Friday, June 15, 2007
The Best that ever did it. Mark Bey
I started watching football back in the early eighties. Back then, Walter Payton was the man. I remember watching him break the great Jim Brown's all time rushing record. I remember his last play against the redskins. Over the years I have heard people debate who was the greatest of all time. Some say Jim Brown, some say Walter Payton and many believe it was Barry Sanders.
Well I too am in the Barry Sanders Camp. Now I know many will disagree those who think it is Walter Payton in my opinion are homers who are usually from Chi-Town or they are older people. The people who think Jim Brown is the Greatest of all time are usually old timers as well but they are reminiscing about the good old days.
In my opinion the fact the Barry Sanders is the greatest running back of all time is just as obvious as Micheal Jordan being the greatest basketball player of all time. However Barry Sanders does not get the majority consensus that Jordan does as to being the greatest. Also another reason why Barry Sanders has not gotten a majority consensus on being the greatest running back of all time is because theirs not much separating #s 1 and 2 or even 3 for that matter. think
Now no doubt Walter Payton and Jim brown are probably two and three on the all time list with Jim Brown holding down the 2 spot and Walter Payton the third. Walter Payton are probably amongst the top 3 with of course Barry Sanders being # 1. The fact that all three of these great running backs at their prime were heads and shoulders above all other running backs then playing is also a factor in blurring the debate. But where Payton falls off the list is the fact that his productivity had drastically falling during his later years this is not the case with Jim brown or Barry sanders. Which leaves us Barry Sanders and Jim Brown.
Here are 3 reasons in my opinion that clearly qualifies Barry Sanders as the greatest running back of all time.
1)They both averaged over 5 yards a carry and they both averaged over 100 Yards per game with Barry Sanders averaging 100.6 Rushing yards/game and Jim Brown at 104.3. One may argue that Jim Brown averaged more yards per game than Barry Sanders, my response to that would be this, the level of competition was much higher during Barry Sanders time. It is a fact that today's players are faster, bigger and quicker at every position than during Jim Browns time.
2) The anticipation and excitement factor. Much like Michael Jordan , Barry Sanders was a baller who was liable to do something breathtaking every time he touched the ball. Simply put you couldn't take your eyes off of him.
3) Lastly there is the fact that at times Barry Sanders literally toyed with defenses in ways and on a level which had never been seen and he did it his whole career even during his final year.
It is for these reasons and a few others that I have now pulled out the anointing oil and crown Barry Sanders the Greatest running back of all time. If you don't think so then just take a look for yourself. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPbEpt619do