It is all about winning. To some people stats are meaningless. It is the performance in the big games they change perception. However, some fail to realize Super Bowls can be misleading to the success of some. While at the same time not having one can lead to people's in recognition of their careers.
This all came to me when a simple arguement about Giants-Eagles became broader. The person was so hung up on Super Bowl wins, that he began to write off the performances of great Super Bowl-less players. And while this may not concern the Eagles, it is the question that the arguement could last for ever. Should players like Donavan McNabb and Larry Fitzgerald have their past accolades written off because they do not have a gaudy Super Bowl ring to sport? And also, can stats be a factor in determining greatness and success? I wanted to bring the argument to you because after I thought long and hard about this, it seems like I'm going in circles.
To start this off let's talk quarterbacks. As of now there are 23 modern-era quarterbacks in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Almost all of them have some type of a championship. Two MAJOR names appear to not have Super Bowls: Jim Kelly and Dan Marino. Lets see where they rank among all quarterbacks stat wise. Jim Kelly is number 18th all time in career passing yards, 20th in touchdowns, and 27th in passer rating. While his numbers may not scream top 5 quarterback, those are pretty exceptional numbers. Dan Marino's issues are much greater. He has the 2nd most career passing yardage, 3rd in passing touchdowns, and 3rd in passes completed. At the same time he sports an MVP, and is a member of eight all pro teams. He changed passing game forever. He was the first QB that put a 5,000 passing yard year. Dan was light years away in time. Now players like Matthew Stafford can put those numbers up with regularity and still not be considered a top 10 quarterback. Even now Dan Marino is being forced out of the record. The common knocks on him are all the same.
"Unfortunately, Marino loses points for never winning the big one and putting up an uninspiring 8-10 career record in the postseason"
While the opinions of Men'sFitness may not mean much, we are slowly watching Dan Marino's name fade because HE did not win. Lets get this straight, one player does not win games. Teams win games. Only one of Dan's teammates that played with him are in the hall of fame. The fact of the matter is Super Bowls should not matter as much when it comes to defining players. Mark Rypien and Trent Dilfer both have rings. Does that mean they are good players? No. They both stood behind a great defense.
Stats can also cloud judgement as well. Donovan McNabb and Boomer Esiason have really good stats. They are gold players not great players. Their is no stat that we can equally grade every player so they can be deemed as great. With that in mind players like Brian Dawkins and Larry Fitzgerald may have a hard time getting into the Hall of Fame because of their positions and the fact that neither have a Super Bowl win. That is a problem that is probably not going to be fixed in the near future.
The only one on the team that can be fairly graded by Super Bowl wins is the coach. They are single handedly responsible for the team. They control the whole operation. That is why the Eagles are where they are today.
Let's play a game of what ifs. What if Tom Brady does not get past any of the AFC Championship games? Do you still view him as a top 5 quarterback of all time? No. The same can be said if Donovan won a Super Bowl. That is how perception changes when a Super Bowl is involved. One more question. If Chip Kelly wins a Super Bowl how is the legacy of the Eagles change and how does Michael Vick's?
I know this post is a little messy, but I felt like I wanted to know your opinions. One thing that we can all agree on is that a Super Bowl is the ultimate goal, just not in the way in which we view players. All in all their is no right answer to this some players you can judge and some you cannot.