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Faulk Paul Attner

If you've got some time today, send TSN senior writer Paul Attner an e-mail asking him what it feels like to only have followed football for a year. Attner claims that Marshall Faulk isn't necessarily a Hall of Famer. I understand journalists try to make names for themselves by betraying public opinion, but this is a bit of a stretch. But hey, every point needs to be heard, as long as it's supported with solid evidence. So, what was Attner's evidence? Well...uh....


There's absolutely nothing. No stats. No analysis. No facts. Just opinion. Like this hard-hitting piece of expertise:

He is a quality running back who has enjoyed a wonderful career. But there is just something about his play that, while impressive, doesn't shine enough to rate induction into Canton.

Attner spends about 300 words extolling what sounds like a personal bias against Faulk. Of course, someone who's ninth all-time in rushing yards, fourth in all-time yards from scrimmage, fourth in career touchdowns, 16th in receptions alone (a list that includes ACTUAL RECEIVERS), made seven Pro Bowls, hold on...let me catch my breath...

...recorded four straight seasons with 2,000 total yards (including one where he ran for 1,381 and caught 1,048 as well, a record), five straight years with 80+ catches, won a Super Bowl (appeared in another), won an MVP, briefly held the record for most touchdowns in a season (26, despite only playing in 14 games), was awarded three straight Offensive Player of the Year awards, and is only one of six players to rush for 100+ touchdowns OBVIOUSLY doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame. The man was the most feared in football for five seasons and was playing at a highly-effective rate for 11, surprising longevity for a running back used so often in all facets of the offense. Defenses had to plan around him, allowing Kurt Warner to find Torry Holt and Isaac Bruce. And, let's not forget the incredible block Faulk threw on Jevon Kearse, allowing Bruce to score the winning touchdown in their Super Bowl victory. Not bad for a guy who "isn't very, very special."

I've got no emotional attachment to Marshall Faulk outside of having him on my fantasy team in 2000, but it's infuriating that Attner would state such an odd opinion without giving any intellectual backing to it. Don't let the man get away with this! Let him know you still care about journalistic integrity, even if you're looking for it in a blog.


Hmmm, let's see. Marshall can only claim the following:

  • Set an NFL record with 4 consecutive 2,000+ yards seasons from line of scrimmage.
  • NFL-record 2,429 total yards (1,381 rushing, 1,048 receiving) from scrimmage in a season
  • Only 2nd player to gain more than 1000 yds both rushing and receiving in a season
  • Tied an NFL record with Emmitt Smith to have 2 consecutive years of 20+ TDs
  • Set an NFL record with three 4 TD games in a single season
  • Set an NFL record with 2 consecutive years of 4 TD's in 3 or more games.
  • Set an NFL record with most TD's in a single season, with 26
  • 2000 league MVP
  • 9th overall in career rushing yards
  • 4th all-time in total yards from scrimmage
  • 4th all-time in touchdowns scored.
  • 6th all-time in rushing TDs
  • 16th all-time in receptions, that includes receivers. 2nd overall amongst running backs.

I wonder what sort of credentials Attner feels would necessitate induction to Canton.

(Thanks to my friend Frank for compiling these stats)

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