One hundred numbers, one hundred football players. We are compiling our own Hall of Fame, composed of players who most exemplify the way we like to see the game played. Over the years, we will add to this inaugural class. But for this first edition, I, your friendly neighborhood Editor-In-Chief, have chosen the ten (10) players who will serve as the foundation of our Online Ode to Football Immortality. These aren’t all necessarily the best ever at their positions; they’re going to be “our” guys. These first ten, of course, are “my” guys, but such are the benefits of creative license. Now then, with no further ado, I am pleased to present the 2010 inductees into the FootballSickness.com HALL OF SICKNESS:
04- BRETT F-FAVRUH: I know it’s gotten a little out of hand these past couple of years with the retiring and un-retiring. But I have yet to be disappointed by his returns, because he’s so damn much fun to watch. And you know why that is, and it is the reason so many are so boisterous in their disdain for #4: he’s having more fun than you’ve had since you were 12 years old. But that’s not his problem, it’s yours. I choose to keep enjoying one of the all-time greats for as long as he chooses to keep showing up. FAVORITE MOMENT: A tie between The Antonio Freeman Catch, which I watched at some horrible hour from my London flat, and the game on Monday Night against the Raiders after his father passed. Incredible.
12- THOMAS F. BRADY: For a 5-7 year stretch there, he was my favorite player to watch in the entire NFL. The kid came out of nowhere with ice running through his veins to win three out of four Super Bowls, lead his team to a perfect 17-0 regular season that only fell short of a fourth ring because Eli Manning and David Tyree went all magical and stuff. He won those three rings with no-name weapons, and as soon as they gave him Randy Moss and Wes Welker he put up numbers never before seen by man. And, of course, he’s a human resources department head’s dream. FAVORITE MOMENT: Carving up the Panthers in Super Bowl XXXVIII.
16- JOSEPH F. MONTANA: If this needs an explanation you should probably just move on. The ultimate crunch time guy, Joe Cool was the personification of the “It” one must have to be a great quarterback. His teammates called him ‘Bird Legs’ and loved him to death. Jerry Rice says Joe Montana is the greatest player ever. Considering many others would put Jerry above Joe, that’s good enough for me. FAVORITE MOMENT: John Taylor on the slant.
18- PEYTON F. MANNING: Son of Archie, brother of Eli and Cooper, #18 is a surgeon on the field and a cut-up off it. He’s taking quarterback play to new levels, winning like crazy, and setting all-time NFL passing records. And also this stuff. FAVORITE MOMENT: The look on his face when the Colts beat the Patriots to get to his first Super Bowl. That dude earned it.
29- ERIC F. TURNER: A posthumous honor for a UCLA Bruin/Cleveland Brown star safety. E-Rock hit people so hard entire stadiums would cringe. FAVORITE MOMENT: When the Browns drafted him number 3 overall. Totally worth it.
34- VINCENT EDWARD “BO” F. JACKSON: My all-time favorite athlete and the personification of the quintessential FootballSickness.com player. Also, the greatest video game character of all time. FAVORITE MOMENT: Monday Night Football in Seattle.
42- RONALD F. LOTT: Ronnie Lott might have been the greatest cornerback of all time…if he hadn’t been busy becoming the greatest safety of all time. Either way, he’s probably the top DB (only Mel Blount gets involved in the argument). FAVORITE MOMENT: It’s gotta be The Finger.
56- LAWRENCE F. TAYLOR: The single most dominant defensive force ever. Forever changed what a 3-4 outside linebacker should be. We’ll be doing an all-time draft here sometime, and THE REAL, THE ONE, THE ONLY LT (I will not debate this) will be the #1 overall pick (trust me). Sidenote: This is a football site, and he was the best ever. Whatever unsavory tendencies he may have, we’re not leaving him out. FAVORITE MOMENT: Nooo, not that one. But a million others. Pick one.
82- OZZIE F. NEWSOME: The Wizard of Oz is a Hall of Fame player and a Hall of Fame executive (they’ll have to add that to his bio in Canton). One of the great early ultra-athletic tight ends, along with Kellen Winslow. The second greatest Brown of all time, in my view, and now one of the best personnel men in the league. FAVORITE MOMENT: To your right.
99- WARREN F. SAPP: I detailed my favoritism for Mr. Sapp here a few months back. A great player who remains, to me, underappreciated for his contributions to the game. Did you know he got to work much earlier than you likely do every day during his career? True story- only Grudes beat him to the facility. Also, I just like the dude. I think he’s funny. He’s not for everybody, but his love for the game is so genuine, and his commitment to the principles of the game I hold so dear is so thorough, that he will forever remain Big Poppa Dubs, #99, to me. FAVORITE MOMENT: My first tweet from @QBKILLA!
There you have it, the inaugural class of the FootballSickness.com HALL OF SICKNESS. Visit the Hall for more on each player, and to join the conversation about who should represent the SICKNESS in future classes.