Tuesday, August 31, 2021

CAN'T TELL A PLAYER WITHOUT A SCORECARD: NFL Game Programs

By TJ Troup 

The title of this short saga is one of the most famous cliches in the history of the sport. Specifically, this saga will detail the changes/improvements in NFL Game Programs throughout the '60s into the '80s. 

Have a few programs from the late '40s and some from the '50s; with a listing of the player roster for both teams, and his jersey number. A "thumbnail" bio-sketch was sometimes included and some of those bios are valuable since they state how the player was acquired. During the early '60s the league under the direction of Pete Rozelle was called "National Football League Illustrated". 

Rozelle had worked with a very talented and creative man in Dave Boss during his time with the Rams, and this working relationship continued when Rozelle became the commissioner of the league. Some of the teams had their own unique style of game programs, and two of the best examples are the Colts and Redskins. 

The program the Colts put out was slightly smaller, and had a color photo on the cover. The October 4th, 1964 cover shows left corner Bobby Boyd as the holder for the kicker...very cool. 

The Washington Redskins used the Walton & Hoke Art Studio for their artistic covers. Here are a couple examples of those from 1965—


Somewhere in my file cabinet is a letter I received years ago from Dave Boss and someday will find the damn thing, and share with all of you his responses to my comments and questions. 

Dave Boss was truly a talented and creative artist, and beginning in 1966 the NFL was about to see his talents in a new way. His posters of each team portrayed each team in a new way and were the cover of each team's home game program. No doubt we all have our favorites from the ones he did—for me, the Philadelphia Eagles painting of a quarterback was mine. 

The NFL expanded again in 1967, and the covers were again paintings—the Cardinals vs. Steelers game program for November 12th, 1967 was done by Terry Smith. 

Before detailing that game program, time to quote my talented artistic friend John Richards. Ready? here goes,—Said Richards, "Program art varied with the city, but most designs fell under two categories—One, the cover art on many of these involve scenarios in which cartoons representing both teams are in opposition, and two, then there are the dramatic "action paintings", which always portrayed one of two completely anonymous players with mostly unrecognizable uniforms."

There was often an attempt at humor. John details the 11/27/60 program of the game between the Colts and 49ers to explain the league's attempt at humor.  

Richards continues, "In 1961 one can find advancement with the manipulation of photographs. This is the use of a process camera to alter photographs through a variety of techniques. 

With posterization, they remove mid-tones to create a dynamic high contrast image that can be printed with one color. That can be applied over another contrasting image and color. It has a contemporary modern graphic look and now fans can identify players individually. The Colts vs. Packers program from November 5, 1961, is a classic example of a two-color (black & light green) high contrast print manipulating a single photograph". 

By 1963 we see the introduction of four-color printed photographic covers. John detailed Dave Boss acrylic poster paintings and how the league wanted to "Get as much bang for their poster buck".

Examples of NFL Illustrated art covers from 1963-66, the last being a David Boss painting—





Returning to the Cardinals vs. Steelers November of '67 program. 

We now not only get the team rosters predicted starting line-ups and depth chart. Bios of the coaches, and stories about previous games. The detailed story on kicker Jim Bakken of the Cardinals against the Steelers historically was an outstanding example of improvements game programs now had. Add to that—the STATS! The listing of who leads the league in each of the categories gave the fan printed evidence of who was playing exceptional football. Then there are the black & white action photos from previous games and the individual photos of the players on the team. 

All in all game programs by the mid-'60s have become a treasured resource. 

The 1968 season brings about change again; as we have color photographs of the players from a team on the cover.


Many of them are exceptional, or at least I sure thought they were. Now back to John Richards, "The series of covers painted by Terry Smith are bold renderings that feel like a collage, incorporating many visual elements not just of football but the cities where they played. One can see the influence of the iconic graphic designer & illustrator Milton Glaser, who was shaking up the design world with his Push Pin Studios.

Smith's line work, color, and playful compositions have a fresh feel that capture some of the pop art aesthetics of the day, and now in '68 with more four-color printed photographs the league is changing once again. 1969 and NFL Properties has employed artists that become common names in the history of the league for their creativity. 

Again, quoting John, "Merv Corning, probably the dean of NFL art, produced the Super Bowl III cover, and a still life of hanging helmets. 

