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NFL Films' Top 100 Greatest Players


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#1 JWL

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:55 AM

The series starts tonight at 10:00 in the east. I hope all the offensive and defensive positions are fairly represented. Thirty quarterbacks and five tackles would not be cool.

100. Joe Namath
99. Michael Strahan
98. Lee Roy Selmon
97. Derrick Brooks
96. Mel Hein
95. Larry Allen
94. Lenny Moore
93. Sam Huff
92. Michael Irvin
91. Fran Tarkenton

#2 Reaser

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:51 PM

The series starts tonight at 10:00 in the east. I hope all the offensive and defensive positions are fairly represented. Thirty quarterbacks and five tackles would not be cool.


The preview said tonight they will show players 100 down to 91. So 10 players each episode it appears.

I was told the voting panel was legit. There was a few media that I figure will make the lazy choice (all QBs and no OL) but I 'trust' the majority so we should get a good list of the top 100 players.

Still assume I'll get annoyed by the celebrities who are 'introducing' the players, but we'll find out tonight how the show goes.
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#3 BD Sullivan

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 12:54 PM

The preview said tonight they will show players 100 down to 91. So 10 players each episode it appears.

I was told the voting panel was legit. There was a few media that I figure will make the lazy choice (all QBs and no OL) but I 'trust' the majority so we should get a good list of the top 100 players.

Still assume I'll get annoyed by the celebrities who are 'introducing' the players, but we'll find out tonight how the show goes.


USA Today noted that Namath starts things off at #100.

#4 SixtiesFan

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:03 PM

The USA Today writer thought No. 100 was too low for Namath.

#5 Ken Crippen

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:12 PM

I was told the voting panel was legit. There was a few media that I figure will make the lazy choice (all QBs and no OL) but I 'trust' the majority so we should get a good list of the top 100 players.


I know of two respected members of this forum that were on the panel. It is up to them if they want to mention their name. I know that they would have the proper mix on their list.

#6 JWL

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:38 PM

Still assume I'll get annoyed by the celebrities who are 'introducing' the players, but we'll find out tonight how the show goes.

If the celebrities were not involved in the voting, but are only part of this series to talk about the players, then that would be okay with me.

#7 Reaser

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 01:47 PM

If the celebrities were not involved in the voting, but are only part of this series to talk about the players, then that would be okay with me.


They were not involved in the voting. The list of voters I was told was very good, really only one name 'shocked' me (as he didn't really fit in with the other 'experts') and then some of the media I would expect to be part of the voting were, some good and some I rarely agree with, but I'm sure they took the voting process serious.

I think we'll get a pretty good list, the entire thing is a discussion starter anyways but it'll be cool to see stories and highlights of the "100 greatest players," can never go wrong with that. Though celebrities talking while we could be hearing from someone who coached/played with/against the player or seeing more highlights, etc...seems like a waste of time when there is an hour (including commercials) to talk about 10 players. I understand why they have the celebrities though.
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#8 26554

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 08:10 PM

The USA Today writer thought No. 100 was too low for Namath.


I don't think he's as overrated as many seem to feel he is, but I'd be hard pressed to put Namath in my top 200, let alone the top 100.

#9 SeanLahman

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:22 PM

I know of two respected members of this forum that were on the panel. It is up to them if they want to mention their name. I know that they would have the proper mix on their list.

I was on the panel. I'll talk about the selection process if people are interested, but I think the key point I'd try to convey is that it's very very hard to pick 100 guys. You start with the realization that more than half of the HOFers will be left out, and that you have to make an in-or-out call between Earl Campbell and Marcus Allen, or Kellen Winslow and Mike Ditka. Guys of that caliber are being passed over.

When I wrote my book, I had a very specific set of criteria -- I rated players based on what they actually did on the field. For the purposes of this series, I think you have to weigh the impact that a guy had on the game. For better or worse, Namath had a huge cultural impact, and that transcends his on the field performance. Is that enough to put him at #100? Open for debate, of course.

I haven't seen it yet, so I can't comment on the show itself.

#10 Reaser

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Posted 03 September 2010 - 11:51 PM

I was on the panel. I'll talk about the selection process if people are interested, but I think the key point I'd try to convey is that it's very very hard to pick 100 guys. You start with the realization that more than half of the HOFers will be left out, and that you have to make an in-or-out call between Earl Campbell and Marcus Allen, or Kellen Winslow and Mike Ditka. Guys of that caliber are being passed over.

