“… looking back at all the greats knowing what you know now, if you are assembling a team and don’t start with Dan Marino, you’re crazy.”— Brett Favre
Daniel Constantine Marino Jr was born September 15th, 1961 in Pittsburgh, PA. Pittsburgh would be his home from birth all the way till he departed for a career in the NFL (his only other blemish outside of not winning a Super Bowl—Pittsburgh is such a S*#& city. Right?).
Modern day conversations have grown men arguing that Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, or Joe Montana is the Goat (Greatest Of All Time). What are the arguments for each? Lets go over them.
- Guy arguing for Tom Brady: He has 5! 5 Rings! The most ever! Now he has the most CAREER Touchdown’s with most CAREER passing yards!
Calm down Brady lover. Last time I checked, football is a team sport. Take it another level to the pros– it’s not just the personnel on the field– its organizational. Brady has arguably the best back office staff in football, headed by one of the greatest Head Coaches ever (I love you Bill). Why does this matter? Most of his impressive feats/records are team oriented. The only two that aren’t were previously mentioned by Tom Brady lover above— not bad when your career is exponentially longer than the great QB’s before you because you play till your 63 years old due to modern defenses inability to touch QB’s. It must be nice to not be terrorized by Lawrence Taylor or Reggie White all game long who consistently put opposing QB’s on their asses on the regular.
- Guy arguing Peyton Manning: I get this one.
Manning was like having Bill Belichick on the field during pre-snap cadences. I get it. He played the game unlike any other QB and would terrorize opposing defensive coordinators via his weekly chess matches. However, still falls short of Marino’s arm strength and ball.
- Guy arguing Aaron Rodgers: Have you seen him play?! The way he extends plays then delivers with pinpoint accuracy! He even has the Super Bowl checked off the list! Tom Brady said he was BETTER!
Listen here Aaron Rodgers guy, discount double check yourself. He has a total of 1 NFL record (and that happened this past weekend). Admittedly watching him play is impressive and he does pass the eye test. However, at age 35, he’s yet to set any major record or accumulate any other accomplishment to be mentioned in this era of impressive QB play. Sorry Aaron.
- Guy arguing Joe Montana: (typically someone aged mid 50’s and on and someone who can’t let go and even more commonly a 49ers fan)
Stop. A lesser but tougher version of Tom Brady. Both equally handsome though.
Dan Marino was putting up “present day” passing numbers in the 80’s and 90’s. He did Peyton Manning things prior to Manning (which is my only knock on Manning).
Brady has had a multitude of solid players around him, yet everyone write those players off as “nobody’s”- Wes Welker, Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, as well as backed by solid defensive play.
Manning had Harrison and Wayne, then DT and Emmanuel Sanders.
Even Aaron Rodgers had Jordy and Cobb.
Montana had Jerry Rice (The greatest WR to ever play the game).
Who was Marino’s best WR? Mark Clayton? You don’t know who that is, do you? Was he backed by a great defense? NOPE! Dan Marino is the single greatest QB to ever play the game and given a different team and situation, there would be a large margin between him and the next guy. He lost his only Super Bowl appearance to what many consider was one of the best Bill Walsh teams ever (49ers and Montana).
Marino re-wrote the record books during his era, and those numbers stood for decades until the recent rule changes in favor of the presently soft NFL QB’s who, by the way, don’t have to deal with John Lynch taking a WR’s head off due to them being defenseless. Simply put, Marino put up modern day passing numbers in an era where QB’s and WR’s were target practice for opposing defenses. He did it against some of the greatest teams to take the grid-iron. Super Bowl or not—Marino is the Greatest QB to ever lace them up. Take some time to hear the other pros talk about him. Their opinions matter. See Favre’s quote at the beginning of the article.
Again, football is a team sport. Even the greatest QB of all time can’t win it all by himself- As a matter of fact he didn’t (Marino).