George Bartell's portraits with the light line work and liquid washes capture a nostalgic feel without being overly sentimental".

Here are two examples of Bartell's work—


"Both of these artist's work would be ubiquitous during the following decade. As the NFL had grown in popularity, so had their public relations budget". 

During the '70s the game programs became known as "Pro!", and continued to evolve and improve with photos, stats, and stories.


Finally, we come to "Gameday". The NFL as well all know is big business and the game programs have grown in size (number of pages), while still telling us who is wearing what number and playing what position. This saga will close with the value of these programs in doing my historical statistical research. There have been times when a research project takes a back seat to just the enjoyment of looking through the program. 



Thank you John Richards for your email detailing your thoughts on the history of the league's programs and artists. John does the artwork for PFRA's Coffin Corner and the new members of the Hall of Fame. He also did one helluva terrific job on the artwork for my book The Birth of Football's Modern 4-3 Defense.

Examples of John's fine work— 



Winston Hill, Al Wistert, ab Billy Wade by John Richards





Monday, August 30, 2021

Who Will Hall of Fame Contributor Nominee Be?

 By John Turney
Tomorrow the contributor committee meets, not in the "room" but on "Zoom" to select the candidate that will be presented to the entire committee at next year's Super Bowl.

We don't know the entire list, but going from the past years it's a good bet that many of the same names will be considered.

We certainly expect Art McNally to get strong support, and is our prediction to be the nominee this year. Football Zebras makes the case for him HERE
Art McNally

Another man who has been mentioned in media reports is NFL Founder Ralph Hay. You can read more about him HERE,  HERE, and HERE. He's more of a longshot but is someone who seems to be gaining momentum as his story is becoming more well-known.
Ralph Hay
Then, of course, is the current owner Robert Kraft. He's been put on the back burner for certain legal issues, otherwise, in our view, he'd be in already since we think this entire category was created to allow for owners a path to a gold jacket especially some who have been on Hall's various boards and NFL committees than steer funds to Canton. Perhaps that is coincidental. 

Kraft may still be on HOF "informal probation" but if that has been lifted, he will be the nominee. We just don't know what the statute of limitations is for happy endings. 
Robert Kraft
There could be scouts or a combination of player/scout like Bucko Kilroy or John Wooton, or Eddie Kotal or Lloyd Wells or Jack Vainisi or others. But how can you separate them? All similar to Bill Nunn in accomplishments but who goes first and how can they compete with the likes of Kraft?

One of our favorites is Seymour Siwoff. He's the founder of Elias Sports Bureau and the one who organized the NFL's statistics—the "numbers". And the numbers are what created the bases for Fantasy Football, and all the interesting statistics that have brought enjoyment and understanding to millions upon millions of fans.

Do you like any NFL stats? Thank Seymour.
Seymour Siwoff
Other owners like Art Modell, Bud Adams, or even maybe a Carroll Rosenbloom could be discussed. Of those three Rosenbloom has the best, in our view, resume but we do wonder about his alleged nefarious ties to the underworld. We have no idea but if they are true he would not be the first owner from the "old NFL" to have such alleged ties.

Tomorrow we know. If we could pick it might be McNally, Hay, or Siwoff. Our guess is McNally and darkhorse is Kraft if the double-secret probation has ended. 

The race is run tomorrow, we'll let you know when he know.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Remembering Bob Carroll, Football Historian

 LOOKING BACK
By Chris Willis, NFL Films

Bob Carroll, appearing on NFL Films, This is the NFL, 1992

     “Ask me who started in the last Super Bowl (1986) and I wouldn’t know. But, I could recite from memory the lineup of the 1920 Decatur Staleys,” said Bob Carroll to the Pittsburgh Press in 1986.

On this day back in 2009 I heard the news that Bob Carroll had passed away. I can’t believe it has been twelve years since he’s been gone.

Back in 1993 I was just a college senior back in Ohio trying to figure out my next move in my career path. I was a big football history buff and loved reading anything I could about the history of the sport I loved. At this time, I came across an organization that gave me a big break in my football writing, as well as being introduced to the foremost football historian in the country- Bob Carroll.

