We’ve reached that point in the year when you’re going to start seeing a lot of lists on sports web sites — yes, even more than usual. It’s not exactly a dead period (it never is), but things are slowing down. June will have finals and drafts. July? Close to crickets.
So get used to a lot of “evergreen” content, the types of things that could run any time but are best saved for when not much actual news is being made.
With that as a backdrop, some lists are better than others. And a recent list on Bleacher Report of the 25 most underrated players in NFL history seemed particularly well-considered and researched.
It acknowledged that the list is completely subjective but set some strong ground rules: to make the list, a player can’t be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame or be a recent finalist; he can’t have been an offensive skill position player who won a Super Bowl; and anyone who played on a Super Bowl dynasty from the 1960s through 2000s was eliminated as well.
Given that backdrop, maybe it isn’t too surprising that one Vikings player ranked particularly high on the list.
The man: Jim Marshall, who checked in at No. 2 (and rightfully so). Marshall was an iron man who started 289 consecutive games (including playoffs) for one of the NFL’s greatest defenses. His fellow defensive linemen Carl Eller and Alan Page are both in the Hall of Fame, as are safety Paul Krause, offensive lineman Mick Tinglehoff, quarterback Fran Tarkenton and head coach Bud Grant from those great Vikings teams.
Marshall? He was a beast, but he might be best-known for that ill-fated wrong-way touchdown.
No other Vikings made the list of 25, though there are certainly some other worthy candidates.