OT: Mount Rushmore of American pro athletes

obliterata

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I went with athletes who stood out from the rest in their time period (not necessarily the best ever):

Tiger
Babe
Wilt
Ali
 

sufandu

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So you're saying if Peyton had the luxury of having elite receivers like Deion Branch and Troy Brown instead of mediocre talent like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne he would have won three Super Bowls in four years in the early 2000s?
If Peyton Manning had the luxury of a defensive genius as a head coach consistently throughout his career he would have had the same results. I believe the same is true of Aaron Rodgers and I could probably think of a few more. Additionally, I believe Belichik has had a hand in scheming a great offense. How many times was Edelman wide open in that game? How many different recievers have been open in the Pats offense and disappear on other teams? Some of that is Brady but a lot is scheme. A number of former Pats players that do analysis now state it's more important to Belichik that a guy be able to learn and do his job than be an elite talent. They always have a solid, if rarely dominant, running game regardless of who is at running back. The offensive line has kept Brady clean for the almost 20 years. How is it in the few seasons that Brady has been injured, his replacements had great years only to fall flat on their faces when they signed elsewhere?

I get it. You're a Pats homer. I'll never convince you Brady isn't the greatest ever. What's funny is that, too you, me saying Brady is one of the greatest but, because I believe Belichik is the greatest coach ever, not THE greatest is unacceptable.

Additionally, championships will never be the primary metric for me, especially in the most team oriented sport. Apparently, it isn't for you either. If it was, Russell would be up there instead of Jordan, in a sport where a single player can have a clear dominant impact on both offense and defense.
 

sufandu

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Considering Manning has been retired the Pats would probably have less SB wins.
I knew someone would nitpick that. If that's your argument, so be it.
 

sufandu

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Oooh, Phelps is interesting in this discussion.
He was certainly the most dominant ever. For the purposesof this topic, I prefer sports where someone is opposing you directly. If swimmimg races were ran where guys swam in the same lane past each other with rules permitting them to impede their opponent, that would be fun.
 

Eric15

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I get it. You're a Pats homer. I'll never convince you Brady isn't the greatest ever. What's funny is that, too you, me saying Brady is one of the greatest but, because I believe Belichik is the greatest coach ever, not THE greatest is unacceptable.

Additionally, championships will never be the primary metric for me, especially in the most team oriented sport. Apparently, it isn't for you either. If it was, Russell would be up there instead of Jordan, in a sport where a single player can have a clear dominant impact on both offense and defense.
I believe Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history and Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. These are not mutually exclusive. And I'm not a Pats fan at all, and don't even have loyalty to any NFL team.

And to be clear, I'm not basing Brady's greatness on just championships. I'm basing on the entirety of his body of work. He has NEVER had a bad season. He has won his division every single season except 2002. If it wasn't for that flukish ending to the Dolphins game this year, he would have won 12 games every season of this decade. And he'll be 42 this year!
 

Cusefan0307

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If Peyton Manning had the luxury of a defensive genius as a head coach consistently throughout his career he would have had the same results. I believe the same is true of Aaron Rodgers and I could probably think of a few more. Additionally, I believe Belichik has had a hand in scheming a great offense. How many times was Edelman wide open in that game? How many different recievers have been open in the Pats offense and disappear on other teams? Some of that is Brady but a lot is scheme. A number of former Pats players that do analysis now state it's more important to Belichik that a guy be able to learn and do his job than be an elite talent. They always have a solid, if rarely dominant, running game regardless of who is at running back. The offensive line has kept Brady clean for the almost 20 years. How is it in the few seasons that Brady has been injured, his replacements had great years only to fall flat on their faces when they signed elsewhere?

I get it. You're a Pats homer. I'll never convince you Brady isn't the greatest ever. What's funny is that, too you, me saying Brady is one of the greatest but, because I believe Belichik is the greatest coach ever, not THE greatest is unacceptable.

Additionally, championships will never be the primary metric for me, especially in the most team oriented sport. Apparently, it isn't for you either. If it was, Russell would be up there instead of Jordan, in a sport where a single player can have a clear dominant impact on both offense and defense.

See I think Aaron Rodgers is incredibly overrated. Makes plays nobody else besides maybe Mahomes can make, but he's also been below average to average from a yards/attempt and completion percentage perspective 3 out of the last 4 years.
 

Eric15

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If Peyton Manning had the luxury of a defensive genius as a head coach consistently throughout his career he would have had the same results.
Peyton at age 39 was basically along for the ride for the Broncos Super Bowl win. He threw 9 TDs and 17 INTs that season, had a passer rating of 56 in the Super Bowl, and enjoyed one of the most elite defenses in NFL history.
 

sufandu

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I believe Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history and Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. These are not mutually exclusive. And I'm not a Pats fan at all, and don't even have loyalty to any NFL team.

