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.


James Manning said...

You make a strong case for Barry. Personally, I love the guy but you are correct as well that with me being from Chicago, I simply can't put anyone above Walter Payton.

But I think it is a worthy debate... and if nothing else, something beautiful to reflect upon.

mark said...

Well at least your honest about your bias,also I noticed you didnt make a case for Walter Payton because I dont think you could put together a stronger case for Walter Payton if you could have you would have.

Also based on your intelligence and high skill level of debate if you could make any case you would have and you probably would have made sense.

But you understand football and debate well enough to know Id kill you on the merits of production if you tried to mount a counter argument.

field negro said...

Yo Mark, you make some good points about Barry, and what i really love about the guy, is that he left on top, and on his own terms.
But better than Walter? Mmmm don't know about that one.

Hey, nice to see you blogging again; and as usual, I love your stuff.

I am out of town and on the road now, but I will call you when I get back.


mark said...

" Yo Mark, you make some good points about Barry, and what i really love about the guy, is that he left on top, and on his own terms.
But better than Walter? Mmmm don't know about that one."

mb: YO Field dont get me wrong Payton wasnt nothing but the truth, but production dont lie in this case and Barry averaged more Yards Per game than Payton, so I gotta give the crowm to Payton

ugz said...

your girl went to Africa and opened a school.

next step is for the sister do the same in DC

The Best [ Ghostface ] said...

Yeah oprah winfrey opened a school for girls in south Africa. Also, Walter payton was a good player but if what you say about Barry is true then you are correct for giving credit where credit is due. Stopping by to see how you are doing mark I would have commented sooner, but I noticed that your blog commenting section was down.

By Chance

mark said...

@ ugz

Why dont you tell her that yourself and while your at while your criticizing oprah why dont you remove the plank from your own eye and volunteer with disadvantaged black people you claim you care so much about.

Outside the Box said...

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.

So it's a "fact", huh?

I typically look at things a bit different than most. For RBs I view it from more a coaching point of view. Obviously Sanders is a great RB, one might even be inclined to state that it's a fact, but I probably couldn't make it a whole season stressing over every run play. Holding my breath waiting to see if it's going to be a 20 yd gain or an 8 yd loss. It would be nerve racking. I'd rather have a RB that could consistenly pound out the yards and take it outside every now and then.

I view Jordan from a teammate's point of view. I don't consider him the greatest because I wouldn't want to play on the same team as him. To me, that's what basketball is about, a team, not just one player. So, I tent to favor players that team-oriented.

mark said...

Yo Outside I enjoyed your comment but barry averaged over 5 yards a game and Walter didnt. Also Walter played on stronger teams than Barry. If Detroit had had a really good coached based off of Sander's running ability he could have built the nastiest play action pass in the history of the game based on Barrys running ability. All Barry needed to win superbowls would have been a decent change of pace back who could get a tough 3rd or 4th and one and a solid defense. An effective coach could have gotten more out of barry as well in the passing game.

In spite of not having all of those things Barry Sanders managed to put up record breaking #s consitantly. Also Sanders was the most exciting player during his time and he is the only player to injure another player without touching him.

dc_speaks said...

lol..great post, Mark. much like the other reader, I am a clevelander and although numbers and statistic tell one story. the age of football, the instituted regualtions and the length of the season point more toward Jim Brown for me as being the greatest of all time.

I would have

1> Jim Brown
2> Walter "sweetness" Payton
3> Barry Sanders...very close to being a tie for second

just my humble opinion though.

Homeland Colors said...

When I was growing up in Detroit, Barry was the only reason to wacth the Lions play ball. We used to say, with sincerity, that we wish he would be traded to a better team so he could have a real chance at a superbowl. The man was amazing and I know he would have joined the 2000 yard club a lot faster if Detroit played worth a damn.

mark said...

YO DC thank you for commenting I think can agree with the 3 you picked for top threee.

However Jim Brown played against players that were smaller and slower than today. Now dont get me wrong brown was nasty but I think if you put him in todays NFL he would not be able to break away for long td's.

Thanks for stopping by DC.

mark said...

@ Homeland

I agree with you it would have been nice to see him with another team that had a chance to cop a superbowl ring. Peace homeland

JustMeWriting said...

