Fantasy Football Taboo- BIG HEART Over BIG NUMBERS

Timothy KesslerAnalyst IJune 9, 2009

TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates against the Arizona Cardinals during Super Bowl XLIII on February 1, 2009 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)

To all the people who say it is a great supporting cast that wins it all for certain quarterbacks...I offer you this for your reading pleasure... or unpleasure.

Stats, big numbers, and high seedings don't mean everything. They mean very little when its all on the line.

When any given play may end the season for a team, they do not even break the surface of things that matter. This is where heart and desire are the most important factors.

The time will come when you have to lay it all on the line because there is no tomorrow unless you get it done. Preparation and strategy take a back seat, as instinct takes over. Stats are truly meaningless in times like these.

When your heart is racing, your hands are shaking, and you know it is either do or die!

To support my theory, all you got to do is take the time to look at the past.

If a great supporting cast supposedly is what gives a team a Superbowl, why wouldn't it first give the team a high seed in the playoffs? How can that same great defense be beat enough through the regular season to only give its team a #6 seed? Yet that same "great supporting cast" is then given total credit for making the team win it all.

I venture to say that obviously other factors are in play. Playoff atmosphere for one. Getting nervous or not getting nervous. Stepping up or not stepping up. How about...HEART?

How about, having a quarterback whose greatest attributes may lay in his leadership qualities.

Seriously, think about that for a second and really consider it.

It don't make any sense to say a team with an overall "supporting cast" only capable of mustering a #6 seed, should now be the ones given credit for being the only cause of all the wins.

And not only in their conference, but the entire league.

"It don't hold water" as they say.

What does make sense, is that the "physical ability" differences in the teams defenses or "supporting casts" are not truly that great. The difference may be only a big play or two per game.

They are all drafted professionals. No professional quarterback has to suffer while trying to win with a high school team's defense.

What makes sense is it now becomes more "mental" rather than "physical", and the team that is inspired the most by their leader or leaders, is the team that will get it done.

When a quarterback's overwhelming desire to make a play on every down shines through as well as his heart, the entire team can be lifted up and unite as one. Every player now playing for something bigger than themselves. Every player now playing for the guy next to him rather than himself and his own numbers.

All stats go out the window come playoff time, as Arizona proved last season.

Every single player on every single team will tell you, the playoffs is when the whole season starts over and all the numbers are thrown out the window. Every team and every player starts over from scratch.

Another truth is that on any given Sunday, any team can be beat and that especially holds true in the playoffs, even the higher seeded teams. It is proven nearly every year.

The "bigger stats mean better" guys may did that happen? And to them, I would say...this is where "intangibles" come into play- heart, desire, and team unity.

When you have a quarterback that instills such a high level of confidence in his players and gives 110% every down, his whole team will step up and follow his lead. That is the main purpose and job of the quarterback.

Some do it better than others. Some people tend to forget that and rely solely on stats to determine greatness. There is so much more to it than numbers alone.

The numbers are consistently proven wrong in the playoffs.

Heart is what makes the difference once a team makes the playoffs...not big numbers and not high seeding.

It is proven year in and year out, the higher seeded teams with the big stats and even bigger stat quarterbacks often fail.

How in the world are you going to try and explain it by saying that the lower seeded team had the better supporting cast? But the same "stat loving" people try to do that, and they try to make sense of it somehow.

The same "number lovers" should believe the higher seeded teams would have the better supporting cast, but in this instance it doesn't suit their argument.

They do not want to believe that a quarterback is capable of inspiring his teammates enough to lift their games.

The perfect example is the '05 Steeler team that won it all as a #6 seed. Eleven other teams in the playoffs that season were expected to do better because of their numbers and seeding. Supporting cast and all.

It disputes the "supporting cast theory" and "bigger stats mean better theory" and suggests something more on the unmeasurable side of things. And that is what football is suppose to be about, the things that can't be explained or measured.

The things that make football a great game, like heart and love for the game, as opposed to big numbers and even bigger contracts. Like team chemistry as opposed to team standings.

Not a single team in the NFC conference playoffs were able to beat the Arizona Cardinals and their "horrible" defense. Not even the higher seeded teams and their "better" defenses. But Ben beat them, in thrilling fashion I might add.

Yeah, the very same defense that all you number lovers keep putting down beat all the best the NFC had to offer. Explain how that supports your theory. Their defense may have been ranked 17th during the regular season, but in the playoffs they were a different group. Which again, supports the "intangible" theory.

Just ask all the teams they beat.

It took Ben's magic to get it done over Warner's magic and the Steeler's hearts to get it done over the Cardinal's hearts. Neither team was suppose to make it that far. The numbers and seeding proved inconsequential AGAIN.

It took heart and desire to finally defeat Arizona, not simply a better defense. Arizona had already proved three times over that it was going to take more than a better defense to get it done against them.

Both teams are perfect examples that stats and seeding are thrown out the window once the playoffs come to town. And its that magical part of football that can not be measured that brings the very best teams to the top in the end.

At least our "intangible" theory holds water, the "bigger stats mean better theory" was proven wrong by every other team in the NFC and AFC.

In closing, I am going to give GFJones credit for bringing this to my attention and making a great point.

There was once a time, long before fantasy football and so much importance being placed on numbers and stats...that love for the game and a persons heart were the qualities that made heros.

That numbers were simply the icing on a much deeper cake.

A time when Knute Rockne inspired his teams with great speeches and a pure love for the game. Not a love driven by big stats and big contracts.

As I said and always will believe...throw the numbers out the window once the playoffs start.

The teams with the leaders who have the biggest hearts and most desire, who can sell that to the rest of their teammates...that is the team that will win it all, regardless of any numbers, or stats, or seeding.

So keep your teams big stat book, I'd much rather lose the book in favor of a ring. And I gaurantee you, so would any player in the whole league.

And what makes a quarterback elite? Is it big numbers and record breaking stats, or is it being the ultimate team player and leader?

Since football is a team sport, I venture to say the latter.


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