The NFL Network Top 100 players list had some controversy surrounding it. But that's OK, I think that was kind of the point. It makes for good water cooler debate, good fodder for the blogs and message boards, and the mainstream media even picked up on the story and ran with umpteen lists of their own. Could the selection process be better? Of course, but to hand it over exclusively to the fans as suggested by nfl.com's Adam Rank would do nothing for me. It would be a glorified popularity contest.
Rank's epiphany that put this whole thing into perspective 'for us' (thanks Adam) was this;
The NFL fans voted for Peyton Hillis to be on the cover of "Madden NFL 12." The NFL players didn't even have him on the list.
That's his big reason for allowing the fans to vote? Because Hillis made the cover of Madden? Maybe Rank can't think a step ahead, but following his line of thinking could mean that Hillis would have been a highly ranked player in the Top 100. I think Hillis is a fine player, but he's not really a guy I would think of when starting a franchise. You get a rabid enough fan base and they can push anyone through. You may even get a vote for the worst type site devoted to hijacking the voting process. Fans can be fanatical.
He goes on to list 6 other reasons the players vote was faulty, and I agree with some. Donovan McNabb should have missed the list and Aaron Rodgers should have been top 10. But the following reason is a slap in the face to the game of football, and Adam Rank should be delegated to covering ice dancing on a regional sports network if he really thinks there should be no love for the men in the trenches.
5. Offensive linemen
Listening to NFL players rave about offensive linemen is akin to hanging with some hipster drinking Pabst Blue Ribbon tall boys and raving about The Hold Steady. We get it, you are plugged in. But honestly, any player who thinks that a guard is more valuable than Eli Manning -- who didn't make the list -- is fooling themselves (see, I've got some love for the Mannings).
Then to make Eli Manning the poster boy for 'woe is me so-called skill players', is a joke. I'm not an NFL player, but I'd take Logan Mankins over Eli Manning. Hell, I could name 10 other offensive lineman I'd take over Eli. I'm just not that impressed with his 80 career passer rating, or the 25 interceptions he threw last year (9 more than Jay Cutler by the way). I think Eli is a solid NFL QB, but his not being on the players Top 100 was justified.
The NFL Players Top 100 list had 13 offensive linemen on it, and of those 13 the fans didn't include 9 on their list. Logan Mankins is universally regarded as the best guard in the game today, yet the fans didn't even have him in their top 100. Ask any football coach and they'll tell you the game is won or lost in the trenches.
Offensive linemen aren't flashy, they don't do a little dance every time they do their job, and they only really get recognized when they make a mistake. But come on Adam, give the big fellas their due.