FanPost

NFC North Fan favorites QB's Part 2

  Well guys here is our top two of our fan favorites at the quarterback position. I do want to add that with our top 5 at the QB position we may have every single record that is held on our list. The only record I can think of that is not held by our top 5 is most SB wins and that is held by Terry Bradshaw who made the honorable mentions list in the last part of the write ups. So with no further ado here we go.

  With 84 votes collected we have our #2 quarterback, who is one of my all time favorites. I don't think this QB needs no real introduction, all I have to say is "The Catch" and I think even the young guys know I am talking about one Joe "Cool" Montana of the San Francisco 49'ers. Joseph Montana Jr. ( a reacquiring theme "Jr.") was born on June 11, 1956, in a town called New Eagle, Pennsylvania. He grew up like most children in Pennsylvania, in a coal mining town south of Pittsburgh. A direct descendent of Italian immigrants his family bounced around many times in his childhood. An interesting fact about his childhood is that his father lied about his age (then 8) and told the pee-wee league he was 9 so that he could play football, even though Basketball was his favorite sport as a child. In high school Cool Joe was a 3 sport star for his school and actually lead his school to a Class AAA basketball championship while being named an all-state player. While doing all that in one sport, he was also the starter for his Junior and Senior years on the football team at the QB position.His senior year in school he was named to the Parade's All American team. Unfortunately, he chose to go to Notre Dame for his collegiate years starting in the fall of 1974. In his sophomore year Joe was not good enough to start at the beginning of the season so he was put on the 2nd string.This lasted until a game against North Carolina, where the story of Cool Joe actually starts; With the Tar Heals leading 14-6, Montana spent all of 1:02 seconds of the game on the field and in that time, he amassed 129 passing yards and brought ND back to win the game 21-14. The very next game Joe was back on the bench and ND was down again to Air Force 30-10, when in steps "Joe Cool" and he proceeded to bring back the Fighting Irish to a 31-30 victory. The head coach told the athletic director at that time it was the greatest comeback he had ever seen. In those 2 games Joe Montana cemented his legacy as a clutch quarterback. His senior season Joe lead the Fighting Irish to a NCAA National Championship even though he started out the year as the 3rd string QB due to injuries he sustained his junior year. In 1979, the SF 49'ers drafted Joe Montana in the 3rd round and he ended up the 82nd pick overall. As a rookie he played in all 16 games but only threw 23 passes as Steve DeBerg's back-up. This become ironic as Joe "Cool" replaced him in both SF and KC later in his career. The 80's were dominated by the 49'ers and Bill Walsh's West Coast Offense. This perfectly suited Joe, as he never had the strong arm of say Dan Marino and he didn't have the feet to run wild like Steve Young would later in the decade.What Joe had was a calmness about him that to this day is untouched by all QB's who have played since. In 1982 we go to the game of games in Joe's history; a game against the hated Dallas Cowboys at Candlestick Park in the NFC Championship. With time running out and the game on the line, the 49'ers are on the Dallas 6 yard line. The play develops as thus:At the snap,Montana drops back and rolls to his right,pursued by a wildly charging Ed "Too Tall" Jones. As the 6'9" Jones leaps and fully extends his arms over his head,Montana, trapped against the sideline, falling backwards and throwing off his backfoot, someway,somehow, though the arms of the menacing monster Jones, manages to toss up an off-balanced throw to the back of the end zone. In a frozen moment, caught forever in time, Dwight Clark makes a leaping stab for the ball for the game winner, which will be forever known simply as "The Catch". Now, because of that play it allowed the 49'ers to play in the first ever SB to be held in Detroit, against the Bengals, where Joe had a pedestrian outing, ending the game 14 of 22 for 157 yards with one passing TD and 1 running TD to lead the 49'ers to their first Super Bowl victory. Even allowing for these ho-hum numbers, he was named Super Bowl MVP that year, an accomplishment he would land two more times in his tenure with the 49'ers. In 1983, a year all Lions fans will remember, in a divisional playoff game against our Detroit Lions, Joe Cool struck again. I remember the game like it was only yesterday. The Lions were torching the 9'ers in terms of yards and score, when Joe ripped off his jersey and a Superman S appeared on his chest once again. Down by 6 with 1:23 remaining in regulation, Joe Cool had the ball at the Lions 14 yards line and then threw a perfect pass to Freddie Solomon for the victory over our Billy Sims