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Most Dominant NFL Player Ever


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3 hours ago, hondo in seattle said:

I kind of feel about Brady like way I feel about Emmit Smith.  Smith is the all-time rushing leader but there's no way in Hades I'd call him the greatest back ever.  He just hung around a long time.

 

Brady owns all the records but he hung around a long time to get them.   He isn't even inarguably the best QB of his generation.  I've heard people make good arguments for Manning, Brees, and Rogers.   When I watched Brady play, I never thought I was watching a guy who was head and shoulders above his peers.

 

When I watched OJ play, however, it was clear he was playing at higher level than any back in the league.  And everything I've read about Jim Brown says it was the same when he was around.   Domination.  


Brady threw for 5300+ and 43 TD at 45 last season. Rodgers has thrown for over 4500 once in his career.  Plus he is a bit of a choker.  1 SB a million years ago.  Manning too has a rough playoff record with 7 one and dones.  Brady wins games, particularly in the playoffs. 

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4 hours ago, CA OC Bills Fan said:

Interesting topic for the offseason.

 

I in no way see Barry Sanders being anywhere near the top for the NFL. For most fun to watch, very possibly, but not as most dominant player of all time. He wasn't even the consensus most dominant RB of his era as discussions always included Emmitt Smith and Thurman Thomas. Thurman was always mentioned as the "best all around back" because of his receiving skills and blocking skills but was rarely called the best rusher. Barry had incredible moves but always led to either huge gains or being stopped for a loss (I still remember him getting the ball at the goal line against the Bills and being tackled for a safety). His moves where great but didn't have the power of Jim Brown (he was before my time but saw many clips of his) and OJ. OJ was incredible to watch. Once he made it past the first tackle he very frequently was gone. 

 

From the OP, the discussion is most dominant player. While impossible to compare eras, as he brought up, you can certainly compare to their peers of the same time. As others have said, football being such a team sport it's really hard to pick but I'd have to say it would be Jim Brown or OJ. For both of them there was no comparison to others at the time and while everyone knew what the play was (I'm assuming this to be true of Brown, it was absolutely true for OJ), they still were incredible.

 

For those saying the baseball was different when Babe was setting records, again when comparing to his contemporaries, he blew everyone else away. Comparing eras is next to impossible as are "what ifs". Here's a good article from Bleacher Report mentioning him as a dominant slugger, pure hitter, runner, fielder, and pitcher. It also mentions in passing that he was far more dominant in baseball than Wilt, Pele, or Gretzky were in their sports https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1508392-major-league-baseball-the-case-for-babe-ruth-as-the-best-ever 


Respectfully disagree.  Barry was the consensus best RB in his era and all time.  Emmit was a product of the best OL in football, put him on Det and he rushes for half the yards he did in Dallas.  Put Barry in Dallas, and he probably 6+ 2000 yard seasons in Dallas and sets all time rushing record in under 10 seasons.  
 

And I love Thurman, but Thurman was Barry’s backup in college and while he was one of the greatest RBs in NFL history, certainly too 10, he was not better than Barry whose the GOAT and did all that on bad teams with bad offensive lines.  Barry never sniffed the quality of rosters Emmitt and Thurman were blessed to play on.  
 

And no disrespect to the OP, but his definition of dominance is skewed IMHO.  It’s not about stat separation.  I mean Wilt Chamberlain was most dominant player in NBA history statistically and yet he’s in no one’s top 5 all time and not even in many peoples top 10 all time.  And he was dominated in the wins and championship column by Bill Russell despite having insanely more gaudy stats.  
 

 

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43 minutes ago, Mr. WEO said:


One more time….He dominated the players he faced.  
 

They weren’t the only n or necessarily the best pro baseball players of the era.  Pretty simple.

 

A time machine would likely allow us to see a presteroid Bonds hitting 100 HR a season against 1920s MLB pitchers and Ruth struggling to get 30 vs 1990s-2000s pitchers (for instance). 

