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Thread: Player Evaluations: Do Championships Determine Greatness?

          
   
   
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  1. #1
    Waterboy
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    Player Evaluations: Do Championships Determine Greatness?

    Player Evaluations: Do Championships Determine Greatness?
    By: Brandon Williams (WelcomeBack)

    The debates are there, but the arguments are dull to say the least. Kobe Bryant vs. LeBron James. Joe Montana vs. Dan Marino. The fight for the title of better player is an interesting one.

    First, let's check out the Joe Montana/Dan Marino debate. Who is the better quarterback? Many fans would argue that Montana is the better quarterback simply because of the fact that he, indeed, has won Super Bowls. Now, the question arises, how far does that go into an evaluation of individual players? The game of football is a team game. No one player can lead a team to the promised land, and that was the situation with Dan Marino. Marino was an amazing quarterback, but his team was not good enough to go to the final game of the season. Who takes the blame? It certainly shouldn't be Marino. As a player, Marino has held numerous records (career yards, career TD's, passer rating as a rookie, etc.) and has definitely made a case as to why he should be labeled the best quarterback of all time. On to Montana, the player that has the championships. Montana played in 15 seasons, and ended his career with 40,551 yards to go along with 273 TD's. Marino played two seasons longer than Montana, but finished his career with 61,361 yards and 420 TD's. That means Marino, in playing just two seasons, had 20,810 more yards and 147 more TD's than Montana. Montana has 4 rings to Marino's 0, but Marino still outplayed Montana overall. Can you really argue championships when it comes to player evaluation?

    Now, to the Kobe Bryant/LeBron James debate. The term of 'ball hog' has followed Kobe since the day Shaquille O'Neal was traded, but is it a fair label? Kobe is a player that thrives off being the best. On a team like the Lakers, where there is hardly any scorers, Kobe is hard pressed to be the one to receive the ball a majority of the time. Is LeBron better than Kobe? Maybe, maybe not. Think of the teams that each player is on, respectively. Which team would do better without their scoring leader? The Cavaliers seem like they would better off than the Lakers. If one were to use the same argument as the Montana/Marino debate, however, Kobe would be the better player. Kobe has 3 rings on his resume to LeBron's 0. I know what will come next, "Kobe had Shaq." Well, in the same instance, Montana had the rest of his teammates in order to win the championships.

    So can the amount of championships won be a legit argument in terms of player evaluations? If championships matter for individual players and they determine a better player, than Kobe is light years ahead of LeBron and Montana is better than Marino. If people realize that championships are won by teams, than many will realize the individual greatness of players. Championships are not decided by one player. If Joe Montana had nobody to throw to, hand off to, nobody to block for him and nobody to keep the other team from scoring, he would have won nothing. If Kobe didn't have 4 other players on the court to pass to, pass to him or help defend, he would have won nothing. The use of championships in arguments of a better individual player are invalid beyond belief.

    So, the argument that a player with a ring is better than a player without one is moot. Individual success can not be hampered by championships, as those are won by teams.

  2. #2
    Waterboy
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    I just want to understand the points that people make.

    For the majority of the groups I discuss this with, Montana is considered the better QB due to the fact that he won Championships. Yet, those same people argue that LeBron is better than Kobe.

    Isn't it a bit of a double standard to use championships as an arguing point?

  3. #3
    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    I think it is a combination of both. Can a player pad their stats? yes. Can a player pad their stats and win? no, not at the pro level.
    To be honest I don't think I could pick between Marino and Montana. I'd take either of them on my team. But if it came down to it I would have to take the one who played the best under pressure and when it counted.
    Passing stats can be the most misleading of any stat in the NFL. A QB can have great stats but his team still sucks due to all the passing from being behind all the time.

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    Well, you can't contribute all losses to the QB either.

    Hypothetically, you're the coach of an NFL team. You got an amazing QB, and everyone else on offense is just 'ok'. Your defense is horrid. Every game, you go down because your defense can't stop anyone. Are you gonna pass the ball for the majority of the game to catch up?

