SEATTLE — The comparisons could make a player such as Carl Eller protective of the legacy of Minnesota’s famed Purple People Eaters or dismissive of the idea that any defense today could be as good as one from his era.
Quarterback is the most important position on the gridiron, and that widespread belief was once again made abundantly clear in the opening round of the NFL playoffs, setting the stage for a mouthwatering slate of divisional round games.
The Seahawks will open the playoffs against a team with a losing record in the regular season, one they’ve held to an average of nine points in beating each of the past three seasons — all on the road — and guided by a wounded quarterback whose maddening inconsistency has been his calling card.
He can stuff a box score, as he does regularly but perhaps never as impressively as when he announced his ascendance with 26 points, 17 rebounds, nine blocks and three steals in the Pelicans’ season-opening victory over the Magic.
I returned my baseball Hall of Fame ballot Tuesday with check marks alongside the names of these players: Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Randy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Pedro Martinez, Mike Mussina, Mike Piazza, Tim Raines, Curt Schilling and John Smoltz.