lead Detroit Lions.In 1993 he was traded to the Kansas City Chiefs, with another HOF player named Marcus Allen in tow. While he never won a SB with the Chiefs an interesting fact is here to read. Before he ever played a down in KC, they offered him 3 jerseys with different numbers on them. The first jersey had #3 on it:his old ND number. The second jersey, was #19 the same number he wore when he played little league.The 3rd jersey was #16, the retired number of former Chief great, QB Len Dawson, who kindly offered Joe his retired number, but being the class act that Joe was, he politely turned down Len because he thought he wasn't worthy of the number. When Joe finally retired he had the second best passer rating of all time and he was only surpassed by Steve Young who had replaced him in S.F. He holds many post season records such as most career TD's (45), games with a passer rating over 100.0 (12). He is second in passing yards 5,772 and in games of 300+ passing yards; he finished first but Kurt Warner has since tied him. Perhaps, in the finish, the biggest accomplishment of his playing days is that he is the only QB to win 3 Super Bowl MVP's. What more can I say about the man, no the myth that is Joe "Cool" Montana Jr.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      With that being said we move on to our top dog in our poll of all time fan favorites at the QB position. This man collected a smooth 91 votes and received more votes from more guys than any other QB on our Poll. Now this man is a current player who is possibly going to be the all time best QB in NFL history when he is done playing the game. Since he came into the league, this QB has done more without hiking the ball than most QB's do in an entire lifetime. I am referring to the one, the only Peyton Williams Manning (Hey no Jr.). The "Cerebral Assassin" was born March 24 1976, a product of the Bayou, meaning he was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. He was a standout from the word go. His high school accomplishments include 92,and 93 Class 2A MVP. In 1993 he was just all everything in Louisiana football, receiving the Gatorade Circle of Champions and High School player of the year Award, Atlanta TD club's Bobby Dodd Award, N.O. QB player of the year, and the Columbus Ohio TD Club Player of the Year Award. Needless to say, he was all that  before he ever stepped foot on the field for the Volunteers. Peyton never seemed to be able to get Tennessee to the top during his college days. He always put up good numbers for the Vol's but they just seemed to always get tripped up. As a senior, he won almost every Award imaginable except one, which we will explore in a minute. Like I said, he won numerous Awards his senior year and here they are in case you don't remember all of them: Consensus All American,Maxwell Award,Davie O'Brian, Johnny Unitas, and the Best College Player ESPY Award. There were two that in the end eluded him, the National Championship (Thank you Michigan) and the Heisman Trophy, won by a local guy who chomped on a rose after beating the Buckeyes that year. Yes Manning came in second to the last defender to win the Heisman and that is Charles Woodson. Now Peyton was drafted first overall by his current team the Indianapolis Colts in 1998, and in his rookie year he threw for 3,739 yards with 26 TD's. He set 5 different rookie records that year and has not looked back since.Where do I even start with Peyton? i suppose I could start with the 1999 season, yeah in his sophomore slump year he only passed for his first 4,000 yards season, going on to a 13-3 record, only to be bounced by the Titans in the Divisional Championship game. In 2001 the Peyton Manning lead Colt's introduced the signature no-huddle offense that they still use today. It was the same year that his coach Jim Mora uttered his most famous words ever "Playoff's? Don't talk to me about playoffs. Are you kidding me? Playoffs??"  Now in 2002 the Colts brought in a new coach who helped the Colts become the dominant team that they are today. Tony Dungy was brought in to replace Mora and the Colt's have not looked back since.Peyton has so many Awards I am not going to name them all but I will put down a few of them. 4 time MVP ('03,'04,'08,'09). 