An Honest
Day’s Word

By Joe Edwards

Wednesday, September 15, 1999

How could ESPN
leave Elway off list?

HIS and that to chew on over lunch:

I like ESPN's "SportsCentury" list of the greatest North American athletes of the past 100 years. Lists like that are great for conversation.

The network released their top 20 athletes yesterday. I have no quibble with any of them. But the release of the top 20 also brought back the release of the top 100, which had one omission that I hadn't noticed the first time it came out.

No John Elway?

They're kidding, right?

I went through the list again. He wasn't there.

Joe Namath is in there (No. 88) and he couldn't hold John Elway's sweat bands.

Dan Marino is No. 75. He's certainly a great quarterback, holds all those records and all. But he's an even bigger whiner. Watch him some time. Everyone on the team is to blame for screw-ups except himself. Bitch, bitch, bitch.

Bo Jackson, Deion Sanders and George Blanda all made the top 100.

Joe Montana is No. 25 for heaven's sake.

Elway was a better quarterback than Montana (blasphemy, I realize, in this town). Golden Boy Joe was great but if you took Montana off the Niners, they still go to Super Bowls and win -- especially the year they kicked the daylights out of Elway's one-dimensional Broncos.

But take Elway off those Broncos teams and they don't even sniff the Super Bowl. Ever.

Monday's game against the Dolphins was perfect evidence of that.

Elway was the best, most clutch quarterback in the NFL for the better part of his 16 seasons in the league. Clearly, ESPN screwed this one up.

I wonder if Dan Marino could maybe call them up and chew 'em out a little.


This whole Elway thing reminds me of a New Year's Eve party a few years back, right after Sports Illustrated did its all-time NFL team.

I'm at a friend's house and another guest plops down a couple issues of SI, one of which has the all-time team on its cover.

I'm looking through their picks and notice that Alan Page isn't in there, so I go on a small rant about how obviously the magazine is off-base.

They have Merlin Olsen in there and not Alan Page?

Don't they realize that Page was the first defensive player ever to win the league's Most Valuable Player award (1971)? Years before Lawrence, the Snowman, Taylor did it.

And let's not even mention -- OK, let's do it -- that Page is a respected member of the Minnesota Supreme Court. What's Lawrence Taylor been up to, besides hustling for doses of crack here and there, I went on.

Why, those buffoons at Sports Illustrated really messed this one up.

The guy who dropped the magazines on the coffee table was unassuming and, rightfully, not paying much attention. He went on, talking with the other guests there that night. And, I'm sure neither he nor I thought much more of it.

About 15 minutes later, the host of the party introduces me to the guy.

"Yeah, Joe, this is my neighbor, Kenny Moore.

"He's a writer for Sports Illustrated."

I'm pleased to meet him, naturally, and I just can't wait to get back to that issue of SI to see whose byline is on the all-time NFL team story.

By Kenny Moore.


As I said, those lists are just great for conversation.

Joe Edwards is sports editor of the Star-Bulletin.

E-mail to Sports Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
[Stylebook] [Feedback]

© 1999 Honolulu Star-Bulletin