Mikey, Mikey, Mikey…
NBC Sports cousin Mike Florio over at his ProFootballTalk.com has unveiled a couple more Mt. Rushmore-ish “Faces of the Franchise” in what is a thoroughly enjoyable and enlightening endeavor.
“Enlightening” because what Mike’s doing, besides ID’ing the four top figures in the history of each franchise, is occasioning folks to take a look at some of the true greats in the sport. They’re too often just names sloughed off as belonging to another era, but to look at some of these individuals is to understand whose shoulders today’s game is standing on.
But Mike put out his all-time Minnesota Vikings, and he means well. It needs work.
Fran Tarkenton. Absolutely.
Alan Page. The best single player on one of the great defensive lines in NFL history.
Adrian Peterson. Probably. Best running back of his era and certainly the face of the franchise right now. You could argue for Chuck Foreman but he had the misfortune of being on a team that had all sorts of greats, whereas Peterson has earned the distinction of being referred to as “AP” and having the entire football world know who that is.
But Cris Carter? Repeating: Mikey, Mikey, Mikey. Carter wasn’t even the face of most of his teams; that would be Randy Moss.
John Randle is a gimme over Carter. Like Page, the best of an elite group of defensive players. Besides, the Minnesota Mt. Rushmore needs to have bizarre face-painting.
But even above Randle: No Bud Grant?
The coach who got four teams to Super Bowls (so they lost them all, but so did Marv Levy, so no shame there). The coach who got to a Super Bowl with Joe Kapp as his quarterback. The eighth-most-successful coach in NFL history.
Maybe Mike was assuming Grant would have his own private mountain. Maybe.
But Cris Carter?