That year I joined the Professional Football Researchers Association (PFRA) and as a member I received their publication called the Coffin Corner. It was a twenty-four page “magazine” that included articles about the history of the game. I was fascinated by reading it. Soon, I got the urge to write an article that I thought would be ideal for the magazine. Since I lived just two hours away from Canton, Ohio I had attended several Hall of Fame Induction weekends nicknamed “Football’s Greatest Weekend.”

Seeing the Hall of Famers and how the city of Canton always rolled out the red carpet for the former legends of the game inspired me to write an article on the first-ever class of inducted players in 1963. Titled, The Pro Football Hall of Fame: The Beginning, I sent my article to Bob at the Coffin Corner. I was pretty much a first-time author (had only written for Bob Swick’s Football Times a few months earlier) so I was expecting a rejection. Instead, I got a letter back from Bob Carroll. He was going to publish my article! I was stunned.

1994 Letter from Bob Carroll to author

Not only did the article appear in the Coffin Corner it was accompanied by Bob’s drawings of the Hall of Fame’s first class. It was an honor to see his artwork with my short article. But in the end, it shouldn’t have been a surprise.  

Over the next fifteen years Bob always was generous with his time and expertise with any writing or film project I had going on. He was a giant in the world of football research, but was always willing to help anybody who asked. I was able to meet Bob twice back in 1997-1998. At this time he wasn’t too keen on traveling anywhere, except the Pro Football Hall of Fame, his favorite spot. Those two years the Hall of Fame in conjunction with the Stark State College of Technology put on a symposium called Pro Football in American Life. I was one of many scholars and historians who presented papers. Bob made the trek from Western Pennsylvania to attend both years. It was great talking to him and leaning more about the history of pro football.

Thanks Bob!

Bob Carroll’s Career

Robert N. (Bob) Carroll, Jr. was born on July 10, 1936 in Wheeling, West Virginia to Robert Carroll, Sr. and Katherine Carroll. After graduating college Carroll went on to teach art and English at McKeesport (PA) High School. He married Suzanne (Sprowls) Carroll and had two children, daughter Katherine and son, Martin.

Bob Carroll, headshot appeared in Roger Treat's Pro Football Encyclopedia, 1974

In the 1970s the school teacher living in Western Pennsylvania began his love affair with pro football history. Spending numerous hours going through newspapers and microfilm Carroll begun to chronicle, and even correct, pro football history. This was not just a hobby, it was a passion. “When I started researching pro football 35 years ago, there was very little information available,” said Bob Carroll to the Pittsburgh Press in 1986. “For the first twenty-five years, I thought I was the only one who gave a darn.”

On June 22, 1979 Bob Carroll gathered five other football researchers and writers in Canton, Ohio to form the Professional Football Researchers Association. Earlier that year he edited the organization’s official newsletter/magazine The Coffin Corner. For the next thirty years he devoted most of his life in operating the PFRA.

For three decades he edited The Coffin Corner, as well as authoring over 200 articles for the newsletter/magazine and PFRA Annuals. He also authored many books.

List of Books by Bob Carroll

100 Greatest Running Backs (Crescent Books, 1988)
The Hidden Game of Football, co-author with Pete Palmer and John Thorn (Warner Books, 1988)
The Football Abstract, co-author with Palmer & Thorn (Warner Books, 1989)
The Official Baseball Hall of Fame Fun & Sticker Book (Simon & Schuster, 1989)
The Official Pro Football Hall of Fame Fun & Sticker Book (Simon & Schuster, 1990)
The Major League Way to Play Baseball (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
This Year in Baseball (Simon & Schuster, 1991)
The Sports Video Resource Guide (Simon & Schuster, 1992)
When the Grass Was Real (Simon & Schuster, 1993)
Baseball Between the Lies (Perigee Books, 1993)
The Battle of Stalingrad (Lucent Books, 1997)
Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (HarperCollins, 1997)
Football Legends of All-Time, co-author with Joe Horrigan (Publications International, 1997)
Total Football II: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League (HarperCollins, 1998) 


Bob Carroll book titles

Most football historians cherish the volume he wrote with Pete Palmer and John Thorn, The Hidden Game of Football. In this day of analytics this book was well ahead of its times with looking at statistical numbers in a different way. It’s still relevant today. But my favorite Bob Carroll book is When the Grass Was Real. Like NFL Films, When the Grass Was Real, is a look back at pro football in the 1960s with a storyteller’s touch. Carroll does an outstanding job of transporting you back to the Sensational Sixties telling you of an era that he called “pro football’s greatest decade.”

