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12-28-2012, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Big Phil View Post
I agree. Not to get into a Football argument here but when you play 16 games a year at QB your main objective is winning all the time. Montana did that and was "Joe Cool" for a reason. Marino had too many moments where he played poor in a big game. We've seen this with Favre and to an extent Manning as well which is enough to hesitate me to put Manning of now.

Other sports are similar to this. How does Jordan look without his rings? He looks like Karl Malone, probably, considering Basketball puts a lot of emphasis on their star players carrying the load.

Or Baseball? Why does Joe Dimaggio usually get ranked above Ted Williams? Well, other than being a better all around player it is because Dimaggio won 9 World Series and played in 10. Williams never won and played in just one where he did lousy. The Yankees also won their pennants at the expense of the Red Sox too (1949) which helps. Babe Ruth won 7 World Series (three as a pitcher) and Barry Bonds none. Bonds had some poor early playoff showings in his career and we never have that image of him as a champion. Mickey Mantle still holds the record for most Home Runs hit in the World Series (18). He won a lot and was a big part of it.

So enter Lemieux without those Cups. How can we even flirt with the idea of him being #1 if he never won the ultimate prize? And how much better would Beliveau or Richard look next to him with all those rings?

Yes I did, but in the OP we are talking about a universe in which Mario never even reaches a Cup final. I mean, Mats Sundin is a player who got criticized for that, imagine Mario. It would drastically change the way we see things. No big goal in 1991 splitting the Northstars defense, possibly no goal where he dekes Bourque out of his jock in 1992. Who knows the line up changes that happen if the Pens miss out in 1991 and 1992. No doubt his legend is altered.
Wow, just wow. You know more about NA sports than any writer i have seen. Always pleasure to read your posts in history section.

On the matter,

I think Mario without cups would be pretty much the same. For me he is #4 all-time and frankly I cant see him drop lower. The sheer dominance he showed in the offensive zone is enough to put him in the same level as Gretzky. Mario without cups would most likely be the unanimous number 4 all-time. There would be little to none debate about if he was better than Orr/Howe/Gretzky.

I mean, the only forward who could match Lemieux's offensive output was Gretzky. There is no denying about the talent Lemieux had, and that is one of the ultimate best of all-time. Without the Cup wins there would be too much "what if's". Mario would still be #4, but the debate would be over for him.

1. Gretzky/Orr/.. Howe/ ........................... Lemieux

2.Beliveau, Shore, Richard, Hull....etc.

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