Tuesday, September 04, 2007

King Peter

Letterman has his daily Top 10. Fortune releases their top 500 each year. Craig Newmark built an international empire with his. And now Peter King has a list to call his own with The King 500 printed in the latest edition of Sports Illustrated.

King must have had the sports blogsphere in mind when ranking the 500 best players in the NFL. After all, lists are made to be scrutinized and criticized, unless of course you agree with said list. In that case, the record is recognized and revered. So what should RavensNation make of King’s creation? We better recognize.

During a week in which front offices around the league were forced to filter their rosters down to their top fifty-three, Ravens fan should rejoice in knowing that nearly one-third of the men in purple and black made King’s cut. Even more impressive, eight Ravens earned a spot in the top 100, matching San Diego for the most nominees one through ninety-nine. The highest hometown hero was Ed Reed at number 12, sandwiched between Shawne Merriman and Dwight Freeney. Peter’s note next to Reed says, “B+ Cover Guy, A+ Hitter.” The grades give Ed a 3.65 GPA and I’m sure I’m not alone in agreeing to sport a bumper sticker that reads, “My Safety is an Honor Roll Student.”

Next up for the Ravens was #57 at number 53, as Bart Scott not only scored a spot on the list, but a four-page feature by Tim Layden. The story sheds light on Bart’s battles with both his sisters and Joey Porter, his $500 signing bonus and how eating an apple earned him a six-game suspension in college. But the purpose of the profile came through loud and clear in the call out quote labeled, ‘Scott on Scott’, which reads, “I wasn’t supposed to make it out of Detroit. I wasn’t supposed to get a scholarship. I was supposed to be [covering] kicks the rest of my life. But here I am. I’m a man playing with the house’s money, and that’s a dangerous man.”

Danger may have a new first and last name, but the middle still belongs to #52 who was ranked 86th. According to King, “80% of classic Ray is still pretty good.” Pretty good? Pretty good!? To quote Johnny Knoxville, “There's no such thing as a pretty good gator wrestler,” and there’s no such thing as a pretty good middle linebacker/defensive captain/crowd controller for the number one defense in the entire NFL. Three of Ray’s disciples did finish in front of the professor including Scott, Terrell Suggs (#56) and the since departed Adalius Thomas (#21), and seven of the top 88 were defenders of the North – but how does Ray rank as the 86th best player in the league, one spot below Ben Roethlisberger? Alas, the scrutiny portion of the blog.

Speaking of 86, the highest Ravens offensive player on the list was #86 as Todd Heap took home 59th place. Heap pulled a double in the NFL Preview Issue as he was among eight NFL heavyweights photographed for the latest Campbell’s Chunky Soup ad campaign. Not sure which honor is more prestigious, but I’m guessing the residuals from The King 500 are overmatched by the multi-million dollar media buy from the Soup That Eats Like a Meal.

The future of the Ravens could also be found a little further down the line as three sophomores (Clayton #254, Landry #267, Ngata #312) and even one frosh (Grubbs #460) received recognition. However, the more immediate future of the franchise was nowhere to be seen as Willis McGahee was left off the list. For all the praise imparted to Peter in the paragraphs above, there is no way forty-one other running backs are better than McGahee. Fortunately for Willis and all Ravens fans, the NFL is not a feudal system; Arturo and Marcus are the only Freeman’s; the closest Baron plays in the NBA and there is no King Peter, just Peter King and his list to loathe (or love).

Complete List of Ravens Players Included in The King 500:

Ed Reed (12)
Bart Scott (53)
Terrell Suggs (56)
Todd Heap (59)
Trevor Pryce (61)
Kelly Gregg (83)
Ray Lewis (86)
Chris McAlister (88)
Jonathan Ogden (114)
Steve McNair (156)
Mark Clayton (254)
Dawan Landry (267)
Haloti Ngata (312)
Jarrett Johnson (358)
BJ Sams (443)
Ben Grubbs (460)

Source: Sports Illustrated, September 3rd, 2007

1 comment:

Jarrett said...

If Ray can't be ranked over Trevor Pryce, you know something is wrong.