Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jamie Dukes' criteria for "Top QB" is whack

For the most part, I like NFL Network personality Jamie Dukes. He seems like a nice enough guy. Sure he likes to ramble and is more often than not nonsensical, but at least he's enthusiastic, if not downright jovial. Heck, if you slapped a shaggy white beard on the man, I'd say he'd be the spitting image of good ol' Santa Claus...except for the whole "being black" thing.
See...I wasn't making this stuff up.

But even though he may very well be the chocolate version of Kris Kringle, Mr. Dukes' analysis in a recent NFL Network video did not have me feeling all warm and fuzzy like I do on the night before Christmas. That's because Jamie Dukes said some really, really stupid things, which I, and probably any other sane football fan out there, took offense to.

The segment in question was entitled, "Best in the biz: QBs," which I guess is NFLN's "street" way of saying "the top five QBs in the NFL." Things got started in typical fashion, with Dukes hooting and hollering like a cowboy with a mouth full of hot sauce, but then took a sharp turn for Stupidville. The fifth best quarterback in league, according to Jamie Dukes? DONOVAN McNABB! Yes, Donovan McNabb, the QB that was so good the entire population of Philadelphia just couldn't wait to ship him to a division rival. Absurd! Well let's see what Dukes has to justify this pick:
  • McNabb has appeared in 5 NFC Championship games, 4 of them without a Pro-Bowl WR
  • McNabb has appeared in a Super Bowl 
  • McNabb has a great body (of work)
Wait. What? This just doesn't compute. Almost ever factoid that Dukes uses to argue McNabb is a top 5 quarterback in the league RIGHT NOW, happened almost SIX YEARS AGO. Aside from a trip to the NFC Championship game in 2008, the last time the Eagles made any kind of a playoff run was 2004. How the heck is that relevant to today? Heck, Daunte Culpepper looked like the second coming of Joe Montana in 2004, why isn't he on this list?

The fact of the matter is McNabb has been anything but a top 5 quarterback over the past couple seasons, and I would know, as he's on my fantasy team. His QB rating over the past few years has hung around 90, which is good, but certainly not elite. In addition to that, the man is injury prone. He missed two games last year with a broken rib (would've been 3 if not for a conveniently placed bye week), and has had just one complete season in the last six years.

Dukes' next pick was Ben Roethlisberger. Now this is a little more reasonable, but I'm still inclined to disagree with it, in part because of Jamie Claus' baffling logic. No Jamie, don't mention that Ben had a 100+ QB rating last year or that he threw for over 4000 yards and had a TD-Int ratio of 2.5 to 1. Instead, talk about his SUPER BOWLS, because we know that's ALL that matters when evaluating a QB.

I tell you what, of all the arguments I am sick of, the one that states "You measure a QB's greatness by how many Super Bowls he's won" is the worst offender. I mean, yes, the QB more than any other position on the team is associated with winning and carrying his team far into the postseason. But that's certainly not the only piece of data worth considering when evaluating a QB, is it? It is? Alright, don't say I didn't warn you. According to this logic, the following QBs are better than Dan Marino:
  • Trent Dilfer
  • Eli Manning
  • Brad Johnson
Do you feel stupid now? Ok good. Apologize for making ridiculous blanket statements and ignoring all the other factors of what makes a quarterback great, such as, oh, I don't know, BEING ABLE TO THROW THE BALL REALLY WELL and we can move on.

Dukes finishes his top 5 respectably, selecting Tom Brady, Drew Brees, and Peyton Manning as his #3, #2, and #1, respectively. But before moving on to discussion, a graphic appears on screen displaying the five quarterbacks' number of Pro-Bowl appearances, and Dukes says, and I quote, "So you see right there, the numbers speak for themselves." No Jamie, the DON'T. The fact that Donovan McNabb went to 4 Pro-Bowls in the early 2000s DOES NOT tell me much about him as a quarterback NOW. So make up your friggin' mind, are you trying to answer who are the best 5 quarterbacks going into the 2010 season or are you trying to state who the best 5 active quarterbacks of the past decade are? Because you know what? Your stupid list and your backwards logic would seem to indicate the latter.