 

He faced pitchers and dominated them but all his contemporaries faced the same pitchers……every guy from the 2nd best player at the time to the worst player at the time pale in comparison.  Even so, many of his contemporaries are still considered all time greats to this day.  This is also true of players that came before Ruth or overlapped him.  Are you going to contend that Ty Cobb was a crappy hitter because 1915 was a long time ago or that Luis Arraez, today’s leading hitter would be superior to Cobb?

 

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15 minutes ago, 4merper4mer said:

He faced pitchers and dominated them but all his contemporaries faced the same pitchers……every guy from the 2nd best player at the time to the worst player at the time pale in comparison.  Even so, many of his contemporaries are still considered all time greats to this day.  This is also true of players that came before Ruth or overlapped him.  Are you going to contend that Ty Cobb was a crappy hitter because 1915 was a long time ago or that Luis Arraez, today’s leading hitter would be superior to Cobb?

 

 

In his day, Cobb was an excellent hitter.  But he never had to play against a Luis Arraez....or a Satchel Paige, for that matter.

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On 6/22/2022 at 4:31 PM, Alphadawg7 said:


Respectfully disagree.  Barry was the consensus best RB in his era and all time.  Emmit was a product of the best OL in football, put him on Det and he rushes for half the yards he did in Dallas.  Put Barry in Dallas, and he probably 6+ 2000 yard seasons in Dallas and sets all time rushing record in under 10 seasons.  
 

And I love Thurman, but Thurman was Barry’s backup in college and while he was one of the greatest RBs in NFL history, certainly too 10, he was not better than Barry whose the GOAT and did all that on bad teams with bad offensive lines.  Barry never sniffed the quality of rosters Emmitt and Thurman were blessed to play on.  
 

And no disrespect to the OP, but his definition of dominance is skewed IMHO.  It’s not about stat separation.  I mean Wilt Chamberlain was most dominant player in NBA history statistically and yet he’s in no one’s top 5 all time and not even in many peoples top 10 all time.  And he was dominated in the wins and championship column by Bill Russell despite having insanely more gaudy stats.  
 

 

 

 

My definition of dominance is a bit skewed.  Football is a team sport and a player's stats are effected by his coaches and teammates. 

 

Like many others, I use stats to take something subjective ('most dominant player') and transform it into something partially objective.   If a player is truly dominant, his superior performance should show up on a stat line.

 

Btw, the Sporting News has Wilt as #4 all-time.   Not too long ago, ESPN had him at #5.  SI had him #3.

 

www.sportingnews.com/us/nba/news/nba-greatest-player-rankings-1-10/1krt9rauze7s21xes8fi657ifo

www.interbasket.net/news/the-full-list-of-espns-100-nbas-greatest-players-of-all-time-nbarank/19115/

www.si.com/nba/2016/02/08/50-greatest-nba-players-all-time#gid=ci02556958e0022580&pid=4--magic-johnson

 

 

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On 6/21/2022 at 7:10 PM, Mr. WEO said:

 

Dude;  the "Dead Ball Era" (dirty brown scuffed balls falling apart after being used for an entire game, which made it throw erratically, hard to see and hit) ended ion 1920 (prior to this, Ruth hit a max of 29 HR in a season), after a guy got killed by a pitch.

 

Thus began the Live Ball Era:

 

"Rather than change the construction of the balls, which remained consistent between the transition from the "dead-" to "live-ball eras",[1] rule changes were instituted around how the balls were treated. Starting in 1920, balls were replaced at the first sign of wear, resulting in a ball that was much brighter and easier for a hitter to see. Additionally, pitchers were no longer allowed to deface, scuff, or apply foreign substances to the ball.

 

The impact of the rule changes was felt almost immediately. In 1920, the game changed from typically low-scoring to high-scoring games, with a newfound reliance on the home run. That year, Babe Ruth set a record for slugging percentage and hit 54 home runs (smashing his old record of 29). Aiding in Ruth's success was the fact that he held the bat lower and swung with an uppercut, essentially trying to hit home runs. "

 

 

Soooo...... the very year the new ball rules (fresh and white!!), Babe Ruth gives from 29 to 54 HR!  

