Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Waiting For The Weekend: Looking at the Numbers 0

Posted on October 15, 2009 by Dean Hybl
Jacksonville Jaguars v Seattle Seahawks

Edgerrin James is within 18 yards of moving into the top 10 in NFL rushing history.

This week we are looking at some statistics and looking at their worth in determining all time greatness.

Reaching the Edge
I saw an interesting note this week that Seattle Seahawks running back Edgerrin James is 18 yards away from passing Marcus Allen for 10th place on the NFL’s all-time rushing list. He is less than 100 yards away from passing Marshall Faulk and Jim Brown to move into eighth place on the all-time list.

Now, James is a very good player and will probably one day earn a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he is no Marcus Allen or Marshall Faulk and definitely not on the same level as Jim Brown.

His situation is just another example of how inaccurate statistics can be when used as a tool for measuring all-time greatness.

I still believe that statistics have value, but now see them as a way to compare players of the same era rather than for looking across generations.

When Jim Brown passed Jim Perry to become the NFL’s all-time rushing leader and then became the first player in NFL history to eclipse the 10,000-yard mark, there was little question that he had achieved something very special.

Today, the 10,000-yard club includes 24 players with Clinton Portis likely to become the 25th member later this season. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Hall of Famer Tony Oliva
      July 17, 2022 | 2:15 pm
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      After waiting for 45 years after his retirement, the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is finally taking his rightful place as a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.

      Before injuries cut short his Hall of Fame worthy career, Tony Oliva was one of the best hitters in baseball and combined with Hall of Famers Rod Carew and Harmen Killebrew to make the Minnesota Twins a perennial American League contender during the late 1960s.

      Discovered on the baseball fields of Cuba by a Minnesota Twin scout, Oliva came to the United States in 1961 and within three years the American League Rookie of the Year. There have been many great MLB players from Cuba, including a new generation of stars today, but it is hard to argue that there has been a better player from the island in MLB than Oliva.

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