Thursday, January 24, 2008

Quickie: Broadway Eli?

Interesting post over at Your Face Is a Sports Blog (whose name makes me giggle), where they're drawing an interesting comparison between Eli Manning's development and the legendary Joe Namath. Perhaps the most interesting stat line is the following...

Look at their numbers through their first four seasons:

Namath: 55 G, 50.0 Pct., 12,753 YD, 78 TD, 87 INT
E. Manning: 57 G, 54.7 Pct., 11,385 YD, 77 TD, 64 INT

Now, I'm not sure this means Eli is going to become the kind of legend Namath was. For starters, you have to win at least one big dance before you can be in that echelon of quarterbacks (sad fact, for the Dan Marinos of the world, but true). Secondly, there may not be a more iconic cultural figure at QB than Namath. I don't think Eli has the charisma to create the kind of image that Broadway Joe (or Eli's own brother, for that matter) have established in sports culture. Breaking the comparison down to statistics ignores the fact that Namath's stats aren't the reason he's in the Hall of Fame; it's the fact that he redefined the way America thought of the term "quarterback" in a way that mainstream Americans, even those who don't watch football, still apply today. An interesting thought, nonetheless, and Eli certainly has time to do several embarrassing commercials/sideline acts before it's all said and done.

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