 

 

So it appears that these new baseballs only helped Babe Ruth...how did the baseball makers do that?  George Sisler was 2nd in the league with 19 homeruns.  

I noticed that you didn't bold the part where Babe Ruth also changed his swing...really wanted to focus on that the white ball.

 

Yes, it was illegal to do anything with a baseball but you also said a few replies up that "pitchers have always doctored balls."  But I guess they didn't/don't now?

 

I don't have a link to it because I was watching this special on TV several years ago about the use of baseballs.  It was either Peter Gammons, Kurjian or Onley...can't remember.  Basically, we use a significant amount more baseballs today.  Baseballs get an average of 2 pitches a game now.   

 

I've had several friends and teammates drafted.  A few have taken BP in MLB stadiums and said the ball just jumps off the bat.  My roommate, who took BP at the Reds stadium said he didn't feel much difference taking BP in college with an aluminum bat.  He hit as many out.

 

So I agree that you take 1920's Babe Ruth and put him in today's game...he would struggle mightily.  My argument is that if you give him today's resources and training, he could be dominant again.  You seem to be very against that notion.

You take any player in any sport from any sport from 100 years ago and put them as is today, they all struggle.

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2 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

 

So it appears that these new baseballs only helped Babe Ruth...how did the baseball makers do that?  George Sisler was 2nd in the league with 19 homeruns.  

I noticed that you didn't bold the part where Babe Ruth also changed his swing...really wanted to focus on that the white ball.

 

Yes, it was illegal to do anything with a baseball but you also said a few replies up that "pitchers have always doctored balls."  But I guess they didn't/don't now?

 

I don't have a link to it because I was watching this special on TV several years ago about the use of baseballs.  It was either Peter Gammons, Kurjian or Onley...can't remember.  Basically, we use a significant amount more baseballs today.  Baseballs get an average of 2 pitches a game now.   

 

I've had several friends and teammates drafted.  A few have taken BP in MLB stadiums and said the ball just jumps off the bat.  My roommate, who took BP at the Reds stadium said he didn't feel much difference taking BP in college with an aluminum bat.  He hit as many out.

 

So I agree that you take 1920's Babe Ruth and put him in today's game...he would struggle mightily.  My argument is that if you give him today's resources and training, he could be dominant again.  You seem to be very against that notion.

You take any player in any sport from any sport from 100 years ago and put them as is today, they all struggle.

 

1. You claimed Ruth put up huge HR numbers when they were playing, essentially, with wadded up used teabags wrapped in rubber bands dipped in cow dung.  The truth is his number became what they were only after the modern ball came into the game.

 

2. that pitchers have always doctored the ball is indisputable.  still do, or try to.  So what?

 

3. changed his swing?  that's not unique.  he changed it to just hit homers, which the modern ball now allowed as not before.

 

4. the number of ball used today is huge per game---a very large % of them are simply rejected by a pitcher without even facing a batter. https://theathletic.com/3325753/2022/05/26/guardians-tigers-baseballs-used/

 

5. I don't see how modern training would make Ruth a different athlete.  He seemed to have no inclination for it--in fact, famously abused his body with booze. 

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On 6/20/2022 at 5:24 PM, IronMaidenBills said:

I’m also too young to have seen them, but the talent around them was much weaker than todays game. The talent of today is just far superior. The training, the diets, the genetics. Some of these pro athletes are basically knowingly or unknowingly participating in selective genetics within their bloodlines. Back in the day, sports were much more casual but today it’s a fierce competition from birth to the end of your career. 

Agreed, same in every sport.  Hockey all you hear is Gretzky.

On 6/21/2022 at 12:10 PM, aristocrat said:

Mike Tyson. 

100%.  That dude was downright scary at 18.

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18 hours ago, Buffalo_Stampede said:

Didn’t read the whole thread but most dominant has to be Wilt Chamberlain. Averaged 50 ppg in 80 games one season.

I think we are limiting it to NFL players, though I'm not sure why a thought experiment like that has to have rules.