When the Grass was Real is part history lesson, part oral history. Carroll tells the story of pro football’s most combative decade, sprinkled with interviews of the decades’ greatest personalities such as Bob St. Clair, Willie Davis, Sid Gillman, Sam Huff, Billy Shaw, Jim Taylor, Forrest Gregg, Chuck Howley, Weeb Ewbank and Bobby Bell. Every time I read When the Grass was Real I learn something new.

 Thanks Bob!



In addition to working on The Coffin Corner Carroll was also an accomplished artist. Almost every issue of the PFRA’s newsletter/magazine would be accompanied by a drawing from him. Over 1,000 drawings were stored in his personal library. His artwork appeared in many books and articles as well as in Pro Football Weekly.  In 1994 Carroll appeared in the NFL Films documentary “75 Seasons” a two-hour film about the NFL’s first seventy-five years that aired that fall on TNT.

Bob Carroll, from 1994 NFL Films documentary, 75 Seasons

But probably his ultimate accomplishment was being the lead editor of Total Football: The Official Encyclopedia of the National Football League. A labor of love that turned into 1,652 pages of the NFL’s official history. No sportswriter, researcher, librarian, author, historian or football fan can be without Total Football.


In Volume 31, Number 4 of The Coffin Corner the last article with the name Bob Carroll attached to it was published. Titled “The Packers Crash Through: 1929” it was a summary of the 1929 NFL season.

On August 25, 2009 Bob Carroll passed away at the age of 73. In the first Coffin Corner after his passing the editors dedicated the whole issue to its founding father. Every so often I think of the man who helped my career over twenty-five years ago by publishing my article on the Pro Football Hall of Fame. I will always remember him in the best of light.

Thanks Bob!



Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Cliff Branch and Dick Vermeil are the Senior Nominee and Coach Nominee for the Class of 2022

 By John Turney 
The Pro Football Hall of Fame's senior committee and coaches committee met and through their process chose Cliff Branch and Dick Vermeil as the two who will be voted on in a "yes or no" fashion at next year's Super Bowl and must get at least 80% "yes" votes. We expect both to make it.

While some on social media are complaining, we cannot find any fault with these choices, though we were surprised. We expected someone other than a Raider and another wide receiver and we predicted Buddy Parker. But we think these are qualified men and worthy of induction

Branch fits in the middle of the pack among Hall of Fame receivers in terms of All-Pros with his three consensus First-team selections (1974-76) and another First-team selection (NEA) in 1977.

(Click to enlarge)
Branch was a burner and would also go over the middle and even in a dead-ball era had two 1,000-yard seasons and two double-digit touchdown seasons. He has three Super Bowl rings and had stellar playoff stats as well—in 22 games he made 73 receptions for 1,289 yards for five scores. 

So while we do think there is an imbalance of skill players to non-skill players in the hall of fame in proportion to who teams line up on the field, this is not a place to address that, one pick on the senior committee cannot fix that issue. It would have to be addressed on an institutional level where the voters see that they need to be above the fans and reward the blockers and tacklers as much as the runners, catchers, and throwers. But that is a discussion for another day and guys who maybe came close like Joe Klecko, Chuck Howley, Maxie Baughan, Randy Gradishar, Clay Matthews, Mike Kenn, Lester Hayes, and others will have their chance next year.

Today is Cliff Branch's day. Congrats to his family. 
Vermeil took over awful Eagles and Rams teams and took both to the Super Bowl, winning one in 1999 with the Rams. Then took over a mediocre Chiefs team and took the back to the playoffs.

He was the NFL's first special teams coach (Rams, 1969) and was known as a motivator and a good game manager. 

Vermeil took over as head coach of the Eagles in 1976  and went 9-19 the first two years. And in an era without free agency, he went 42-22 from 1978 through 1981 making Super Bowl XV, although losing to the Raiders. He was "burnt out" after the 1982 season and was away from coaching for fifteen seasons.

He was hired by the Rams in 1997 two years later he led the Rams to a 13-3 record and a Super Bowl win. After that game, he stepped down again. But that was short-lived.

In 2001 the Chiefs traded a draft pick to the Rams for Vermeil's services and he went on to coach them for five seasons going 44-36.