When I wrote my book, I had a very specific set of criteria -- I rated players based on what they actually did on the field. For the purposes of this series, I think you have to weigh the impact that a guy had on the game. For better or worse, Namath had a huge cultural impact, and that transcends his on the field performance. Is that enough to put him at #100? Open for debate, of course.

I haven't seen it yet, so I can't comment on the show itself.


Rating players for what they did on the field is the best way in my opinion (like your book) but "great player" means different things to different people so I can understand how 'impact on the game' could be weighted in rating a player, even if I don't agree.

As for the show itself, it's NFL Films so of course it's first class in presentation. I was surprised at some of the players rankings though.

The presenters on most of the players were more what I was hoping for, so that was good. I guess you shouldn't judge on the previews or what you read until you actually see it yourself, though facetime for Spike Lee and hearing about his childhood and what he thinks of LeBron James does little for me, especially when you only have a 4 to 5 minute window to show highlights and tell the story of Namaths career. I did however enjoy listening to most of the other 'presenters' so all in all, I think the show is good, even if I don't agree with some of the player choices. Which is to be expected, no one is going to agree on the top 100 players, I'm just glad they put together a good panel of voters so we are getting a good consensus of who are thought to be the top 100 players.
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#11 james

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 10:12 AM

I was surprised at Namath being 100. I thought he would do better than that. What I was surprised at was Mel Hein being 96.I would have had him in the Top 20 perhaps. One of the All-TIme great Centers to play the game. That was my only gripe. I did love the game film they had on Mel Hein. I don't think I've ever seen it before. I'm just hoping my man Leo Nomellini made the Top 100 List.
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#12 BD Sullivan

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 10:27 AM

Given the fact that Strahan, Huff and Namath were among those near the end of the list, it begs the question: Would any of these players have made the list had they not played in New York? Strahan keeps his name out there with his role on the Fox pregame, as well as his commercial appearances, while Namath had only a handful of outstanding performances after Super Bowl III, his fourth season. Huff was immortalized in the 1960 CBS special, but it still took about eight years before he was considered good enough for the Hall of Fame.

#13 Jeffrey Miller

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:18 AM

Michael Irvin ... top 100? Really?!

#14 james

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 11:26 AM

Michael Irvin ... top 100? Really?!


If I'm understnading you right, Michael Irvin should not be in the Top 100. He is way overrated in my opinion.

Edited by james, 04 September 2010 - 11:27 AM.

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#15 Jeffrey Miller

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 05:06 PM

If I'm understnading you right, Michael Irvin should not be in the Top 100. He is way overrated in my opinion.


I don't know about WAY overrated, but not in the Top 100 in my opinion. I suppose that the producers were hoping to spark debate over the selections, so his inclusion is that spark for me. I can think of several WRs who I would rate higher, and since there must be a limited number of WRs on the list, it just seems (to me) that he is rated too high here.

#16 james

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 05:18 PM

I don't know about WAY overrated, but not in the Top 100 in my opinion. I suppose that the producers were hoping to spark debate over the selections, so his inclusion is that spark for me. I can think of several WRs who I would rate higher, and since there must be a limited number of WRs on the list, it just seems (to me) that he is rated too high here.

He was rated way too high in my opinion. I think Art Monk rates higher than Irvin in my book.
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#17 Reaser

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 05:53 PM

I don't know about WAY overrated, but not in the Top 100 in my opinion. I suppose that the producers were hoping to spark debate over the selections, so his inclusion is that spark for me. I can think of several WRs who I would rate higher, and since there must be a limited number of WRs on the list, it just seems (to me) that he is rated too high here.


I'de figure that 10 WR's would be near the maximum for the list.

I don't know a lot of people who would put Irvin in their top 10 WR's, we even recently had a thread here on that very topic and I believe his name was only listed by one person as an 'honorable mention' outside of his top 10.

Makes it hard to figure how he got into the top 100, was one of my favorite players but if you're being honest about it, I don't see how he is the 92nd best player of all-time.

Strahan was the other player I was questioning...
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#18 GreenRider668907

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Posted 04 September 2010 - 07:38 PM

The USA Today writer thought No. 100 was too low for Namath.


