Add in the fact that the standards set by Tarkenton and Marino and many others weren't done with the aid of enough painkillers to take down a bull elephant, and they're even more impressive.

I'll be the first to admit I don't like Brett Favre.  I think he's arrogant, I think he's selfish, and that "aw, shucks" attitude he goes around with doesn't have me fooled as it does so many members in the media.  What respect I had for his on-field ability died when he decided he'd take a dive so his buddy could set the single-season sack record, and then decided he'd throw the rest of the team under the bus when what he had done was pretty clear to everyone watching.  He has more losses to the Vikings than to any other team, and he's thrown more interceptions against the Vikings than any other team.  Pardon me if I'm not terribly impressed with his ability to be the Nolan Ryan of his sport.  Ryan was/is overrated as all get out, too.

I have Packer fan friends that tell me that I just wish that the Vikings had ever had a quarterback at talented as Brett Favre. My response? That Packer fans wish they had ever had a quarterback as talented as Fran Tarkenton. If I have two minutes to play, down by 4 points, and I need a touchdown, and I can choose between Fran Tarkenton and Brett Favre to be my quarterback, my decision is pretty easy.

After all. . .10 is, always has been, and always will be greater than 4.