Because he took over for subpar teams his Win-Loss record is skewed negatively but he was a coaches' coach. A leader, a hard worker, showed compassion, and yes, cried. A lot. But no one saw it as a weakness. They saw it as human.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Pro Football Hall of Fame—We Need Another Burn

By John Turney 
Clark Judge wrote a great piece for Sports Illustrated today quoting Rick Goeeslin expressing his frustration for the senior category backlog for worthy players who are awaiting a fair shot at discussion and induction and giving Gosselin's solution to the issue.

Voters may disagree as to the number who are waiting, that is fair. But what is not really in dispute is that there are far more players waiting than coaches and contributors. 

The universe of waiting players is far larger than waiting coaches. Again the exact numbers may be disputed but the magnitude of the difference is not.

A few years ago the Board of Directors and Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of fame reduced the number of players that can be presented from the senior committee from two to one and added a coaches category, thinking it was unfair for coaches to have to compete with players. Fair enough. 

However, to have one coach every year seems like that would exhaust the number of candidates pretty quickly and that has shown to be the case. Maybe not at this exact moment, but we're getting there.

But the problem is the senior pool is growing and even voters are frustrated that three- and four-time and five-time All-Pros cannot breakthrough. And then there are players with good statistical cases and players who perhaps are linemen who don't have stats but may have good testimonial cases or "scouting report" cases that have no shot.

Here is a quick and dirty chart we make, forget the order in which the names appear, those can be fluid and adjusted. As folks can see the names, even if they are inducted two a year and terrific all the way until the 2030s and we could have gone further.

But the names for the other category kind of ran out. Sure, but then Bill Belichick and others become eligible but we think the point is made. Perhaps some disagree, we don't know, but even if you think "you guy" from "you team" should not be in 2029 and should be in 2022, fine. The point is this, as for now, is fantasy, this is TWO per Year.

Imagine it as ONE per year, as the current setup is until at least 2025 and as Gosselin points out in the article we linked to no one knows what lies beyond 2025. It could go back to two, and we hope it does, but there is no reason to wait in our view.

Even if it changes then to two per season we lose three slots. 
The only solution is for the Hall of Fame brass to act now. They need to have an emergency meeting to expand the seniors to two per year and rotate coaches and contributors. 

It fairly serves the coaches and contributors (they don't compete with players like they used to) and it is fair to the perhaps 100 or so (maybe more, maybe less) players deemed worthy on some counts of the Hall of Fame.

Gosselin's solution is three seniors a year for the next ten years, And we support that 100%. No, 200%. That would also work and we applaud Gosselin for that suggestion. 

One way that could work so as not to stress the limits of Canton/Akron and the space at hotels and venues for parties, etc. would be one of the slots could be a "super senior" slot for players pre-WWII for at least the first five years. They could be honored with a video and surely their descendants would not take up much room. Sad to say many of the players we are talking about are deceased so the accommodations would naturally be less than for a living, more popular player.

Remember this is for the Hall—getting the right players in, those that make the Hall of Fame less due to the lack of their presence no about parties or team pride by partisan fans or other ancillary needs. It's about going to the Hall and feeling the lack because Five-time All-Pro player A is not there. Or First-team All-Decade player B is not there.

So, in our view, either change would be excellent.

A change can be done without criticism, without name-calling, without blame or accusation. It can easily be done if there is the will to do it. Surely they can have a Zoom meeting in the COVID plagues days and vote to make needed changes or "course corrections" in weight matters, all organizations have that capability.
As depicted in the film "Apollo 13" and the book Lost Moon by Jim Lovell when the Lunar Module (LEM) went off-course they had to use the engine for a course correction. 

Call that the move to not have coaches and contributors compete with players for the Hall of Fame either as modern or senior candidates. 

However, the LEM was underweight because it lacked weight—they didn't land on the moon and did not collect moon rocks so the spacecraft was shallowing. So, they needed another burn to course correct and steepen the reentry.  

We are calling for another correctional burn. Go back to two senior candidates a year or Gosselin's three a year. Either one—that is the necessary "correctional burn". Fairness and equity call for it.

It would be wise and even heroic.

"Another burn? Copy that."—Apollo Flight Directo Christopher Craft.  

Yes. Another burn, Mr. David Baker. Copy that?

