Monday, June 16, 2008


A couple Viking links
Judd Zulgad writes that "Peterson has worked on his pass catching and blocking this offseason and the feeling is this should make him more prepared to play in a variety of situations in his second season" (Access Vikings).

Pro-football-reference brings some serious analysis to John David Booty.

Another Link
Bucky Brooks wonders why nobody is signing Daunte Culpepper or Byron Leftwich (Sports Illustrated).

And an argument
O.K., Cold, Hard Football Facts: I get why the Packers would be ranked #1 all-time, and the Giants and Bears would be in the top four. But it also highlights why such a ranking is difficult--these teams are getting the benefit of longevity. They won a lot of titles back when it was a small league (and thus statistically easier to win championships--consider differences of odds like 1/10 v. 1/30, or even 1/14 v. 1/26), titles won before about two thirds of today's teams even existed (and thus they don't really have a chance to compete).

Though I respect old school history, I'd still make an argument for the Cowboys as the #1 franchise of all-time. Here it goes. The Packers have 12 championships in 87 years. Three of those championships came before there were even championship games. Nine of those championships came when the NFL had 9-14 teams. They won in a smaller league, when an individual team had a much better chance to win a title.

The Cowboys have won 5 championships in 48 years of existence. They won their championships in a league with 26-30 teams, meaning it was much more difficult to win championships during this era. They've been to eight Super Bowls, and among all franchises, only the Bears (.580) and Dolphins (.580) have a better winning percentage than the Cowboys (.578), and the Cowboys have a better percentage than the Packers (.558).

Certainly the Packers have an elite all-time franchise, and one can choose to reward the Packers for what they've done in their 87 years. I believe, however, that what the Cowboys have done in their 48 seasons is more impressive than what the Packers have done in their 87 seasons.


  1. Anonymous11:07 PM

    Here's another story to add to the blizzard. It's on Minnesota's OTHER professional football team...

  2. Anonymous8:53 AM

    PV: you point out the cowboys won 5 titles in 48 years and the packers 12 in 87. you don't mention it, but that's a higher percentage for the packers. generally, over a shorter period of time you'd expect a percentage to be higher, so it's that much more impressive that packers have a higher percentage of titles won. i won't speculate on alternate histories, i don't know if the size of the leagues made any difference in the way anything happened. maybe? i only know the packers win titles more often than the cowboys.

    the packers basically invented training camp and pass routes. the cowboys innovated... near naked cheerleaders? athlete drug scandals?

    i admit: partly now its all image and hype, certainly, and the image of the two teams are almost exact contrasts. there's brett favre on his beaver farm with his loving family, and tony romo doing body shots in aruba with jessica simpson.


  3. Anonymous9:41 AM

    If the Packers have been around for 87 years and the Cowboys have been around for 48 years, then isn't the margin of error for things like championships and winning percentage larger?

    That could throw a wrench in. Just sayin'. Interesting discussion.

  4. Of course size of league makes a difference. You have a better chance of winning a championship if there are 14 teams than if there are 26 teams. 12/87 is a higher rate than 5/48, but most of those Packer titles came during a period when they had a much higher chance of winning championships. If there are 10 teams, you have a 1 in 10 chance at a title; if there are 30 teams, you have a 1 in 30 chance at a title.

    Packer fans get to somehow enjoy a duel identity. You get to say "We're the best because we have the most championships." But if I say you're like the Yankees, you'll say "We're the small town underdogs."

    By the way, the Cowboys have been involved in a lot of football innovations in their years.

  5. Here's another way of looking at it. The Packers won nine of their championships in a league with 14 or fewer teams. The Cowboys won eight conference championships in a conference of 13 or more teams (you could argue that's still not impressive because half the talent would be in the other conference, but the Packers won championships in '61, '62, and '65 when half the talent was in the AFL).

    Putting it together, I'm rather impressed with a team that won eight conference championships and five Super Bowls, all in leagues with 26 or more teams.

    I'm not saying the argument for the Packers as the #1 all-time franchise isn't strong. I'm just saying that given the impressive success of the Cowboys in a 48 year run, they have a solid argument, too. I'm matching the Cowboys' accomplishments in 48 seasons against the Packers' accomplishments in 87 seasons, and given the historical context, I find the Cowboys' success at least as impressive as the Packers' success.

    Additional note: the Cowboys have won 32 playoff games, the Packers 25 (via pro-football-reference). Obviously there's context there (far fewer playoff games back in the day), but it's not like the Packers weren't playing at all during the time period when the Cowboys won 32 playoff games.