Great article Canada...rep added.
text of article below for those who don't wish to peruse elsewhere...
RAND: Keeping greatness at bay
Nov 01, 2007, 1:23:32 AM by Jonathan Rand - FAQ
Most fans at Arrowhead Stadium this Sunday will be getting their last live look at the Green Bay Packers’ Brett Favre, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. How great?
Those living in the moment – after all, he’ll be right here, right now – may get carried away and call him the best of all time. That is, however, an awfully bold statement. We can all agree he belongs in the top 10 and after that, you can pull up a bar stool and start arguing.
In 2003, I wrote The Gridiron’s Greatest Quarterbacks and ranked the top 25 of all time. The list already is outdated, mainly because the Patriots’ Tom Brady and Colts’ Peyton Manning hadn’t been around long enough to establish they belonged on the list. Now it’s not a matter of whether they belong, but how high they’ll eventually climb.
Favre was ranked No. 11 then and there are no slouches ahead of him. My top 10 was Joe Montana, Otto Graham, John Unitas, Sammy Baugh, John Elway, Terry Bradshaw, Dan Marino, Roger Staubach, Bart Starr and Sid Luckman.
The outstanding criterion was the number of championships won because that is the ultimate measure of a quarterback. Other criteria included passing statistics, games won, division and conference titles won and historical significance.
Those with long view of pro football generally agree on the top four, though not necessarily in any order. Montana won four Super Bowls and no quarterback has ever elevated a team more. Graham led the Browns to a championship game for 10 consecutive years.
Unitas was the greatest player in the greatest game ever played – the Colts’ overtime victory in the 1958 championship game, and his statistics would be off the charts under today’s pass-friendly rules. Baugh brought the NFL into the passing era the way Babe Ruth brought baseball out of the dead ball era.
Favre doesn’t crack this quartet, despite credentials that make him a slam-dunk pick for the Hall of Fame. He’s the first three-time league MVP and led the Packers to two straight NFC titles, with one Super Bowl win. He’s the all-time leader in completions, 5,202, touchdown passes, 425, and regular-season victories, 153. About to make his 245th consecutive start, he’s the ultimate iron man at his position.
He’s also one of the most charismatic players in league history. Favre’s dazzling touchdown throws (and ugly interceptions) on the run and boyish enthusiasm make him a joy to watch most every week, especially now that he’s led the Packers to a 6-1 start. When he threw that 82-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings on the first play of overtime Monday night, it seemed like 1996 — when Favre won a Super Bowl and second straight MVP award — all over again.
So which, if any, Hall of Fame quarterbacks should we demote to make way for Favre?
Elway, No. 5, is the all-time comeback king and the only quarterback to start five Super Bowl games. He was knocked for losing his first three Super Bowls, yet during the late 1980s, the rest of the Broncos’ roster wasn’t much better than that of the Chiefs. As a tie-breaker, Elway on his last legs helped lead a 31-24 Super Bowl upset over Favre in his prime in January, 1998. Elway keeps his spot.
Bradshaw, No. 6, has a lot in common with Favre. Both were country boys who initially drove their coaches crazy with their recklessness before they settled down to become championship performers. Bradshaw was surrounded by a Steelers lineup for the ages, but went 14-5 in postseason games and threw key touchdown passes in each of four Super Bowl victories. He keeps his spot, too.
Marino, No. 7, never won a championship in Miami but threw for 61,367 yards and 420 touchdowns. Favre is surpassing most of Marino’s milestones – with 1,822 more passing yards he’ll even have the career yardage record — and has two Super Bowl appearances to boot. So Favre takes Marino’s spot, though both eventually may have to make room for Brady and Manning.
Against the Chiefs, curiously, Favre stands 0-3 while throwing for just 799 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions. He has yet to show them the greatness he’s shown most of the league and for the Chiefs to win Sunday, they’ll have to keep it that way.