Friday, August 20, 2021

Best of the MVP/POY QBs Not in the HOF

By John Turney 


Much more is written about quarterbacks and the Hall of Fame than all other positions. Often the criteria mentioned is an MVP Award. We don't subscribe to the "AP only" school of thought because other organizations had equally valuable Awards in the past.

The voters with the AP or PFWA or NEA or Sporting News are all major awards and well will try and rank those quarterbacks who won those along with their stats and list them in our preferred order.

Back in the day, the NFLPA gave awards (called Mackey Awards) to those who led the league in passing, rushing, interceptions, sacks, receptions, receiving yardage, and other categories. They don't get written about much but essentially 'black ink' (denotes bold type and was coined, we think, by Baseball Reference.com) is that same thing.

CAP = Consensus All-Pro
1AP = First-team All-Pro
2AP = Second-team All-Pro
PB = Pro Bowls

Here are our rankings plus Ken Stabler who was on the border for us and the closest comparison to the others on the outside of the Hall looking in—

Ken Stabler
2-time NFL MVP/POY (1974*, 1976)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—5
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .661 (.587 road)
HOF

It took a while for Stabler to become the Raiders starter. He was the NFL's best QB from 1973-77 but then tailed off. Al LoCasale once said the reason Snake wasn't in the Hall of Fame was because, "He had some great years, but had too many bad years". That sentiment was overcome a few years back when he was voted to the Hall of Fame.


Those waiting—

Ken Anderson
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1981*)
1-time AFC Champ
4-time passing champ
2-time passing yards champ
Black ink—14
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 2
PB = 4
W-L% = .529

Anderson had a very good arm, great running ability. He had a good run from1974-76 then a few years in what Dr. Z called "the doldrums" then great 1981-82 seasons. Those that want him in the Hall of Fame will pick the achievements of the lower-level Hall of Fame quarterbacks and compare there. And we get it. But they seem to ignore the 'doldrums'. And rather than taking the view there may be a handful of quarterbacks in the Hall that may be a bit dubious, they want the slippery slope to continue.

Roman Gabriel
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1969*)
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—7
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 4
W-L% = .570

Gabriel is interested in that before he was a starter (1962-65) his record as a starter was 11-11-1 which is exactly average. But what makes it notable is that all the other Rams QBs in that same time frame combined for a 4-27-2 record.

He was the MVP in 1969, and you can make a case that he should have been the MVP in 1967, as well. Additionally, one could argue he should have been the NFC Player of the Year in 1973 over John Hadl who slumped at the end of the year.

Gabriel avoided interceptions but his willingness to stand tall in pocket and fight defenders caused him to fumble a lot. He was the Rams best short-yardage runner in the late-1960s. He had arm troubles but had a nice comeback season in 1973 with the Eagles.

John Brodie
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1970)
1-time passing champ
3-time passing yards champ
Black ink—11
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .494

Like Jurgenson, a picture-perfect passer, and sometimes not all that concerned with reading the defense. His HOF chances are slim, he gets no play on social media and in our view only had a few great years an a mot of pretty good ones and some poor one.


1-time NFL MVP (1959)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—4
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 2 (also All-Conference in 2 other seasons)
W-L%=.600

Was a very good quarterback from 1950-59. TJ Troup thinks he's Hall of Fame-worthy. He's been a finalist before but never made it over the hump.-


Jack Kemp
1-time AFL MVP (1965)
2-time AFL Champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 3
PB = 7
W-L% = .633 (.549)

The ultimate winner-type. The  AFL rings matter a lot. Twice consensus All-AFL. Largely forgotten in HOF discussions.


2-time NFL MVP/POY (1982, 1983*)
1-time NFL Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 2 (plus one Second-team All-NFC)
W-L% = .621 (.532 away)

Theismann won the ring in 1982 and the MVP in 1983 but we suppose getting crushed by the Raiders in the Super Bowl has cost him the Hall of Fame.

Phil Simms
1-time MVP (1986)
2-time NFL Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 1
2AP = 0
PB = 1
W-L% = .597

NEA MVP in 1986, two rings, though didn't get to play in the second Super Bowl but was starter most of the year. ANother guy who was a "winner type" more than a "numbers" guy. 



