Monday, February 01, 2010

Super Bowl 44 - Day 1

Here we are live in Miami (for some reason, this year it is actually Fort Lauderdale) for Super Bowl XLIV.

My interests during Super Bowl week are everywhere. But, there is no question that one of the main things on my sports brain is the annual Hall of Fame tug of war .

Here is who we have this year:


Player Pos. Team(s) Years
Tim Brown WR LA/Oak., TB 1988-04
Cris Carter WR Phil., Min., Mia 1987-02
Don Coryell Coach StL Cards, SD 1973-86
Roger Craig RB SF, LA Rai., Min. 1983-93
Dermonti Dawson C Pitt. 1988-00
Richard Dent DE Chi, SF, Ind., Phi 1983-97
Russ Grimm G Wash. 1981-91
Charles Haley DE-LB SF, Dallas 1986-99*
Rickey Jackson LB New Orl., SF 1981-95
Cortez Kennedy DT Seattle 1990-00
Dick LeBeau CB Detroit 1959-72
Floyd Little RB Denver 1967-75
John Randle DT Minn., Sea. 1990-03
Andre Reed WR Buff., Wash. 1985-00
Jerry Rice WR SF, Oak., Sea. 1985-04
Shannon Sharpe TE Den., Bal. 1990-03
Emmitt Smith RB Dallas, Ari. 1990-04

I am pretty sure that Jerry Rice and Emmitt Smith are in. So, we have 2-4 more spots to roll with.

Lebeau and Little are Veteran committee selections so I think they generally have an excellent chance. So that leaves Tim Brown, Cris Carter, Andre Reed, Shannon Sharpe, Charles Haley, Richard Dent, and Don Coryell as the front runners to battle for the final 2 or 3 spots.


Meanwhile, plenty of questions about Kurt Warner and his Hall of Fame bid. I have him in, but let's bring you up to speed on the situation.

First, we should establish what QB's are in the Hall of Fame:

Troy Aikman 1989-2000
George Blanda (Also PK) 1949-1958, 1960-1975
Terry Bradshaw 1970-1983
Len Dawson 1957-1975
John Elway 1983-1998
Dan Fouts 1973-1987
Otto Graham 1946-1955
Bob Griese 1967-1980
Sonny Jurgensen 1957-1974
Jim Kelly 1986-1996
Bobby Layne 1948-1962
Dan Marino 1983-1999
Joe Montana 1979-1994
Warren Moon 1984-2000
Joe Namath 1965-1977
Bart Starr 1956-1971
Roger Staubach 1969-1979
Fran Tarkenton 1961-1978
Y.A. Tittle 1948-1964
Johnny Unitas 1956-1973
Norm Van Brocklin 1949-1960
Bob Waterfield 1945-1952
Steve Young 1985-1999

Then, Jamie, a P1, gets the credit for pointing out the similarities in certain stats, and not in others for Kurt Warner vs our own Troy Aikman:


HTML Tables

But, before you tell me about the playoffs, check out their playoff comparison:


HTML Tables

And Super Bowls? They were both in 3. Aikman went 3-0. Warner 1-2, but with the three most prolific passing yardage days in the history of the game.

414 Kurt Warner, St. Louis vs. Tennessee, XXXIV
377 Kurt Warner, Arizona vs. Pittsburgh, XLIII
365 Kurt Warner, St. Louis vs. New England, XXXVI

Here is an email from my buddy, Shawn:


What 2 time league MVP is not in the Hall of Fame?

He took the Cardinals and Rams to the Super Bowl. That's not the Steelers or Cowboys.

5 year Hall of Fame career? Gale Sayers

You can't take away his greatness, regardless of the length. He was left for dead twice (Giants and Cardinals) and he took the silly Cardinals to the Super Bowl.

McNabb is going into the Hall of Fame and I would put Warner in before McNabb.


Arizona Republic on his credentials

ESPN Blog looks at the same topic :

An updated look at his Canton credentials:

1. Longevity.

The great quarterbacks had staying power. Warner has played in 124 regular-season games, about 60 fewer than the average for the 14 quarterbacks enshrined over the last 25 years. This is one of the few categories where Warner doesn't measure up.

On the other hand, Roger Staubach played only seven more games. Like Warner, he was an elite big-game quarterback. No one questions Staubach's Hall of Fame credentials. And Warner, playing in a pass-happy era he helped christen, certainly has better stats.

