Monday, October 15, 2007

Great Quarterbacks and Whatnot

When I need to know why my computer is screwed up, I call my friend Party Dan. He's my computer expert. When I need to know the name of the actor who played DJ's boyfriend Steve on Full House, I dial up Cam. He's my useless pop culture expert. When I need to know if it's okay to eat Miracle Whip that sat out overnight, I ask my mother. She (of course) is my expert in mom things. Everyone has there individual experts for all categories, because our brains just don't have enough room to know everything about everything. Sadly, nobody is a real life Dwight Schrute.

The reason I bring this up? For most of my friends and relatives, I'm their sports expert. You want to know about the 1988 Cotton Bowl? I'm your guy. Looking for someone to settle a Nick Van Exel vs. Sam Cassell debate? You're talking to the right person.

One of the questions I've been asked a ton, which isn't necessarily in need of expert advice like the previous two questions, is "Who is the best quarterback of all time?"

I always struggle to answer that question. This is probably because I'm still not sure who I think is the best ever QB. Admittedly, this somewhat embarrassing. My answer is probably John Elway or Joe Montana or Jeff Blake, but I can never pull the trigger when asked. But that doesn't mean I'm speechless, either

Whenever that topic arises, I always take it down a different (but related) path. Instead of giving my opinion of the greatest quarterback of all time, I respond with my opinion of which quarterback I think had the single greatest season. With this, there's no hesitancy: Steve Young, in 1994, played the position better than any quarterback I've ever seen.

Consider a few things regarding Young's MVP campaign of '94:

Young threw for 3,969 yards, completing 70.3 percent of his passes. His TD/INT ratio was an astounding 35/10, and he rushed for 293 yards (6 ypc) and 7 TDs. The 49ers averaged 31.6 ppg and finished with a 13-3 record, both league bests.

And that was just the regular season.

All Young did in the postseason was throw 9 TDs (with ZERO picks), run for two more TDs and see his team average 43.7 ppg in three victories, the last one a Super Bowl championship. With his record-setting 6-TD effort against the Chargers, Young was named Super Bowl MVP.

Game 1 through game 19, the quarterback position has never been played at a higher level.

Until maybe now.

It's early, I mean it's really early, but I've never seen a six game stretch better than Tom Brady's current run. 21 TDs and only 2 interceptions, and playing on a potential 16-0 squad...are you effing kidding me? Those are video game numbers. If Brady keeps this up I'll have no choice but to bump Young from my single season rankings.

And it might just make a once-difficult question a little easier to answer:

Who is the greatest quarterback of all time?

-Brad Spieser