For the above-stated reason, and to mix it up a little bit, today I’m posting one person’s opinion of the All-Decade team. By “decade”, I don’t mean the 1960s, but rather, the ten-year period that included Super Bowls I – X. (So that no math skills are required to follow along, that’s 1966-75.) This is a logical arbitrary starting point,
This All-Decade team consists of 48 players. Generally, I selected twice the number of players at each position than what is found in a starting lineup. An exception is kickers and punters. They get 1 slot between them, because after all, didn’t a wise man once say “They aren’t really football players”? Secondly, aside from Ray Guy, there probably isn’t another punter you could refer to using the “All-“ prefix. Thirdly, I like symmetry, and adding more kickers/punters would spoil my “multiples of 4” layout.
What criteria did I use? I’ll tell you that no stats websites or card backs were looked at to come up with the selections. Nor was “how many championships did he win” given primary consideration. This was based purely on my recollections, the player’s reputation, (perceived or actual) player’s and team accomplishments, and just a gut feeling.
Oh, one other thing: the player’s card needed to be in my collection, and (sorry, 49ers’ 1972 center Forrest Blue) it has to be a vertical card, because, you know, the whole symmetry thing.
Here now is the All-Decade team, arranged by position. Feel free to agree, disagree, reminisce, or offer up your own selections for the 1966-75 time period.
1. No Eagles :(
I knew Bob Brown was going to be a slam dunk to make this team, but I can't find my all-years Eagles binder, so here he is as a Ram.
2. I also can't find my 1973 binder, so Chiefs' guard Ed Budde and Colts' linebacker Ted Hendricks were late scratches.
3. I couldn't decide between DTs Joe Greene and Alan Page, so they're both here, with Page occupying the spare slot on the middle linebacker row (which was going to be a punter's only shot to make this team.)
4. Merlin Olsen appears to be saying "I'm gonna get you, Brodie!"
5. Re-capping players per team:
6 - Packers
5 - Chiefs, Rams
4 - Cowboys, Raiders, Dolphins, Vikings
3 - Colts, Bears
2 - Redskins, Browns, Chargers
1 - Steelers, Oilers, Broncos, Lions
0 - 10 teams
Let the debating begin!