    I'm not saying the defense of the Phins were horrible at the time, but I'm sure Marino had to take over games, in which that helped his stats. Marino went over 4,000 yards 6 times in his 17 year career (1 of them being the 5,000+ yard season). It wasn't just a case of padding stats, but he was consistent and hardly ever injured. Montana on the other hand, missed significant time in 3 of his 15 seasons, and no 4,000+ yard seasons. The wide receivers at the times, Jerry Rice for SF and the Mark's brothers for Miami. Jerry Rice would be the best of the three in my opinion.

    I just want to prove to most, that TEAMS win championships, not players. Also which, I don't think championships can determine a single player's greatness.

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    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    Oh, I agree that "teams" win championships! But at the same time winning can make an above average player seem that much better.
    I haven't looked it up but I would be interested in seeing where the Fins D ranked the years Marino was there compare to the Niners with Montana.

  6. #6
    Waterboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelersfan View Post
    Oh, I agree that "teams" win championships! But at the same time winning can make an above average player seem that much better.
    I haven't looked it up but I would be interested in seeing where the Fins D ranked the years Marino was there compare to the Niners with Montana.
    They played in the league 12 years at the same time, so, I'll try to find out those stats for you.

    Also, that's what my article is opposing. The fact that championships can make an above average player seem better than he is.

    Edit: The only page I could find just listed the top two leaders in total defense, and I saw SF one time in that span and Miami 0 times. I'll look for more.
    Last edited by WelcomeBack; 02-21-2007 at 11:57 PM.

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    Well winning when it counts is the sign of a good player. In football for example, would Barry Sanders have all the yards he earned if the Lions had a passing game? The same could be said of Marino. Would he have all those passing yards with a dominate running game? It's tough to say but the odds are that both would have less yards if they had played in a balanced offense. On the other hand you get a player like Bradshaw. Not the best stats in the world but he won when it counted. You have to add that in when considering a player as being great.

  8. #8
    Waterboy
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    1983
    Miami Dolphins: 12-4 Points scored (389) Points Allowed (250)
    San Francisco 49ers: 10-6 PS (432) PA (293)

    1984
    Miami Dolphins: 14-2 PS (513) PA (298)
    SF 49ers: 15-1 PS (475) PA (227)

    1985
    Dolphins: 12-4 PS (428) PA (320)
    49ers: 10-6 PS (340) PA (277)

    1986
    Dolphins: 8-8 PS (430) PA (405)
    49ers: 10-5-1 PS (374) PA (247)
    Montana missed half the games this year

    1987
    Dolphins: 8-7 PS (362) PA (335)
    49ers: 13-2 PS (459) PA (253)

    1988
    Dolphins: 6-10 PS (319) PA (380)
    49ers: 10-6 PS (369) PA (294)

    1989
    Dolphins: 8-8 PS (331) PA (379)
    49ers: 14-2 PS (442) PA (253)

    1990
    Dolphins: 12-4 PS (336) PA (242)
    49ers: 14-2 PS (353) PA (239)

    1991
    Joe Montana did not play this year

    1992
    Montana played 1 game this year

    1993
    Dolphins: 9-7 PS (349) PA (351)
    Kansas City Chiefs: 11-5 PS (328) PA (291)

    1994
    Dolphins: 10-6 PS (389) PA (321)
    Chiefs: 9-7 PS (319) PA (298)

    Montana retired after the '94 season. It seems as though the Phins had 1 season with a better defense than the 49ers, and that was Marino's rookie season.

  9. #9
    Waterboy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steelersfan View Post
    Well winning when it counts is the sign of a good player. In football for example, would Barry Sanders have all the yards he earned if the Lions had a passing game? The same could be said of Marino. Would he have all those passing yards with a dominate running game? It's tough to say but the odds are that both would have less yards if they had played in a balanced offense. On the other hand you get a player like Bradshaw. Not the best stats in the world but he won when it counted. You have to add that in when considering a player as being great.
    I do take that into account. But an offensive player can not change the defense of his team either. If the defense can't keep teams out of the endzone, then you're bound to lose more than you should. Even with a good offense.

  10. #10
    Living Legend Steelersfan's Avatar
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    But the funny part is that Montana scored more than Marino half the time on offense. You'd think with a bad D a team would score more points.

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