11 Pro Bowl selections, 5 first team All-Pro, 3 second team All-Pro's as well. Continuing, 6 AFC Offensive POY Awards,2005 Walter Peyton Man of the Year, 2005 Pro Bowl MVP, 2007 Super Bowl MVP. Peyton may hold every single Colts record possible by a quarterback, I can not sit here and type all of his accomplishments because you guys would probably fall asleep or lose interest about 1/3 of the way threw the list. All I'm going to say is if you come across a question about Colt's history at the QB position, Peyton Manning is going to be the answer to about 99% of the questions. If any Qb has a shot at breaking Brett Favre's iron man streak it is going to be Payton Manning. Since he won the starting job back in 1998 he has never missed a game and is currently at 208 straight games.Now i can't just talk about Peyton without mentioning his favorite weapon as a young Colt and that is Marvin Harrison; they together hold 5 major QB/WR tandem records. Most completions/receptions 953,passing yards 12,756, passing/receiving touchdowns 112, season records are passes/receptions 143 and passing/receiving yards 1,722. Now, it turns out there is more to Manning than just football. He is also one hell of a class act. Just after becoming a professional, he started the Peyback Foundation that helps kids with disadvantages in 3 states, Louisiana, Tennessee, and Indiana. He also did prodigious work in New Orleans, volunteering in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. He and his brother Eli assisted in delivering 30,000 pounds of water,Gatorade, baby formula, diapers, and pillows to the people of that region. Love him or hate him. Peyton is one classy guy who is funnier than heck when he does TV commercials or guest hosts on SNL. A little known historical fact Peyton's great great granddaddy, his namesake Colonel Peyton Manning, was General Robert E. Lees quartermaster for the Army of Northern Virginia during America's Civil War.                                                                                                                                                                                                           As a extra bonus to this weeks poll I am going to give you the top voter getter from the days of old. I don't know if I just have a soft spot for the Colt's or what, but the top vote getter from a different age of football is Johnny Unitas, who received 27 votes. Now I can't talk to you guys about how the guy was on the field because he played before I was even born but I can give you a little something something about the man who was "Mr.Colt" before Peyton came along. John Constantine Unitas was born May 7, 1933 and passed away Sept 11, 2002 (damn 9/11 again). He was affectionately known as "The Golden Arm" and he played in three different decades, holy crap, three decades. I guess there is at least one record that Peyton does not own as of yet. . . .Johnny U holds a record for throwing TD's in 47 consecutive games, which occurred from 1956-1960, and that record remains unsurpassed as of the end of last year. Now Unitas was drafted by the Steelers in the 9th round but without ever taking a snap at the QB position, even in practice, was cut by then coach Walt Kiesling because he thought Unitas was too dumb to ever play the position. To be fair to the Steelers, they did have 3 other QB's on the team that were established and one of them was named Ted Marchibroda. Because he couldn't catch on with any NFL team, he played on a semi-pro team called the Bloomfield Rams for $6 dollars a day on the weekends, while supporting his family in the construction business. I am not going to get into a ton of his legacy but I am going to talk about one particular season for a minute. In 1958 the Colts won the NFL Championship by defeating the Giants 23-17 in a sudden death overtime. It was the first overtime game in NFL history, and is considered as the "greatest game ever played". The game was nationally televised by NBC, and has been credited for sparking the rise of popularity during the 60's and is often cited as the first modern NFL game. Unitas was the first QB to throw for 40,000 yards, despite playing in an era where teams only played 12 or 14 games. He was also the first to throw for 30 touchdowns in a single season. His 47 game TD streak is a record that is considered by many to be the equivalent to Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak. After retiring from the game, he remained with the Colt's as a color commentary for the NFL on CBS in the 70's.When owner Robert Iysay betrayed all Colt fans by moving the Colt's to Indianapolis in the middle of the night, (I can still see the trucks rolling threw the snow) Unitas was so outraged that he immediately cut all ties with the organization. Even though his #19 is still retired by the Colt's, he begged the Football Hall of Fame to remove his display unless they listed it as belonging to the Baltimore Colt's. Unitas was one of the most vocal people in attempting to get another team to play in Baltimore and after the Ravens started football operations,Johnny Unitas was seen on their sidelines frequently. It says in his bio that every single time they showed Johnny on the Jumbo Tron the fans would give him a standing ovation.  What can you say about a man who loved the town that took him as their hero? When the NFL celebrated it's first 50 years, Unitas was voted teh best to ever play the game, by the players who played against him. Johnny U you will forever be known as the best QB by many till the day they die. Forever live #19 John Constantine Unitas, the original passing QB!

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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