I grew up in Toledo, Ohio as a diehard Cleveland Indians, Browns, and Cavaliers fan. I am also a Detroit Red Wings fan (the Cleveland Barons were long gone by the time I was born and the Columbus Blue Jackets weren't around yet). I also grew up a big Ohio State fan. I am a 2006 Ohio State alum and now live in Cincinnati, OH. While the Indians are still the team of my heart I care about and follow the Cincinnati Reds as well. As a divisional rival I cannot say the same about the Cincinnati Bengals, but living here and being a big NFL fan I can't help but follow the happenings of them as well. I am a big fan of both the NFL and NBA Drafts as well.
Typically what I write will be opinion or prediction based. You won't find me reporting much breaking news. I like to look at big events a little after they happen from an interesting angle.
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Emmitt Smith is a top 5 running back, and arguably the greatest of all time. Here is my counter debate. You say that durability doesn't measure greatness. That is not true. The running back position is one of the most injury prone positions in professional football. The average running back declines after age 27. Emmitt Smith ran for 900 yards and 9 touchdowns at age 35 with the Arizona Cardinals and their abysmal offensive line.
You also discredit Emmitt Smith because of the talent that was around him. What about Jerry Rice? Rice is considered by many to be the greatest receiver in NFL history, but was surrounded by great players. Rice had two Hall of Fame quarterbacks, one of the great dual-threat running backs in Roger Craig, a pro bowl receiver opposite in John Taylor, and a great defense with Ronnie Lott leading the way. Does the success around Jerry Rice discredit his accomplishments? Jim Brown had a Hall of Fame head coach, as well as Hall of Fame offensive line who many consider one of the greatest in NFL History. Should Jim Brown be discredited as well?
Let's look at Emmitt Smith's career. He led the league in rushing four times in 1991, 1992, 1993, and 1995. He scored twenty touchdowns in both the 1994 and 1995 seasons. He was the driving offensive force of the Cowboys team that won three Super Bowls, and won the Super Bowl MVP 1993, as well as NFL MVP that same season. From 1991 to 2001 Emmitt Smith ran 1,000 yards in each season, with many changes and injuries to the "Great Wall of Dallas" As stated earlier, even with the mediocre Arizona Cardinals line he still managed to come close to 1,000 at age 35 one season removed after breaking his left shoulder blade.
Are there more gifted running backs than Emmitt Smith? Of course. Just like there were more gifted receivers than Jerry Rice. Like Rice, Emmitt was epitome of durability and consistent greatness. Emmitt Smith is the most accomplished running back in the 97 year history of the National Football League. With 18,355 rushing yards and 164 touchdowns, he has cemented himself on the Mount Rushmore of running backs.
I too am from Cleveland, OH. I too grew up a diehard Browns and Indians fan. Double-OT playoff game against the Jets in '86? I was there. The following "The Drive" game vs the Broncos? I was there. I attended nearly every Browns home game in an 8 year span when I was a teenager.
Now for your list of Top 10 all time Running Backs...with all due respect...
It's embarrassing to ever list Bo Jackson on any top 10 (or even top 20) list. The guy had 2782 yards for his entire CAREER (AP does that in a season....), never broke 1,000 yards once, and has a measly 16 rushing TDs. Sure he had a lot of long runs and high YPC - but so does Jamaal Charles. Actually Jamaal is much higher than BO in every category (including a 5.8 YPC career average). So is he a top 7 all time rusher as of now? OF COURSE NOT!
Bo Jackson had POTENTIAL to be one of the best. He never fulfilled it, as injury ended his career prematurely. It's insulting to other great runners who had sustained and amazing careers to call Bo Jackson a top 10 all time runner. Just IMO.
Thought you might like this because I know you commented on a similar one I wrote two weeks ago:
Thanks for the support. I appreciate it.
I like that you stick to your opinion no matter what, people can hate all they want. I did disagree about you saying the draft put us back ten years but everyone is entitled to an opinion. Some people just can't handle that and if your right you will make everyone look like a bunch of jackasses, but lets hope your wrong eh? keep it up man
To Bob below
Mind numbing. Try grading all teams after at least a year to three. Please good sir.
Well written article you just put out. I'm still seething about the draft and wrote a couple of comments about it and got ripped apart. I just can't see how they improved the team as a whole while teams like the Bengals, Steelers, Pats, Lions, etc are vastly improving through the draft.
Mind nubbing on every level.
Since we were just talking about it. Thought i'd bring up that it's reported that the Chargers are now interested in trying to trade up in front of Dallas to get Mark Barron.
You totally lost me on your helmet power rankings. I'll preface that by saying that helmet power rankings are rather ridiculous, but you totally had most of it completely backwards. Most fans loathe both helmets from the state of Ohio, because they're just plain ugly. The Colts have nothing to say about their helmets except for that they've never changed. That's not much of a sales pitch. Not only that, but how many actual horses have really run the city of Indianapolis. It's not even original, they stole it from Baltimore. The Vikings? They don't even look like Horns. Buffalo? Talk about unimaginative, same as the Chargers… You praise them because they went white? Wow. I'll give you the Rams, they are awesome, the Saints, certainly fitting. I can't believe you left the Texans out of the top two. They're bitchin. I'm from Seattle, and from the online polls, most people like them and some people just aren't used to the new uniforms. If you're a traditionalist, how could you leave out the Steelers, Packers and Bears out of the top 10? Those are all so traditional they should never change them, or the Raiders. Anyway, it's just my opinion, but I think you got it all wrong, even using your own criteria. Sorry.
after letting me down with bracket last year gunna give u another chance... lets do it