2. Production.

Here is where Warner's relatively short game log works to his advantage. He has put up Hall of Fame-caliber numbers in less time than players already enshrined. His offenses in St. Louis scored 526, 540 and 503 points in consecutive seasons, setting a standard that holds up well across any era.

Of those 14 quarterbacks enshrined since 1985, none could match Warner in completion percentage, yards per attempt or yards per game. Steve Young is the only one with a higher passer rating than Warner. Dan Marino is the only one with more 300-yard games (Warner has 52, twice as many as Jim Kelly, who played in 36 additional games).

3. Postseason success.

Only Bart Starr (104.8) has a higher postseason passer rating than Warner (104.6) among NFL quarterbacks all time. Warner closed the gap to within a couple tenths of a rating point with his five-touchdown, zero-interception performance against the Packers in the wild-card round.

Warner has averaged 312.3 yards per postseason game, most in league history. And unlike the other four players in the top five on that list, Warner has won a Super Bowl. He has played in three of them, posting the three highest yardage totals in the game's history.

Joe Montana, Tom Brady, Terry Bradshaw, John Elway, Brett Favre, Troy Aikman and Staubach are the only quarterbacks with more postseason victories than Warner.

Warner, with a 9-3 record in postseason, needs two more victories to match Aikman and Staubach on the all-time list. Beating the Saints in the divisional round Saturday would move Warner out of a tie with Starr (9-1), Donovan McNabb (9-7) and Kelly (9-8) for sole possession of eighth place on the list.

Warner has passed for at least 365 yards in half his 12 playoff starts. No other quarterback has hit that mark more than three times in postseason (Peyton Manning). Warner owns three of the 23 postseason performances in which a quarterback threw at least four touchdown passes (Montana, Manning and Daryle Lamonica each did it twice).

4. Unique legacy.

Warner's rise from supermarket shelf stocker to Super Bowl hero gives his legacy another dimension. Leading two previously dormant franchises to the Super Bowl also separates Warner from the typical Hall of Fame candidate.

Not many Hall of Famers would lose jobs to Marc Bulger and a young Eli Manning before working feverishly to beat out Leinart. A thumb injury doomed Warner in St. Louis. The Giants and Cardinals weren't going to leave a first-round choices on the bench (Warner's passer rating with New York, by the way, was higher than any Manning posted until this season).

It's been a strange career for Warner, no question.

Interesting case, but he has to be in.


TSY said...

Nice work, Bob.

I didn't need to be convinced about Warner but it's great to see the evidence lined up and pored over systematically.

And you're right, the back-story adds something to his legacy and his case for inclusion in the HOF. I hadn't thought of it that way.

Jeff said...

On his 2 Super Bowl losses--

It took 2 of the most memorable plays in SB history to beat him--Santonio's catch and Vinatieri's FG with time expiring. In both cases, Warner had his team in a position to win or go to overtime, but the defenses couldn't hold up.

Big Jim said...

Different eras, different styles of play, different rules that favor the passing game -- even different playoff setups, with the opportunity to play weaker teams in the Wild Card round. In other words, Warner had the opportunity to pile up stats from Week 1 through the post-season that earlier-era players did not. No offense, Bob, but it's kind of a cheap shot to compare Warner's stats to Aikman's, who retired 10 years ago.

Not saying he doesn't belong, but for me the real question is - how does he stack up against other QBs PLAYING NOW? Yes, he's good, but is he as good as Brady, Brees, Favre, or Manning? I think that's your HOF class from this era. I'm not ready to concede that Warner belongs.

Have fun in FLL this week.

Sturminator said...

Big Jim-

Are we really at a place in this world where we cannot compare a guy born in Nov '66 with a guy born in June '71? 4 1/2 years? Seriously? Their careers overlapped, in fact, in Warner's best season, Aikman was a starting QB in the NFL.

I am denying your claim.


Sturminator said...

Further, when did you figure the playoff format changed? Let me help. 1990. Before Aikman had ever made the playoffs.

Big Jim said...

Ah, you got me -- I was wrong about the playoff format change and failed to consider proximity of birthdays, therefore, my whole argument is invalid. Sorry if I offended you.

Sturminator said...

No worries. And certainly no offense.