 

Of course Wilt was a freak and utterly dominant, but then again, his entire team's play was structured around Wilt doing ALL the scoring.  So his numbers are skewed in a sense.  Still incredibly dominant.

 

It would be interesting to see what $$$ he would make if young and in his prime today.

 

Guys like that from bygone eras must kick themselves when they think of the cash they missed out on.

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Mr. WEO said:

 

1. You claimed Ruth put up huge HR numbers when they were playing, essentially, with wadded up used teabags wrapped in rubber bands dipped in cow dung.  The truth is his number became what they were only after the modern ball came into the game.

 

2. that pitchers have always doctored the ball is indisputable.  still do, or try to.  So what?

 

3. changed his swing?  that's not unique.  he changed it to just hit homers, which the modern ball now allowed as not before.

 

4. the number of ball used today is huge per game---a very large % of them are simply rejected by a pitcher without even facing a batter. https://theathletic.com/3325753/2022/05/26/guardians-tigers-baseballs-used/

 

5. I don't see how modern training would make Ruth a different athlete.  He seemed to have no inclination for it--in fact, famously abused his body with booze. 

 

Talk about an exaggeration with your first point...but you generally do that.  Oh and he didn't become a full time position player until a year or two before the "modern baseball" came into play.  Hmmmm...is it impossible to think maybe he got better with more experience.  Nah.

 

You bolded the point of not being able to scuff the ball so with the new rules.  Like you were hinting that players back then had the same perfect balls as they have today.

 

Yeah, the pitcher didn't like the feel of the ball.  He didn't just throw it out like they do today...they just used it.

 

You're right Weo, players today don't abuse alcohol.  Only Babe Ruth.  Mickey Mantle was actually drinking lemonade all the time. 

 

LOL at your last point.  You think if he was alive today he would just reject all modern training or something?  Modern training helps everyone...except Babe Ruth.

Have you ever played a sport in your life?  

 

Oh wait...he definitely had no inclination with training.  

 

http://baseballstrength.org/babe-ruth/

 

Montville says that, although many people think the Babe was an out of shape slob, exercise and fitness played in integral role in his success on the diamond. According to Montville – In the spring of 1925, the Babe had his infamous “Bellyache Heard ‘Round the World” which was a mysterious ailment that hospitalized him at the beginning of the season. Some believe it was a combination of influenza, indigestion, and venereal disease. When he finally was able to return to the field he never really got going and he wound up having the worst season of his career batting just .290 with 25 home runs and 66 RBI. He was 30 years old and at an age when his drinking, eating, and hard living could have ended his career in a few short years. The Babe, however, made a bold decision that likely saved his career. He hired a personal trainer to work with him during the off season. He signed on with Artie McGovern, a charismatic former boxer who owned his own gym and trained other stars of the day like John Philip Sousa. Artie employed all kinds of methods with Ruth from running, boxing, handball, sprints, medicine ball throws, and jumping rope, all with the focus on strengthening the Babe’s core regions. All of the hard work paid off. Ruth was in the best shape of his career prior to the 1927 season and because of it he was able to set his long-standing record of 60 home runs. While working with Artie, he went on an extended run from 1926 to 1932 (from the ages of 31 to 37) that propelled his career numbers to stratospheric heights. During these seasons he averaged an incredible .353 with 49 home runs and 152 RBI at ages when most players were declining. The Babe still enjoyed drinking and overeating, but he dialed it back just enough during this time to keep playing at a high level. The Babe’s second wife, Claire Hodgson, who was a bit of a ball-buster also helped to reign in the Babe’s ravenous appetites. She brow-beat him into eating better and going to sleep earlier when he was at home, which also contributed to his success.

