Yesterday, I linked up the Rick Gosselin column on Troy Aikman’s career that can only be reviewed as flattering. Gosselin is the Dallas representative on the Hall of Fame committee. It is his job to make a strong argument to get Aikman inducted, and I believe he did a fine job. But, in the interest of an even handed view of Aikman, I did have a few small issues with what Gosselin wrote.
Counting the postseason, Aikman started 158 games for the Cowboys in the 1990s. The Cowboys led at halftime in 98 of them and found themselves tied on 10 other occasions.
Wonder why Aikman had so few come-from-behind victories? He was rarely behind.
I don’t mean to be a detractor here, but if you were ahead 98 of 158 chances, that means you were not ahead 60 times or almost 4 full seasons of his career. To suggest that he had few chances to come from behind and that explains the low number of comebacks is not telling the full truth. It just wasn’t his specialty.
Aikman won more games in one decade (90) than any quarterback in NFL history. Yes, more than Young in the 1990s, Joe Montana in the 1980s and Terry Bradshaw in the 1970s. Aikman also won three Super Bowls. The only two quarterbacks who won more, Montana and Bradshaw, are enshrined in Canton.
It was never about statistics with Aikman. It was about winning.
Here, Gosselin quotes a statistic that Aikman fans quote more times than I can count. The idea here is that Aikman achieved something quite remarkable in that he won 90 games in the decade of the 90’s. But, again, isn’t that misleading? Allow me to show you a few names here:
Elway’s career spanned from 1983 to 1998. So, just because his career did not encompass a full decade (the 1980’s or the 1990’s) John Elway cannot participate in this study.
Jim Kelly played from 1986 to 1996. Therefore, he cannot participate in this study.
Steve Young was not the starter of the 49ers in 1990. Therefore, he can participate in this study, but with 9 seasons as a starter, will not measure up to Troy.
Brett Favre was in the 1991 draft, and started playing in 1992, therefore he is not in this study because he did not play in 1990 or 1991.
Dan Fouts played from 1973 to 1987, and therefore does not qualify for this study. In fact, any QB before 1978 only had a 14 game season, and therefore 20 fewer games a decade to win games. And any QB prior to 1961 only had 12 game seasons, and would have 40 fewer games in a decade to catch Troy’s 90 wins.
Joe Montana did qualify for this study, and Aikman’s 90’s beat Montana’s 80’s. That is very impressive. But it should be noted that Steve Deberg was the 49ers leading passer in SF in 1980, thus reducing Montana’s chances. But, that isn’t Troy’s fault.
The point of this study is not to say Troy’s accomplishment isn’t impressive, because it is. But, the pool of QB’s who played their career inside one decade properly is very, very short.
If Gosselin or anyone has run the numbers of any QB in any 10 year period whether it be the decade of the 1990’s or the decade from 1988 to 1997, I would be quite interested where Troy’s 90 win mark ranks. For instance, since I didn’t care to run the numbers of everyone, I did check Favre from the time he started with Green Bay for the decade of 1992-2001 and saw that Favre had 104 wins in that 10 year span. Not comparing the two QB’s, but I am attempting to discredit that statistic as a pretty misleading one.
Anyway, on to the idea of how long a QB must wait to be inducted:
The Hall of Fame Eligibility List shows that Troy Aikman is more than likely to be inducted this week.
I always compare Aikman’s career to two other Hall of Fame QB’s who have similar passing stats and similar winning stats:
Bart Starr: 152 TD’s – 138 INT’s – 5 Rings
Bob Griese: 192 TD’s – 172 INT’s – 2 Rings (3 Super Bowls)
Troy Aikman: 165 TD’s – 141 INT’s – 3 Rings
Starr went in during his very first year, while Bob Griese had to wait 5 years. Meanwhile, Sonny Jurgensen, Joe Namath, Len Dawson, Fran Tarkenton all waited 3 years. But, in the last several seasons, we have found that QB’s generally go straight in. Check out this list since 2000 of the QB’s who have gone right in the Hall in year 1:
Take away Montana, and Troy has as many titles as the rest of that list combined …He is getting in this season. I am absolutely convinced of it. He deserves it based on his high level of accomplishment as a Bart Starr/Bob Griese type QB who did not have impressive stats, but did have impressive wins.
Way to go Troy.
I trust the preceding paragraphs did not offend Cowboys fans who are not willing to discuss the possibility that Troy doesn’t walk on water. He is a great, great QB who will go in this year, but I think Gosselin went a little bit "homer" in this one. Of course, that is his job, and with all the trouble Cowboys have had getting in, they need a homer making their presentations, I suppose. I think most readers of this goofy blog enjoy looking at the issues from every angle. Hopefully, I offered a little context to Gosselin’s glowing report.
Old Friend, Brandon Noble is having big issues …
Brandon Noble needs crutches to walk, and he has been relegated to spending much of his time at home on his sofa. When he's lying in bed at night and needs to move his left leg to get comfortable, he must lift it with his arms or nudge it with his right leg. He struggles to play with his children.
But while Noble might have the typical limitations of a broken-down football player, the career of the Washington Redskins' defensive tackle isn't threatened by damaged ligaments or cracked bones. At 31, Noble has been sidelined by a staph infection, suffered after being injured, that in some cases is potentially fatal.
"It's been an incredible couple of years here," Noble said. "It's like I'm a modern-day Job."
Peter King with gets longevity talk from Bill Cowher …
He made a good point about his longevity; I'm not sure if it'll air on HBO or not. I asked him about Jimmy Johnson saying five years in one place is enough, and John Madden's claim that 10 years in one place was enough. Those coaches had a theory: Players start to tune you out and your message gets old. The players all can't leave, so the coach has to. Cowher's theory was one I hadn't thought of -- it's an extreme rarity that players last 10 years in one place, so the message doesn't have time to wear thin.
"There's only one player here from the last Super Bowl we went to,'' he says. "Willie Williams. And he left in free agency and came back. So I've never thought the message can get old, not with players coming in and out so much.''
Terrell Owens in Denver …seems like a bad fit. He would bully Plummer within 6 weeks…
Stars win again….in Overtime …
"Don't get me wrong, I would love to win by a blowout every game, but I think this will help our team down the line," Tippett said. "The more you can learn about your team in close games, I think the better you'll be down the stretch."
The Stars stretched their winning streak to five games and improved to 35-15-2 on the season, good for 72 points. They stayed one point behind the Red Wings for first place in the Western Conference.
The Stars also got key points in a game against a Pacific Division rival as the Sharks (23-19-7, 52 points) continued to battle uphill in search of a playoff berth.
Wow! The 2006 MLS Cup is here again …Frisco must have done well in 2005, eh?
Saturday Night, UFC 57 …Liddell v. Couture 3? Take the Iceman…
Amazing Race 9 is ready
to roll …BaD Radio Forums have more…
Cincinnati paper points out that Cleveland has nothing …
Seattle's NFC title has reduced to six the number of NFL teams never to reach the Super Bowl.
They are Houston (expansion team in 2002), New Orleans, Arizona, Detroit, Jacksonville and Cleveland.
Each of those cities, except Cleveland, has hosted a Super Bowl. So that makes Cleveland the only NFL city never to have appeared in or hosted a Super Bowl.
Cleveland defenders point to Indianapolis. Though the Colts franchise appeared in the Super Bowl when it existed in Baltimore, it hasn't qualified for the big game since its move to Indianapolis in 1984.
Cracked cracks on ESPN …
Please forgive me, but media day awaits…I gotta run...