The fun doesn't end there. Now we get to see Jamie attempt to justify leaving Aaron Rodgers and Phillip Rivers off the list, in favor of the likes of Donovan "I'm so good the city I played for booed me almost every time I took the field" McNabb. Why isn't Rivers and his 65 completion percentage, 4,254 yards passing, and 28 touchdowns (to 9 interceptions, mind you) good enough? Because McNabb won four division championships half a decade ago. Oh and apparently the fact that Rivers and the Chargers have dominated the AFC West for the past five years means nothing because, well, it's the AFC West. Sorry Phil! Because of the fact that your team is forced to play the Chiefs and the Raiders four times a year, you will never ever crack Dukes' list! However, I do see that you made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and 2009, so wait a few years, maybe until 2013, and then JD will take you into consideration! Things like division championships, play-off victories, and post-season accolades are apparently like investments in the stock market. They don't matter much now, but in a few years, when Jamie Dukes is making his list, they'll sure as heck pay off! Just ask Donovan.

Now here's what Jamie has to say about Aaron Rodgers. Despite the fact that "the guy throws the best ball in the league" the reality of the matter is that he only has "one playoff win" (he actually has none you big, brown marshmallow).
 This is seriously too easy.

Therefore he is automatically DISQUALIFIED! The fact that he's had only two seasons is erroneous! Donovan McNabb won three Super Bowls in his first season as a starter! Sorry Aaron, but your lack of effort just isn't good enough! Yes you may be the NFL's best pure passer, make absurdly good decisions, and never turn the ball over, but what the HECK does any of that CRAP have to do with being a quarterback?!?! It's all about CHOKING IN THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP, PUKING IN THE MIDDLE OF GAMES, AND STARRING IN A LONG STRING OF HIGHLY ENTERTAINING CHUNKY SOUP COMMERCIALS! IN MY BOOK, THE BOOK OF JAMIE DUKES, YOU AARON RODGERS ARE A NOBODY! YOUR 104 QB RATING AND 35 TOTAL TDs IN 2009 BE DAMNED!

The segment finally ends, but not before Dukes seizes the opportunity to embarrass himself even further by stating that, yes, he would take Roethilsberger over Aaron Rodgers for the next 5 or 6 years. But don't blame Jamie, his hands are tied! He has to "go with what [he's] seen" and he's seen Roethilsberger win two Super Bowls! Good golly, man! Are you a football analyst or not? I could train a chicken to identify which player has more Super Bowls and then pick them (seriously, I could probably do it...those chickens at Paul Bunyan's Land can play fricken' tick-tac-toe). Winning a Super Bowl in the past does not guarantee that you will continue to win them, so making projections based SOLELY off of this factor is IDIOTIC.

So to wrap this up, here are the lessons we can take away from this unfortunate incident. 1) On the eve of 2010, Donovan McNabb is NOT a top 5 QB, despite what he may have done five years ago. 2) Winning is certainly an important factor when considering a QB's merits, but it definitely isn't the only one. And finally, as Mr. Dukes demonstrates, 3) a good personality and playing experience do not an analyst make.


  1. You can't throw out a random opinion about nfl commentators or anyone else for that matter without providing specific details and defending
    your statement.

  2. Um, I'm pretty sure I thoroughly defended my criticisms, citing specific examples and using quotes from the man himself. Forgive me if I don't see anything wrong.

  3. I really like this post Jonathan. I completely have the same view on QBs. I disagree with anyone who brings up a QBs rings as how good of a quarterback he is. There are some cases where the praise of titles is deserving to just the individual quarterback, but more times than not, the quarterback benefited from being on one of the best "teams" in the league that year.

    My top 5 QBs look a little different than Mr. Dukes' :
    1. Drew Brees
    2. Brett Favre
    3. Peyton Manning
    4. Aaron Rodgers
    5. Philip Rivers

    this is solely based on last year's performance and statistics.

    I'm not ready to put Brady back in the list until he reproves he has regained his pre-injury form.

