Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to a debate of a topic that is completely impossible to resolve and based almost completely on personal preference: the top 10 players of all time in the Super Bowl era.
I have limited this to the Super Bowl era because, frankly, I do not care about how the game was played in the 1940s: the game was too different, it was incomparable to how it is played now.
Too many innovations have taken place; I cannot relate to a game where a forward pass barely existed, therefore, I will not try.
I am approximately 100 percent sure that this will spark endless debate and approximately 99.999999999 percent sure that no one will have exactly the same list that I do, yet I feel some sort of compulsion to make this attempt.
I used three main criteria in making this list:
1) Ability to take over the game on command. The best players in any sport are the ones who can put their entire team on their shoulders and say "follow me."
As fans, we idolize these athletes. Truthfully, this means that an offensive lineman cannot, and indeed, is not, on this list, however unfair it may be.
2) Super Bowl championships. Football is a team game, but the best players in league history WIN. I do not care how, nor do I care about their supporting casts. When the chips are down, they deliver.
3) Name recognition. Do you hear this player's name and cower in fear and/or bow before him? If not, there's a good chance he didn't make the list. I should say, in the interest of full disclosure, that I am 20 years old.
I did not seriously follow football prior to the 2000 season when the Ravens, my hometown team, were making their run.
Yes, that probably means that I missed out on actually seeing a guy like Walter Payton run during his career. It's not quite as impressive on film as it is when you're really watching. However, the last criterion is probably the most important one.