Hall of Fame
There have been many incredible athletes who have played in the NFL in the time it’s been around. Fans will argue about strengths and weaknesses; the Thanksgiving Day game is a tradition that many Americans would throw you out of their home for disrupting, and the Stanley Cup is one of the most coveted trophies in existence. While baseball is the official “America pastime,” football must surely be nipping at its heels. Players are famous for their skills and athletic ability, but some just have that je ne sais quoi that others don’t, and their fans love them for it. Join us as we take a look at the top five most famous NFL players of all time. Who knows, maybe you’ll see your favorite on the list!
5. Joe Montana
Playing years: 1979-1994
Has played for: The San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Accolades received: Hall of Fame, four-time Superbowl champion, three-time Superbowl Most Valued Player, three-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Second-Team All-Pro, eight-time Pro Bowl.
Joe Montana was the original cool cat. He just oozed that over-the-top quarterback energy and was even nicknamed Joe Cool for his attitude. Best known for his time with the San Francisco 49ers, Joe Montana was the greatest quarterback in existence for a very long time. Everything about him was tailor-made to be in the spotlight; his good looks, his name, his playing abilities. He has been called the prototype for all good quarterbacks more than once and is still the inspiration for many a young man who hopes to make it to the big leagues.
4. Jim Brown
Position: Running back.
Playing years: 1957-1965
Has played for: The Cleveland Browns
Accolades received: Hall of fame, Superbowl Champion, three-time Most Valued Player, eight times First-Team All Pro, Second-Team All-Pro, nine-time Pro Bowl, RoY.
Jim Brown was the original greatest of all time. He is, without question, one of the greatest football players ever to walk onto a field anywhere. He has been called a craftsman rather than a player. For all of his nine seasons with the Cleveland Browns, he did the job of running back better than anyone before him. He was more than just a running back: he grabbed hard passes, returned, and even threw three touchdown passes over the course of his career. When he retired at the ripe old age of thirty, the world of football lost one of its brightest stars.
3. Lawrence Taylor
Playing Years: 1981-1993
Has played for: The New York Giants
Accolades Received: Hall of Fame, two-time Super Bowl Champion, Most Valued Player, eight-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Second-Team ALl Pro, three-time DPoY, DRoY.
Lawrence Taylor was one of the first two defensive players ever to receive their MVP honors, and he remains the only one to do so unanimously. He is regarded by many as the most excellent defender in football history. Any football fan knows that defense wins championships, so there’s no way we could have Taylor at any lower than number three on our list. His twelve-year career as one of the hardest hitters in football is backed up by all the accolades to his name. The game would not be the same without him.
2. Jerry Rice
Position: Wide Receiver
Playing Years: 1985-2004
Has played for: The San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, and the Seattle Seahawks.
Accolades Received: Hall of Fame, three-time Super Bowl Champion, Super Bowl Most Valued Player, ten-time First-Team All-Pro, Second-Team All-Pro, two-time OPoY, thirteen-time Pro Bowl, all-time touchdown leader.
Usually, on lists of this sort, it’s rare to find a wide receiver. Until recently, these lists were always dominated by the quarterbacks and running backs. Jerry Rice was the man who changed the game for pass catchers. He is unique because of the longevity of his career and the level of excellence that he kept up right until the end of it. Until the next and final player on the list made his debut, Jerry was number one. There can be no higher praise than that.
1. Tom Brady
Playing years: 2000- present
Has played for: The New England Patriots and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Accolades Received: seven-time Super Bowl Champion, five-time Super Bowl Most Valued Player, three-time Most Valued Player, three-time First-Team All-Pro, two-time Second-Team All-Pro, two-time OPoY, fourteen-time Pro Bowl.
Yup, you guessed it; Tom Brady is our number one. There are not enough words in the English language to say what Tom Brady is to football. He has long since silenced all critics (pretty much since his first Super Bowl) and will go down in history as one of the best and most famous football players of all time.
The talent on this list speaks for itself. We hope that the future of football is as bright with rising stars as the past has been!