    I do not see how even more atrociously, Mr. Dukes left off Brett Favre, who it could easily be argued deserved to win the MVP award last year.

    However, on the topics of a current top 5 QBs I would want to start a franchise around currently, my list would change shape a little:

    1. Aaron Rodgers
    2. Philip Rivers
    3. Drew Brees
    4. Joe Flacco
    5. Tom Brady

  4. First off, I believe his name is "DonOvAn" McNabb.

    Second, it should be pretty obvious why Dukes included McNabb: it was an affirmative action play, showin' some love for a fellow brotha. Even Uncle Toms do that; it's just part of their culture.

    Every intelligent football fan knows that the majority of black QB's haven't gotten it done (and in no way am I implying that there is a racial cause; just stating that people with dark-colored skin have not had great NFL success). To this day I remain proud to have never jumped on the Michael Vick bandwagon so vigorously promoted by the Urban Hype Machine.

    -Mr. Politically Correct

  5. Oh, and here's some constructive criticism: Be more concise and display comparative statistics in bullet/dash/table format rather than in paragraphs. I read it all the way through, but only because I am a perverted sexual failure who has nothing to do other than wank off all day.

    Overall a good read though - I will be back.

    -Mr. Politically Correct

  6. My top QB's look a like this

    1. Peyton Manning
    2. Drew Brees
    3. Aaron Rodgers
    4. Brett Favre
    5. Phillip Rivers

    And i think Mr. Politically Correct has a point. It would be much easier for the reader if you used the comparative statistics in bullet/dash/table format because i think most people just usually skim things nowadays

  7. This is crazy. McNabb is good but #5? Really? Like you said in the post, he hasn't done very much in the past few years. And that too me is kinda weird, since his last couple years in Philly provided him with probably the best WR corps he ever had (aside from when he had TO).

    I understand the Rothlisberger argument but don't agree with it whatsoever. Yes, he won 2 super bowls but did so largely because of Pitt's defense. This past year Pitt's defense was hurting because of the loss of Polamalu and not surprisingly the team struggled a lot.

    You could make an argument for Rodgers being one of the best 3 Qb's in the league last season. He had an unbelievable season, and that's not too mention he had the worst OL in the league for the first 9 weeks of the season.

  8. If McNaab is so good like one of the top 5 QB's in the league than why the hell would Philly trade him? It just doesn't match up

  9. Completely agree with your article Jonathan. I would suggest tempering the excessive CAPS lock sentences. Passion is good but it can look very childish also. I had always liked Jamie Dukes, mainly because he was fat and jovial like you said, but I have never really felt like he was a top tiered analyst like Trent Dilfer, Deion, or some other former players who have made a nice career with NFLN.

  10. I agree with Super Bowl wins are not a guage for quarterback ability. A great quarterback cannot lead a bad or even average team to a Super Bowl. That being said tell me one quarterback who would have equaled or exceeded Rogers season behind that line last season. I would venture to say no one. Some might say Rogers held the ball to long and I would agree a few of those sacks were on him, But I would take those sacks over the interceptions our previous quarterback threw under pressure.

    My expectations this coming year.


    If San Diego squares away their Jackson, McNeil situation I would rank Rivers 5th but it looks like that could get ugly

  11. "That being said tell me one quarterback who would have equaled or exceeded Rogers season behind that line last season."

    Peyton Manning
    Drew Brees
    Brett Farve
    Philip Rivers
    Ben Rothlisberger
    Tony Romo
    Tom Brady

    All could have easily equaled Rodgers performance. That is why these lists are so stupid. There are less than 10 really good franchise QBs in the NFL. It is almost impossible to rate them since they play behind different lines, with different schemes, with different defenses.

  12. Dukes speaks a lot, but never really has anything to say

  13. Enjoyed the article. Found it by googling 'Jamie Dukes is an idiot' lol. I hate that guy, Saints fan here.

    This is the same Jamie Dukes who selected Peyton #6 in the 2010 NFLN fantasy draft (with Brees still on the board) and defended the pick by stating that Manning guaranteed you 12 wins/year. Jamie never let's logic get in the way.