Edited by Royale with Cheese
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Since the thread question was who's the Babe Ruth of Football, consider:

 

Ruth played 22 seasons, Brady has played 20 & is about to play his 21st. In that time:

 

Ruth is 13th batting avg all time (Ty Cobb is 1st) https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/batting_avg_career.shtml

 

Ruth is 3rd in home runs. https://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/HR_career.shtml

 

Ruth is tied for 7th w/ 5 other players for most Championships (w/ 7). https://sportsweeksportslist.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/major-league-baeball-top-20-players-with-the-most-world-series-rings/

 

Brady is #1 in TDs in a career (53 more than #2 Brees & counting). http://www.espn.com/nfl/history/leaders/_/stat/tdpasses

 

Brady is #1 in yards in a career. http://www.espn.com/nfl/history/leaders/_/stat/passyards

 

Brady is 20th in completion percentage. https://www.footballdb.com/leaders/career-passing-completionpct

 

And Brady is #1 in most championships won (w/ 7). https://www.statmuse.com/nfl/ask/nfl-player-with-most-championships

 

As much as I hate it, kind of hard to argue it's not Brady.

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8 hours ago, Royale with Cheese said:

 

Talk about an exaggeration with your first point...but you generally do that.  Oh and he didn't become a full time position player until a year or two before the "modern baseball" came into play.  Hmmmm...is it impossible to think maybe he got better with more experience.  Nah.

 

You bolded the point of not being able to scuff the ball so with the new rules.  Like you were hinting that players back then had the same perfect balls as they have today.

 

Yeah, the pitcher didn't like the feel of the ball.  He didn't just throw it out like they do today...they just used it.

 

You're right Weo, players today don't abuse alcohol.  Only Babe Ruth.  Mickey Mantle was actually drinking lemonade all the time. 

 

LOL at your last point.  You think if he was alive today he would just reject all modern training or something?  Modern training helps everyone...except Babe Ruth.

Have you ever played a sport in your life?  

 

Oh wait...he definitely had no inclination with training.  

 

http://baseballstrength.org/babe-ruth/

 

Montville says that, although many people think the Babe was an out of shape slob, exercise and fitness played in integral role in his success on the diamond. According to Montville – In the spring of 1925, the Babe had his infamous “Bellyache Heard ‘Round the World” which was a mysterious ailment that hospitalized him at the beginning of the season. Some believe it was a combination of influenza, indigestion, and venereal disease. When he finally was able to return to the field he never really got going and he wound up having the worst season of his career batting just .290 with 25 home runs and 66 RBI. He was 30 years old and at an age when his drinking, eating, and hard living could have ended his career in a few short years. The Babe, however, made a bold decision that likely saved his career. He hired a personal trainer to work with him during the off season. He signed on with Artie McGovern, a charismatic former boxer who owned his own gym and trained other stars of the day like John Philip Sousa. Artie employed all kinds of methods with Ruth from running, boxing, handball, sprints, medicine ball throws, and jumping rope, all with the focus on strengthening the Babe’s core regions. All of the hard work paid off. Ruth was in the best shape of his career prior to the 1927 season and because of it he was able to set his long-standing record of 60 home runs. While working with Artie, he went on an extended run from 1926 to 1932 (from the ages of 31 to 37) that propelled his career numbers to stratospheric heights. During these seasons he averaged an incredible .353 with 49 home runs and 152 RBI at ages when most players were declining. The Babe still enjoyed drinking and overeating, but he dialed it back just enough during this time to keep playing at a high level. The Babe’s second wife, Claire Hodgson, who was a bit of a ball-buster also helped to reign in the Babe’s ravenous appetites. She brow-beat him into eating better and going to sleep earlier when he was at home, which also contributed to his success.

 

More experience?  Nah---clearly it was the modern baseball.

 

So the Babe had the best training of his time, yet he was still overweight, ate poorly and drank heavily, and, as your citation helpfully points out: many people still saw him as an out of shape slob.

 

Oh, yeah, he also had VD.

 

 

 

 

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Jerry Rice is far ahead of all other WRs total receiving yards wise, and he did it in the pre-modern era which favors passing attacks. From 1985 to 2004 Rice played and for the vast majority of that time ‘85-02 he was a top 30 WR. In a time when most WRs are done by age 33, Rice continued to churn out yards and 1,000 yard seasons until he was 40.

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