Sports Briefs: The Best Quarterback Ever

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Chris: Considering Peyton Manning started this season on pace to throw for 112 touchdowns and that both Christian Ponder and Blaine Gabbert are still employed as quarterbacks rather than account executives, I would venture to say this is the golden age for those who want to play said position. But who is the best signal-caller ever, discounting Bullwinkle J. Moose, who only played collegiately and not professionally?

Joe: Johnny Unitas was a pioneer in the NFL. He went from sandlot football to NFL championship QB. He beat all comers under all weather conditions to achieve Hall of Fame status in a time when ruggedness was required. Johnny U was at his best when the chips were down and the game was on the line.

Brad: Even though Johnny Unitas set a lot of records in his career, several were broken by later players.

Chris: Johnny Unitas had such a level and firm head of hair that it could both perfectly balance a jug of water and, if he were to be turned upside down, be used a scrubbing agent on grimy bathtubs. Unfortunately, the NFL seems determined to have all of Unitas’ records broken by instituting rules that prohibit quarterbacks from being tackled or pressured. I really liked his shoes, though. I derive much satisfaction watching football players in black zapatos.

Ralphie: Johnny Unitas is not the best quarterback ever because he can't run as fast as Cam Newton can.

Chris: Unitas won one Super Bowl (though he left halfway through the game, due to his rib falling off) and three NFL championships, prior to the Super Bowl being invented by inventors. However, the greatest quarterback of all time won four Super Bowls, three Super Bowl MVPs and, as far as I can recall, never lost a game or threw an incomplete pass. And I was not a fan of Joe Montana. He already had two rings by the time I was old enough to become inconceivably frustrated watching him gut the Cincinnati Bengals’ defense in Super Bowl XXIII (the only game he didn’t win MVP). The following year Montana’s 49ers scored 55 points in their Super Bowl win over the Denver Broncos, a record which has managed to stand, despite the NFL’s new policies of fining defensive players who attempt to tackle offensive players. If these rules were in place in 1989, the 49ers would have scored over 100 points, assuming the scoreboard had three digits.

Brad: Joe Montana is one of the greatest players of all time, but I don't feel he stands out as the best quarterback ever.

Ralphie: Joe Montana is not the best quarterback ever because he can't pass as far as Cam.

Joe: Joe Montana was a great QB. He won championships and deserves HOF status. He should rank in the top five of all time.

Brad: I think Eli Manning is the best quarterback ever because he has a great rating this year at 69.1, along with a long list of accomplishments throughout his career and various humanitarian efforts off the field.

Ralphie: Eli Manning is not the best quarterback ever because he wasn't as good in college or the NFL as Cam.

Chris: I am eternally grateful for Eli Manning’s two rings, which represent two devastating losses for Mr. Gisele Bundchen and his coach, who openly defies the NFL’s dress code policy and its anti-spying policy. And Eli currently has two more Super Bowl victories than his more famous brother, Cooper.

Joe: Eli Manning is a very good QB that has two Super Bowl rings, but his tenure is too short to be considered among the tops.

Ralphie: Cam Newton is the best quarterback ever because he thinks on his feet. He can read the play and can pass as well as run. He's also fun to watch.

Brad: Cam Newton just doesn't have the career time yet to be considered the best quarterback.

Joe: Cam Newton is an awesome athlete and good QB. He has a college football national championship ring, primarily due to his play. He is too early in his pro career to rank among the best.

Chris: Seeing as how I can’t consider Wossamotta U’s quarterback, I don’t feel comfortable placing Auburn’s quarterback ahead of him. Though Cam Newton will have my full support if he is ever in the position to either defeat the Patriots in the Super Bowl or to convince Nabisco to reintroduce blueberry Newtons.

Try on a new pair of Sports Briefs with the Gab Four every Friday. Find out more about Joe, Chris, Brad and Ralphie, and read their solo columns on their individual pages.

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