This wont be another list of the top this or the other, but the proliferation of them got me to thinking about the greatest of all time lists and how quarterbacks are held to a team standard that isnt necessarily used for other positions.
For example, the Ravens Ray Lewis would rank high on any list of the top linebackers ever. But how important is it that Lewis won a Super Bowl? It helps, sure, just like the Steelers Super Bowl history elevates Jack Lambert.
However, suppose the Ravens never won a Super Bowl during Lewis career? Would he still rank among the best ever? The answer is yes. The proof is that the man many consider the greatest middle linebacker of all time is Dick Butkus. His Bears were never championship-caliber during his tenure in Chicago.
The Ravens Ed Reed didnt arrive in Baltimore until after the Super Bowl season, but hes high on anyones list of the best safeties ever. Also on that list? Larry Wilson, who was stuck on often-futile Cardinals squads in the 1960s and early 70s.
Compare that with the most common rankings of best quarterbacks. Whos most often near the top? Tom Brady, Joe Montana, John Elway, Peyton Manning, Johnny Unitas, Brett Favre. All of them won NFL titles. Whos just as deserving and gets downgraded for never winning a Super Bowl? Dan Marino, as good a passer as ever played in the league.
The quarterback gets extra credit and extra blame for the teams success in a way no other player is. Look up a QBs stats and youre likely to see the teams won-lost record listed along with his passing numbers. Thats not done for anyone else.
Thats just how it goes. Maybe its as it should be. After all, the quarterbacks need to earn those supermodels.