What in the name of sweet baby Jesus is going on here?
Marcellus Wiley, co-host of Speak For Yourself on FS1, put out his top 10 all-time NFL players list, and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher. Having followed Wiley’s career, I understand the list containing six defensive players, but that doesn’t mean I agree. I’m not even mad at Barry and Deion Sanders being numbers one and two. But no Jerry Rice? How is this even possible? Tom Brady, Joe Montana, and other notable All-Time greats are absent from Mr. Wiley’s list.
I’m convinced Wiley is trolling the world with this top 10, as it should be mandatory to include Rice in any such list. If you’re making a top 10 list, just throw Rice on it and sort out the details later. I realize Wiley’s rankings are based on more than just statistics, and it is his list, after all. But Rice pushed so many of the most important receiving categories so far out of reach that even in today’s pass-happy era, most of his records seem near impossible to break.
Another glaring omission is Lawrence Taylor. With so many edge pass rushers being included, I’m shocked to see Wiley leave L.T. off this list. It could be because Taylor is not a good human being at all, but who knows?
And having only one quarterback on the list feels odd, but again, consider the source. I like the fact that Wiley’s list isn’t laced with QBs from top to bottom. Let’s be honest, these sorts of lists are usually filled with QBs, so Wiley taking a different approach is commendable.
But as great a player as Dan Marino was, to make him the only QB to crack the top 10 just feels wrong. Brady, Montana, or John Elway, anyone? The criteria here leave room for speculation, and I’m not sure if anyone besides Wiley can figure out those criteria at first, second, or even third glance. Marino is an all-time great, but by implication here, Wiley is calling Marino the best QB of all-time. Unless I’m reading it wrong, I can’t get in line with that notion.
Getting back to the top of the list: Sanders, again, is a fine choice for No. 1 — but having LaDainian Tomlinson as the second running back to appear reflects the friendship between Wiley and Tomlinson, with the pair having played together for the San Diego Chargers. It’s not an objective analysis. So I get why Tomlinson is on Wiley’s list, but again I disagree. With so many greats to choose from at the running back position, I understand why it’s tough to narrow it down to just a couple. But the absence of Jim Brown, Walter Payton, Marshall Faulk, Eric Dickerson, or Emmitt Smith, to name a few, just won’t cut it. I realize Brown retired to make movies almost a decade before Wiley was born, but this list indeed shows how Wiley takes care of his friends.
I know some people will take issue with Terrell Owens making this list ahead of Rice and Randy Moss. You know where I stand on Rice, but I have no problem with T.O. appearing over Moss. Say what you want about Owens and some of his antics — there were never questions about Owens giving his all on the field. By Moss’ own admission — he said it himself — “I play when I want to play.”
Of course, no player goes 100 percent all the time, but Moss has repeatedly been accused over the years of giving less than his best effort while playing for the Oakland Raiders. Much has been said about T.O. during his career (and after), but nobody ever accused him of not trying.
Wiley’s list is entertaining, but that’s about it. These are his thoughts and how he feels, but he’s wrong. I’m sure at some point he’ll explain himself and the thought behind his selections, but the only thing for Wiley to do now is head back to the drawing board and revise this list. It’s missing something called logic.