Steve McNair
1-time NFL MVP (2003)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 3
W-L% = .595

Power player. Tough, tough runner, and strong-willed layer. Worked himself into an MVP and also won a passing title and has a career .595 winning percentage.


Boomer Esiason
1-time NFL MVP/POY (1988*)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% =. 462

Well-taught by Sam Wyche and effective for a long time, known for his play-action passing and the skill in which he hid the ball.




Others with MVPs—

1-time NFL MVP (1976*)
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 1
W-L% = .490

The most talented quarterbacks we've seen are Bert Jones, John Elway, and Aaron Rodgers. Some would add Greg Cook to that list. Short career cost him a shot at all-time greatness.



Donovan McNabb
1-time NFC POY (2004)
1-time NFC Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 6
W-L% = .612

Led Eagles to the big game, but came up short. Early in career could run. Likely aided by WCO and Andy Reid's tutoring.


Randall Cunningham
3-time NFL MVP/POY (1988, 1990*, 1998)
1-time passing champion
Black ink—1
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 2
PB = 4
W-L% = .611

The amazing talent. Great arm, as good a runner at the quarterback position as you could find. Often did the superhuman.




Daryle Lamonica
3-time AFL MVP/POY (1967*, 1968, 1969*)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time AFL passing yards champ
Black ink—5
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 2
PB = 5
W-L% = .784

The Mad Bomber was a good 'closer' for the Bills (coming in games and often winning them) before being traded to the Raiders. Made a living really, actually perfecting the vaunted Raiders "Vertical Passing Game".


John Hadl
1-time NFC POY (1973)
1-time AFL Champ
2-time AFL passing yard champ
Black ink—8
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 3
PB = 6
W-L% = .521

Kind of a poor man's Jurgensen. 

Brian Sipe
1-time NFL MVP (1980)
1-time passing champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 1
2AP = 1
PB = 1
W-L% = .509

Solid quarterback, worked his way into being an MVP. Not someone with size or amazing arm.

Jim Hart
1-time NFC POY (1974)
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 4
W-L% = .497

Career was kind of floundering until Don Coryell showed up and he was in a way a 'poor man's Dan Fouts" for the Cardinals. Quick release, could go deep, but made good use of backs in the 3-digit offense.


1-time NFL POY (1966)
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 2
PB = 3
W-L% = .590

Super tough. Could get the ball deep to Bob Hayes.


Rich Gannon
2-time NFL MVP/POY (2000, 2002*)
2-time AFC POY (2000, 2002)
1-time AFC Champ
1-time passing yards champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 2
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .576

Master of the WCO, in some ways a Jon Gruden creation but responded well.


Ron Jaworski
1-time NFL/NFC POY (1980)
1-time NFC Champ
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 1
W-L%=.514

Great arm, many speculate what could have happened if Rams had kept him, rather than going with Haden. Jaworski was just coming into his own and the Rams defense was still good. Instead, the Polish Rifle took the Eagles to the Super Bowl.


Archie Manning
1-time NFC POY (1978)
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .263

Stuck in a bad situation for many years. Had great skills, similar to Roger Staubach without the amazing team around him.


1-time NFL MVP (1968*)
1-time NFL Champ
1-time passing champ
Black ink—3
CAP = 1
1AP = 2
2AP = 0
PB = 2
W-L% = .632

Super backup. He played for six teams in 21 years. Yes, you read that right. Twenty-one years. However. he started the majority of his teams' games six times and in five of those, he was either a Pro Bowler or had Pro Bowl-type stats (1957, 1963, 1965, 1968, and 1972).


Craig Morton
1-time AFC POY (1977)
1-time AFC Champ
Black ink—1
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 0 (All-AFC once)
W-L% = .566

Strong arm, could get ball deep to Bob Hayes. Kept arm until the end of his career, lost his mobility in the middle of it.


Michael Vick
1-time NFC POY (2010)
Black ink—0
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 0
PB = 4
W-L% = .544

Along with Randall Cunningham the best running quarterbacks ever. Vick had a nice 2010 where he was accurate, got the ball out on time as was a very good pocket passer and only ran when necessary.


1-time NFC POY (1980)
1-time passing champ
Black ink—4
CAP = 0
1AP = 0
2AP = 1
PB = 2
W-L% = .465

Excellent arm, not much mobility, even early, but threw deep, was accurate and tough.