I LOVE YOU....LOL. OH, MY GOD....YOU BE SOOOOO IN TUNED HE IS TRUELY THE BEST...WOW! AMAZING...HAHAHAH. Sorry, that just did something to me when I saw that post.

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE watching him play...with those thick thighs...hahahah...just running throught brick IS AMAZING, I'd LOVE to have his JERSEY....THANKS FOR THIS MARK...LOL.
just something else we seem to have in commom.

mark said...

JMW thank you for stopping by baby girl. Im glad someone else sees the light. Hope you checked out the you tube video I left.

Have a great weekend baby girl and consume a philly cheesesteak for those of us who dont dwell in philly. Love ya back.

DJ Black Adam said...

Jordan is the best basketball player of all time, period.

As for running backs, I'm from Chicago, so Walter Payton is the best running back of all time!!!!

lololol o.k., o.k., I'll be fair...

I have to give it to Barry. He was cold.

mark said...

" I have to give it to Barry. He was cold."

mark bey: Well at least that beating about religion I gave you hasnt affected your ability to understand football. LOL Just kidding thank you for stopping by and have a great weekend.

Dave said...

I came in on this late, but let me preface my opinion.

First off, I live in Michigan. I am a Lions fan, and I have been since as far back as I can remember what football is. Billy Sims anyone? Thank you very much.

I will also say this. I have seen Barry get his ass schooled by lesser backs. Remember Detroit hosting San Fran, Dec. 14, 1998? Well I do. It was Barry, 44 yards, Garrison Hearst 198 yards.

Does this diminish my love for Barry? NO WAY!

OK, I'm sorry, but here is the truth of the matter. Unless you have watched Barry Sanders every week, for a decade of your life, every play he has made... you cannot approach anything even remotely resembling an "educated" opinion regarding the man.

Bary Sanders = class, finesse, and skill. In short, yes, he is the best that ever played the position. And I rate that not just based on his jukes and moves, but on his quality of character.

Barry > all RB's.

mark said...

You know what dave barry sanders skill sets maybe werent geared to smash mouth power running. Sometimes you need to punch a team in the mouth which you do with power running and defense. Maybe they were just better than barry that day.

dc_speaks said...

Mark: how can you just say that the players werent as tough in jim browns era as they are now. they hit just as hard, didn't have as many people injecting enhancements into their body and they played with less equipment than modern football. Again, my point is that regulations made it so that offensive side of the ball has the advantage where as when Jim Brown played the game it was Gladiator against galdiator every time both sides stepped on the field. I take nothing away from Barry Sander's career and poise, but dude, you just aren't seeing a clear picture to me. Shorter seasons, players were just as strong relatively, and it was "balls out" every play, everytime and that was that. I believe in power and also in the fake and juke moves...but I have to say that draggine 2, 3 or 4 mofos into the endzone puts you at the top of the class every time.

Have a great weekend, Brother Mark.

Dave said...

I look at it like this. During the Wayne Fonts era in Detroit, it was all about the "Run & Shoot." This meant that Barry 9 times out of 10 was given the ball 5 yards behind scrimmage. Now, tack an extra five yards onto the man's stats for x90% his total number of carries, (the ones that were successful as in positive yardage) and you what you get is someone who actually, truly, literally rushed for at LEAST 30K yards during his career.

Now, also, factor into this that on the plays where he did not get the 5 yards to make scrimmage, and was hit in the back field, his overall stats are taking a negative 5yd hit on those carries.

The math doesn't lie. With Jim Brown, and even Sweetness to some degree, the ball was given to them much closer to scrimmage, because of the style of offense they ran behind. Barry made magic out of complete garbage. Watch some of the old game film of all three of these guys, and tell me, which one always ALWAYS got the ball pitched to him 5 to 7 yards BEHIND scrimmage? Every play!?

Also, it is widely known that JB is Barry's childhood super hero. The theory goes, (and this is not confirmed but theory), he left football when he did so that he purposely would not take Jim Brown's record away from him.

I don't think there is anyone on the planet earth who would argue that were Barry to have continued playing the game, he would have obliterated every RB record that ever existed.


Dave said...

Oh I forgot to say something. ^^

If we want to measure top of the class by how many guys a back can drag with him into the end zone, then we there are a ton of guys we can add to the greatest of all time list. I've seen mediocre guys like Mike Alstott drag half a team across pay dirt.

You know it's all love DC. But when it comes to Barry, look out brother.