And to be clear, I'm not basing Brady's greatness on just championships. I'm basing on the entirety of his body of work. He has NEVER had a bad season. He has won his division every single season except 2002. If it wasn't for that flukish ending to the Dolphins game this year, he would have won 12 games every season of this decade. And he'll be 42 this year!
It's a great argument. It's why I consider him one of rhe greats. But he has consistently played on a great team built by the greatest coach in one of the weakest divisions since he's been in the league. I don't consider him the greatest, just one of. We'll have to agree to disagree.

I apologize for calling you a Pats homer. I thought I recalled you posting a lot on here as if you were a fan of theirs.
 

BomberOrange

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I believe Belichick is the greatest coach in NFL history and Brady is the greatest QB in NFL history. These are not mutually exclusive. And I'm not a Pats fan at all, and don't even have loyalty to any NFL team.

And to be clear, I'm not basing Brady's greatness on just championships. I'm basing on the entirety of his body of work. He has NEVER had a bad season. He has won his division every single season except 2002. If it wasn't for that flukish ending to the Dolphins game this year, he would have won 12 games every season of this decade. And he'll be 42 this year![/QUOTE

I just want to jump in and say while I don't disagree that TB is one of the all time greats, its not HE who has never had a bad season, or HE who has won his crappy division almost every year, or HE who would've won 12 games this decade. Its the Patriots who did that, not just one guy. They have an amazing cuture/system that is proven and works. Is he a big part...absolutely...but he wouldn't be there without Belicheck and the very underrated D's they've had over the years. To put it another way HE would not have six rings if he was a Buffalo Bill all these years.
 

sufandu

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See I think Aaron Rodgers is incredibly overrated. Makes plays nobody else besides maybe Mahomes can make, but he's also been below average to average from a yards/attempt and completion percentage perspective 3 out of the last 4 years.
And his coach was fired. Coaching is a big deal in the NFL.
 

nzm136

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Yeah, but he would have had 17 Super Bowl losses in a row if he played for the Bills.
 

Eric15

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To put it another way HE would not have six rings if he was a Buffalo Bill all these years.
Brady is the common denominator in an almost 20 year NFL dynasty. Quarterback is the most important and influential position in sports. Is Belichick a genius? Of course. But Tom Brady is the human being on the field who is most responsible for all this success.

And of course he wouldn't win six SBs with the Bills, but I guarantee you they would have went the playoffs quite a bit.
 
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Brady and Belichick are both the greatest ever at what they do. I think Belichick without Brady probably still wins Super Bowls, but maybe 3-4. Brady without Belichick still wins, but maybe 2-3. I guess by that measure I value Belichick slightly higher, but both have been critical to the team and for each others legacies
 
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Jordan
Ruth
Brady
Earnhardt

I hate NASCAR, but it is still, in more than half of the country, incredibly popular.
 

OrangeDW

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As far as Brady being the best QB ever, I’m not sure it’s even possible to determine that. The NFL might as well be a different sport now from what it used to be.

I’m not talking about nutrition and athletes being stronger and bigger or whatever...the rules are completely different. The way the game is played is completely different. Brady is the best QB of his era, no doubt. Would he have this longevity in the 80’s? Zero chance. He got sacked like once all postseason this year. Compare that to what defenses were doing to QBs back then. Look at those hits Leonard Marshall and Jim Burt we’re putting in Montana. Look at how many receivers were on the field and how they were lined up and how teams were allowed to defend them.

It’s an impossible comparison.

Brady, Montana, and I assume Unitas are the best of those 3 distinct eras, IMO.
 

kuethstheman

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As far as Brady being the best QB ever, I’m not sure it’s even possible to determine that. The NFL might as well be a different sport now from what it used to be.

I’m not talking about nutrition and athletes being stronger and bigger or whatever...the rules are completely different. The way the game is played is completely different. Brady is the best QB of his era, no doubt. Would he have this longevity in the 80’s? Zero chance. He got sacked like once all postseason this year. Compare that to what defenses were doing to QBs back then. Look at those hits Leonard Marshall and Jim Burt we’re putting in Montana. Look at how many receivers were on the field and how they were lined up and how teams were allowed to defend them.

It’s an impossible comparison.

Brady, Montana, and I assume Unitas are the best of those 3 distinct eras, IMO.
Couple things not stated or only in passing:
Some statistician figured out that Brady has gotten an average of 0.4 seconds longer to throw than anyone else. That alone can be the difference between a capable QB and a hall of famer.

When you send out 4 or 5 receivers under a good scheme, at least one is going to be open on almost every play. Most QBs can't find the one, if it's not one of their top two targets. Brady almost always does.
 

sufandu

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And in 2001
No kidding. So is QB play. Belichick went 5-11 with Bledsoe in 2000.
2000 was Belichiks first year. He was figuring out and turning over the roster and establishing his culture. In 2001 Brady was nothing special. 18 tds to 12 ints and near the bottom in yards per game. He wasn't much more than a game manager that season. Yet they still won the superbowl. That was Belichik.
 

