Take a good look at the picture above. Understand my thoughts, and why I'm writing this article.
The NFC Championship game is looming, and it seems that no one is really interested outside of Philadelphia and Arizona. The two quarterbacks participating are Kurt Warner and Donovan McNabb, who have been the hot topic of Hall Of Fame debate.
Which one is more deserving? I would have to side with the maestro of the Cardinals, and I will tell you why.
Warner has the all important Super Bowl ring that McNabb covets. If winning titles is the goal of all team sports, this has to be one of, if not the most important feature of the debate. Five NFC Championship appearances does not trump one Super Bowl victory, we would all agree. Warner himself has been to three NFC Championships (including this one) and he has won both that have been played thus far.
Warner was the ringmaster of the Greatest Show on Turf, which was one of the greatest offensive juggernauts in the history of the game. The object of the game in itself is to score the most points, and Warner led a team that did just that a record pace.
In all fairness to McNabb, besides Terrell Owens, his only great target over the years has been L.J Smith, but we can't cry over spilled milk.
The all important Most Valuable Player award has been handed to Warner twice. McNabb has yet to be awarded this title. This puts Warner in a class with the likes of Brett Favre, Peyton Manning, and Steve Young, in which the latter is a first ballot Hall Of Famer. The two mentioned before are getting their busts carved out for Canton as we speak.
Consider the path of Warner as well. Coming from the Arena Football League, and furthermore, working a regular job to make ends meet. If it wasn't for a unfortunate injury to Trent Green, Warner would have just held a clipboard with a headset on until he faded to NFL oblivion.
Warner also helped in the developmental of Eli Manning, who just won a Super Bowl MVP. The lineage besides Archie and Peyton can be tied to Warner class displayed on the field. I wish him the best of luck, but I doubt Kevin Kolb will ever lead a team to the playoffs, much less the Super Bowl.
The NFL experts are scared to pull the trigger on a Arizona victory against the Eagles in this Championship game because of the 40 point loss to the Patriots, the 56 points given up against the Jets, and countless other blunders. But let's be fair, the mighty Eagles that everyone fears had a tie with the Bengals, and had to depend on collapses from the Buccaneers, the Bears, and the E! True Hollywood Story that is the Dallas Cowboys.
Things are different under pressure, and Warner has been here before, as well as McNabb. But what I keep thinking about is a defeat that McNabb suffered in that impressive run of four straight NFC Championship appearances. It was in a indoor stadium. It occurred in St. Louis, to a team lead by no other than...You guessed it; Kurt Warner.
I wish McNabb the best, because it really impressive what he has done as a quarterback, not just a African-American quarterback, as some narrow minded pundits claim to just box him up as. He is a great leader, he's tough, and has won lot of games. But if Warner and McNabb are to be compared in Hall Of Fame talk, McNabb must first defeat Warner this Sunday, and get a victory in Tampa Bay.
Then the talk can become legit. But If Warner is victorious this Sunday, it will be of no surprise to me. In fact, I believe they will win rather handily. A banged up Brian Westbrook can only lead to disaster for the Philadelphia bandwagon. The beards will be cleared in Philadelphia, and so should Warner's path as a first ballot Hall Of Famer.