Bradley: Favre is the most overrated athlete of our time

Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has fighting words for Packer fans:

Which is this: Brett Favre is the most overrated athlete of our time.

Favre isn’t the greatest quarterback ever. He’s not even in the top 10. He’s 20th all-time in passer rating, 17th in completion percentage. Yes, he’s No. 1 in yardage and touchdown passes, but he’s also No. 1 by some distance in interceptions. Put it this way: If you added Peyton Manning’s and Joe Montana’s INTs together, you still wouldn’t match Favre’s massive total.

To Favre’s legion of admirers, he wasn’t just a quarterback but The Embodiment Of Football Itself. He was tough and he was daring and he got really excited and he played on the frozen tundra for the old-school Packers and … OK already! But he wasn’t the best quarterback Green Bay had seen — Bart Starr was better — and to me he wasn’t as good as the guy who nearly won a championship with the Arizona Cardinals.

That’s right. Kurt Warner. Who has won just as many titles as Favre, who has been to more Super Bowls, who has a better career completion percentage and a higher passer rating and a lower interception percentage but who had the misfortune of playing most of his career for the wrong Midwestern team in an unfrozen dome.

Unlike down-home Favre, Warner has never been seen as a real man’s man — no Wrangler ads — and hasn’t inspired the breathless adoration that John Madden and Peter King and every voice on ESPN lavished on Favre. Warner is considered a really good quarterback who throws a pretty ball and seems serious about his religion and has a talkative wife. Favre, as we know, is viewed as an icon.

I fail to see what commercials have to do with this argument, but I think Bradley was trying to drive his point home by playing to Warner’s good-guy persona.

What’s overrated in sports these days is the overrated statement itself. It’s not enough to sit back and enjoy a guy’s career, we have to pick it apart and compare it to every other player’s career in the history of the game. Favre didn’t play in Starr’s era, so you can’t compare the two. Peyton Manning has had the opportunity to play in the same offensive system since he was a rookie and Montana had Bill Walsh to learn from. If we’re going to compare things, you have to account for all variables – not just the ones that make your argument (i.e. stats).

Brett Favre might be overrated in the fact that his numbers don’t compare to other quarterbacks who aren’t viewed as a God. But to generally say he was an overrated player is a massive reach.

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Super Bowl standings: top 10 teams

The Super Bowl has been played since the 1966 season, so while NFL championships before that are not irrelevant, many records are based on the “Super Bowl era.” And while some teams have a great track record in Super Bowls (49ers), there are others that have awful records (Vikings, Bills). Here is a list of the Top 10 teams record-wise (based primarily on wins) in the Super Bowl era…..

1. San Francisco 49ers (5-0)—The 49ers are undefeated in Super Bowl history, and when you have guys like Joe Montana and Jerry Rice and Steve Young leading the way, it’s easy to see how that happens. But these teams were deep on both offense and defense, and were coached by Bill Walsh and George Seifert. What might be even more remarkable is that the Niners have scored 188 points while giving up 89 in those five games, a 99-point differential. Truly, ahem, super.

2. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-1)—The Steelers are looking to become the first team to win six Super Bowls this Sunday in Tampa against the Cardinals and the second one in the Ben Roethlisberger era. They are already one of the NFL’s premier franchises, but more is always better when it comes to championships.

3. Dallas Cowboys (5-3)—The Cowboys have a rich history of winning, but in today’s what-have-you-done-for-me-lately NFL, all anyone remembers is that they haven’t won a playoff game since 1996, and that dysfunction follows them around like tabloids following QB Tony Romo.

4. Green Bay Packers (3-1)—You might immediately think of Brett Favre, but he is only 1-1 in Super Bowls. The other two were Super Bowls I and II, when Bart Starr was the Packers’ QB and the coach was the legendary Vince Lombardi.

5. New York Giants (3-1)—The Giants climbed up a few notches with that improbable upset of the Patriots last season. Bill Parcells has two of the wins, one with Phil Simms at the helm and the other with Jeff Hostetler—and both with one of the greatest defensive players in history, Lawrence Taylor, terrorizing the other teams’ quarterbacks.

6. Oakland/LA Raiders (3-2)—It’s been about a quarter century since the Raiders won a Super Bowl, or around the same time Al Davis started to lose his marbles.

7. Washington Redskins (3-2)—The Redskins lost to Miami in Super Bowl 7, 14-7, to cap Miami’s (and the NFL’s only) perfect season, and have had mixed results since then, last appearing in 1991 when they beat Buffalo. Hard to believe it’s been almost 20 years since their last Super Bowl, but Dan Snyder makes Al Davis type decisions at times, so the drought could be long.

8. New England Patriots (3-3)—Have the Patriots have lost as many Super Bowls as they’ve won? Yes, when you realize the first two losses were to the mighty ’85 Bears, and to the unstoppable Favre/Holmgren Packers in ’96.

9. Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts (2-1)—You would think Peyton Manning should have more than one Super Bowl appearance, but that very fact was the big knock on him until he got his ring two years ago.

10. Miami Dolphins (2-3)—It’s been 25 years since the D-men have been in the big game, but mark my words…with Bill Parcells at the helm, this team will get back there within a few years, maybe even next year.

Source: Pro Football Reference

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