RandomGuy

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If Peyton Manning had the luxury of a defensive genius as a head coach consistently throughout his career he would have had the same results. I believe the same is true of Aaron Rodgers and I could probably think of a few more. Additionally, I believe Belichik has had a hand in scheming a great offense. How many times was Edelman wide open in that game? How many different recievers have been open in the Pats offense and disappear on other teams? Some of that is Brady but a lot is scheme. A number of former Pats players that do analysis now state it's more important to Belichik that a guy be able to learn and do his job than be an elite talent. They always have a solid, if rarely dominant, running game regardless of who is at running back. The offensive line has kept Brady clean for the almost 20 years. How is it in the few seasons that Brady has been injured, his replacements had great years only to fall flat on their faces when they signed elsewhere?

I get it. You're a Pats homer. I'll never convince you Brady isn't the greatest ever. What's funny is that, too you, me saying Brady is one of the greatest but, because I believe Belichik is the greatest coach ever, not THE greatest is unacceptable.

Additionally, championships will never be the primary metric for me, especially in the most team oriented sport. Apparently, it isn't for you either. If it was, Russell would be up there instead of Jordan, in a sport where a single player can have a clear dominant impact on both offense and defense.
Always an element of homerisim for football fans. I believe your argument could be used against any QB. Is it the coach, or the QB? Hard to know for any coach/QB.

Overwhelmingly, Brady is regarded as the best. Many of the haters have come around. Your right to think differently, but I'll go with the overwhelming perception. On the mount.
 

Alsacs

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If Peyton Manning had the luxury of a defensive genius as a head coach consistently throughout his career he would have had the same results. I believe the same is true of Aaron Rodgers and I could probably think of a few more. Additionally, I believe Belichik has had a hand in scheming a great offense. How many times was Edelman wide open in that game? How many different recievers have been open in the Pats offense and disappear on other teams? Some of that is Brady but a lot is scheme. A number of former Pats players that do analysis now state it's more important to Belichik that a guy be able to learn and do his job than be an elite talent. They always have a solid, if rarely dominant, running game regardless of who is at running back. The offensive line has kept Brady clean for the almost 20 years. How is it in the few seasons that Brady has been injured, his replacements had great years only to fall flat on their faces when they signed elsewhere?

I get it. You're a Pats homer. I'll never convince you Brady isn't the greatest ever. What's funny is that, too you, me saying Brady is one of the greatest but, because I believe Belichik is the greatest coach ever, not THE greatest is unacceptable.

Additionally, championships will never be the primary metric for me, especially in the most team oriented sport. Apparently, it isn't for you either. If it was, Russell would be up there instead of Jordan, in a sport where a single player can have a clear dominant impact on both offense and defense.
Peyton had HCs he was always stronger than and basically let him be the OC and QB.
Brady has taken coaching. That is huge. It helped by being able to yell at Brady no one else can.
Peyton had 2 HOF WRs in Indianapolis Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne.
Borderline HOFer Edgerin James.

Brady had Randy Moss 1.5 years, Gronk 9 years and then slot WRs he has elevated Troy Brown, Wes Welker, Julian Edelman.

Plus Peyton played in a Dome for a majority of his career.
Brady played in the Northeast.

Brady’s 2007 showed if you gave him HOF toys he could do what Peyton did.
Brady > Peyton.
 

Eric15

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I went with athletes who stood out from the rest in their time period (not necessarily the best ever):

Tiger
Babe
Wilt
Ali
Wilt is obviously a legend, but Michael Jordan is probably one of the Top 10 most iconic Americans (not just athletes) of the 20th century along with people like Elvis, Michael Jackson, etc.
 

dasher

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And his coach was fired. Coaching is a big deal in the NFL.
The answer of who is the best qb of all time has been answered. I can't stand the guy because I think he is a phony but Brady is the best hands down. And let us not forget, he isn't done yet.
 

OrangeTown

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I feel like a failure of an American for thinking there are 5 on Mount Rushmore and wondering why all you dummies were only listing 4 people.
 

Phillymoose

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Oh, you mean Wayne "Great One-Way Player" Gretzky? No! The only check he knew was the one he cashed each week.
Gretzky is #4 on the all time list of +/- with a plus 520 over his career. The 3 ahead of him are all legendary, hall-of-fame defensemen. (Robinson, Orr and Bourque)
 

obliterata

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Wilt is obviously a legend, but Michael Jordan is probably one of the Top 10 most iconic Americans (not just athletes) of the 20th century along with people like Elvis, Michael Jackson, etc.
Well, Wilt did incredible things in the NBA stat-wise - better than Jordan or anyone else: a 100-point game, only player to average over 50 points a game in a season, only player to average over 40 points a game in a season, led the league in rebounding 11 times, led the league in field goal percentage 9 times, led the league in assists one season(!), only player to average 30 and 20 rebounds a game in a season (he did it 7 times!), only player to average 30/20 for a career, and so forth. So I'll stick with Wilt as far as dominating in their time.

Now if I was listing the greatest I would've gone with Bill Russell. He won 2 California high school championships, 2 NCAA 'ships (at San Francisco!), and 11 NBA 'ships. He's the greatest basketball player of all-time in my book, what he accomplished on the court in terms of winning and leadership has never been nor will ever be duplicated.
 

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