What a quarterback accomplishes with his arm is important. But what he accomplishes with his team carries even more weight in the pages of history.
We asked our listeners and readers last week in our Talk of Fame Network poll to identify Line 1 on the Hall of Fame resume for any NFL quarterback. We offered up eight options, ranging from individual to team accomplishments.
Super Bowl victories, the ultimate team accomplishment, won out with 41 percent of the vote. Victories, another team accomplishment, finished a distant second with 20 percent of the vote.
Passer efficiency rating was next at 11 percent. Finishing with scant single-digit support were yards-per-attempt, MVP awards, touchdown-to-interception ratio, completion percentage, passing yards and passing titles.
The three Talk of Fame Network hosts – Ron Borges, Rick Gosselin and Clark Judge -- were in unanimous agreement with the poll result, which is rare.
“Quarterbacks are judged by their jewelry and their won-lost record,” said Borges, who has spent the last 16 NFL seasons as a Boston columnist watching Tom Brady quarterback the Patriots. “In the end that is their only job - to win. Everything else is window dressing. Think not? Go ask Dan Marino.”
The Hall of Fame itself stands as proof that championships matter. Of the 30 modern-era quarterbacks enshrined in Canton, 24 of them won NFL titles and four others took their teams to championship games.
Brady has five championship rings, Terry Bradshaw and Joe Montana four apiece and Troy Aikman three. Brady is still active, but Bradshaw, Montana and Aikman were all first-ballot Hall-of-Fame selections. Bart Starr, Roger Staubach and John Elway all won two Super Bowls apiece. All were first-ballot Hall-of-Fame selections as well.