I love lists.
Best of, worst of—I love them all. I have an enquiring mind and I devour them whenever I get a chance.
From the more popular lists—Best-looking actress? Angelina Jolie. Best movie of all-time? Boondock Saints. Best city in the world? Thessaloniki—to even those that aren’t as trendy—Best soap? Irish Spring. Best soap opera? General Hospital. Best opera? La Boheme (heard it’s great). Best piece of furniture? Futon.
So when I had the chance to travel with the Muskie football team to Winnipeg last Friday for their quarter-final showdown with the Churchill Bulldogs (on my day off, no less), I couldn’t resist the urge to get their opinions on a debate that has baffled the average sports fan for decades.
Who is the best football player ever?
Only seven words placed in question form, but I remember a numerous amount of times with my friends back in Edmonton, where a seemingly innocent debate turned into an all-out “Royal Rumble.”
“What do you mean you don’t think Joe Montana is the best?” I shouted to my friend as I grasped him in a head lock that would have made the Macho Man, Randy Savage, queasy.
“Heck, I could’ve thrown to those receivers,” Jeff Santos responded.
“What?! Say his name? Say who the best is?” I countered.
“Joe, Joe, Joe Montanya!!” laughed Santos.
“That’s it!,” I said as I went O.J. Simpson on him, my grip getting tighter and tighter—and his face getting bluer and bluer.
So I printed out around 40 sheets (only seven blanks were handed back) asking who the team thought the best football player of all time was and why, and gave them six lines to use for their answer.
I have attached their names along with their grade (when they gave it), and none of the responses have been edited in any shape or form.
•Kyle Perrot (Grade 9)—Jerry Rice/He fumbled a pass and caught it with his foot.
•George Ossachuk ( Grade 10)—Peyton Manning/Because he has a great arm, and has great knowledge for the game.
•Greg Allan (defensive backs coach)—Walter Payton/Da Bears.
•D.J. Howells (Grade 11)—Warren Sapp/He can play both sides of the ball even in the NFL.
•Joe Bodnar (Grade 9)—Jeremy Shockey/Because he is a good player. Does his job and is serious about winning.
•Matt Badiuk (Grade 10)—Randy Moss/The guy has crazy vertical that is un-human and he plays for THE VIKINGS.
•T. Geense (lineman coach)—Dick Butkus/Mean, tough, hated the opposition, intense, understood the game, and sacrificed himself for the game.
•Garrett Howells (Grade 9)—Jeremy Shockey/Because he just rushes the ball and never gives up and leaves his team hanging.
•Casey Grant (Grade 9)—Doug Flutie/Because he was an awesome player. He played his heart out on whatever team he was playing for.
•Steven “The Killer” Boileau (Grade 10)—Jake Plummer/Because he’s good.
•Shane Beckett (offensive co-ordinator)—Tony Dorsett/The man had moves, power, and class!
•Thomas Edwards—Brett Favre/One of the best QBs there ever was.
•Robbie Brandrick (Grade 9)—Randy Moss/Best wide reciver ever.
•Tim Desjardins (Grade 9)—Bret Farb/Hes a team player.
•D.J. Hunsperger (Grade 9)—No opinion.
•Malcolm Daley (Grade 10)—Shane Beckett/Because 10 years after he stopped playing, he can still beat the crap out of all of us.
•Joel Herbert (Grade 11)—Brett Farv/He is one of the older quarterbacks. He has thrown a ball for 89 yards.
•Jesse Bowes—Deon Sanders/Enough said.
•Terry Carmody—John Elway, Farve, Lewis because I’ve actually heard of them.
•David Moen (Grade 9)—Priest Holmes/He doesn’t have a big mouth, and he’s awesome.
•Tyler Brusven (Grade 9)—Edwards/He can really run and it is really hard to take him down.
•Mutz—Ray Lewis/Crazy aggressive, tough. Plays game the way it was meant to be played.
•Robbie Gavel (Grade 10)—Shane Becket/He is an awesome player.
•Chris Mutz (Grade 9)—Doug Flutie/Because every time I watch him play I can’t take my eyes off the T.V. He’s just an incredible player to watch. Whether it’s his execution, his positioning, anything. He just knows the game of football.
•Darcy Schell (Grade 11)—Zach Thomas/He has an amazing amount of ability to make a play.
•Craig McTavish—Bo Jackson/Because he had extrodnary speed was able to burn past people plus he played baseball to. But his career was cut short.
•Bryan Gustafson (Grade 11)—Randy Moss/He’s a freak of nature that’s double-teamed every game and still burns the DB’S! He’s unstoppable!
•Ben Klyne (Grade 9)—Priest Holmes/Because he is the best running back around and I love his attitude.
•Allen Hunsberger—Mike Alstot/Because John Madden says “I love how this big guy can run with the ball” and Madden knows his football.
•Jake Esselink (Grade 12)—Brett Farve/Green bay.
•Alex Wepruk (Grade 11)—Dion Sanders/Because he was able to cut it up and break tackles like no one else. He also almost always could find a whole if there wasn’t one.
•Peter Klyne (Grade 11)—Allan “Gus” Hunsberger/Because he has a killer longsnap.
•Mike Sande (Grade 9)—Mike Pringle/Because dedicated to the game and always wants to do good for the team.
I love lists.