One word, but it means so much.
Webster’s Dictionary describes it as: “The best of a class”. In the real world, it’s just another word but in football it’s more than JUST a word.
What does it mean in the world of football? “The best of the class” is obviously a strong phrase. But it is a phrase that hasn’t been defined when we scrutinize a QB.
How is “elite” measured?
Super Bowl Rings? MVP’s? Pro-Bowls?
Joe Flacco has been in this conversation ever since his famous interview on a local radio program. He said he was the best. Also translated as “The best of a class”.
He might say it, but can he back his words?
Joe has orchestrated a Ravens team to 4 straight playoff appearances, but is that enough? Is it enough to call himself “elite”?
Flacco didn’t shy away when asked the question. But in his mind, what is the best? Does he think that going to the playoffs year after year is enough to be called elite?
Everyone sees something different when they look at that word. Some see a broad picture of good QB’s. Others see a top group of superb QB’s. And others see one person, the best in the NFL; or “The best of a class”.
Is a Super Bowl win enough to call a guy elite? With this standard, you could say that Trent Dilfer is. That should show you how broad the term really is. Trent Dilfer and elite in the same sentence… Not something you would hear every day.
Many argue that the Super Bowl stat is the only stat in the elite category that counts. If we say that, then strangely enough, we are saying that Peyton Manning is just as equally elite as Trent Dilfer. And using this standard, you would have to say that Dan Marino was never, and never will be an elite QB.
People that are stats junkies say that it’s all in the digits. They might say that the “best of the class” are the guys that put up the big numbers that stand out on the stat sheet. With one glance at Peyton’s stats you would immediately conclude Manning is elite. His 400+ TD’s and MVP’s speak for themselves!
If it is all about stats however, then why isn’t Chad Pennington considered? After all, he has a higher Passer Rating all time then Dan Marino, Steve McNair, and Donovan McNabb. Sure, Pennington wasn’t a Super Bowl winner and he only has 3 career playoff wins, but if you’re looking at certain stats, he is ahead of some of these “elite” guys.
Again, you probably have never heard Pennington’s name in the same sentence as elite, but according to passer rating, he’s in “the best of the class”, which just happens to be the all-important definition.
The word “finish” is a huge factor in this argument. Many say that if you want to be considered the best, you have to finish. In Peyton Manning’s 11 Playoff appearances, he has only won 1 Lombardi. In the playoffs, he just hasn’t finished.
Joe Flacco has often been scrutinized for doing the same thing. 4 years in the playoffs, yet no appearances in the Big Game. Is this the stat that makes him not elite? Or could you argue that he IS in fact elite because of the success he has had prior to the elimination game?
Elite has so many meanings it’s hard to pin down what it really means.
Is it “the best of the class”?
Or can one or two plays define ones elite status?