I have to wonder if that particular writer ever actually saw Namath play. Namath was # 96 in The Sporting News All-Time Greatest Players list in 1999, so it's hardly a stretch that he made the NFL Films' list as well. It will be interesting to compare this 2010 NFL Films Top 100 to The Sporting News Top 100 from 1999. Here's the TSN Top 100 for those interested:

1. Jim Brown
2. Jerry Rice
3. Joe Montana
4. Lawrence Taylor
5. Johnny Unitas
6. Don Hutson
7. Otto Graham
8. Walter Payton
9. Dick Butkus
10. Bob Lilly
11. Sammy Baugh
12. Barry Sanders
13. Deacon Jones
14. Joe Greene
15. Gino Marchetti
16. John Elway
17. Anthony Munoz
18. Ray Nitschke
19. Night Train Lane
20. John Hannah
21. Gale Sayers
22. Reggie White
23. Ronnie Lott
24. Jim Parker
25. Merlin Olsen
26. O.J. Simpson
27. Dan Marino
28. Forrest Gregg
29. Roger Staubach
30. Jack Lambert
31. Lance Alworth
32. Marion Motley
33. Earl Campbell
34. Alan Page
35. Bronko Nagurski
36. Mel Blount
37. Deion Sanders
38. Eric Dickerson
39. Sid Luckman
40. Raymond Berry
41. Bart Starr
42. Willie Lanier
43. Larry Wilson
44. Terry Bradshaw
45. Herb Adderley
46. Steve Largent
47. Jack Ham
48. John Mackey
49. Bill George
50. Willie Brown
51. Randy White
52. Bobby Layne
53. Tony Dorsett
54. Chuck Bednarik
55. Art Shell
56. Mike Singletary
57. Roosevelt Brown
58. Bruce Smith
59. Fran Tarkenton
60. Paul Warfield
61. Ken Houston
62. Gene Upshaw
63. Steve Young
64. Ted Hendricks
65. Joe Schmidt
66. Bobby Bell
67. Buck Buchanan
68. Emmitt Smith
69. Willie Davis
70. Emlen Tunnell
71. Lenny Moore
72. Marcus Allen
73. Kellen Winslow
74. Mel Hein
75. Mike Webster
76. Sam Huff
77. Steve Van Buren
78. Jim Otto
79. Larry Little
80. Red Grange
81. Darrell Green
82. Brett Favre
83. Franco Harris
84. Dwight Stephenson
85. Charley Taylor
86. Jack Christiansen
87. Rod Woodson
88. Jim Thorpe
89. Elroy Hirsch
90. Mike Ditka
91. Art Monk
92. Dan Fouts
93. Mike Haynes
94. Fred Biletnikoff
95. Troy Aikman
96. Joe Namath
97. Lem Barney
98. George Blanda
99. Lou Groza
100. Charlie Joiner

#19 andyhdz

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Posted 07 September 2010 - 11:18 AM

I liked the Larry Allen piece. Whenever an O lineman gets his due they usually show him blocking a couple of people and to be honest the footage looks like any other lineman doing his job. But the Allen footage was pretty amazing to see the way he handled some of those players. It probably doesn't hurt to have John Randle gushing over him either.

#20 JWL

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Posted 08 September 2010 - 12:46 AM

I liked the Larry Allen piece. Whenever an O lineman gets his due they usually show him blocking a couple of people and to be honest the footage looks like any other lineman doing his job. But the Allen footage was pretty amazing to see the way he handled some of those players. It probably doesn't hurt to have John Randle gushing over him either.



Yeah, that one was good. I think the other Allen piece was the best of the 10 thus far.

The first two jerseys I owned were Walter Payton and Marcus Allen ones. Even though I was (still am) a Jets fan, Allen may have been my favorite player for a few years there in the mid-'80s. In 1985, I was eight years old. I think the Dolphins were the only team I hated. By the late '80s I started to develop a dislike for many teams and one of those teams was the Raiders. For that reason, I stopped being an Allen fan. Then he had to take a backseat to Bo Jackson and then he had problems with Al Davis. Allen went to the Chiefs in 1993. Because I like that team I began to like Allen again.

In recent years I had sort of forgotten how great he was and didn't trust my own memory. I'd look at his stats and see that he ran for 1759 yards in 1985 and never again ran for as many as 900 yards in any season. Then I'd think he had to be one of the weakest members of the Hall of Fame. Well, thanks to Matt Millen's presentation of Allen on this show, I was reminded what made Allen so great.