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The Face of the Team: NFL Version


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If you caught winghaz' thread about the "face" of the MLB teams, you know what this one is about..I just deebo'd his idea and brought it over here. :P (And I don't doubt that eventually someone will spawn off an NBA and/or NHL version soon.)

I liked winghaz' thread about the face of each team in the MLB; however, I'm just not that knowledgeable on baseball. Football, however, I know a little bit about. And I'm willing to guess a whole lot of people are probably going to have a whole lot of different answers to this, just based on age, era, whether it was the team's actual greatest player based on stats or whatnot, or just who comes to mind first, so suffice it to say this should lead to some really interesting discussion.

So let's get this going here...I'll start it off. I'll note that most of my picks may not necessarily be the franchise's greatest player, but rather, who I believe is the franchise's most popular player.(By the way, I don't profess to knowing everything about every team.)

DENVER BRONCOS - for me, it's John Elway. And judging from what the Denver denizens I know tell me, he might be the city's most-revered sports figure, so there's that.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - One could make a great case for LaDanian Tomlinson here, but I think I'm going with Lance Allworth. To me, he IS the Chargers. First name I think about when I think of that team.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS - tough one here. I wanna say Derrick Thomas so bad it hurts...but I think most people would probably think of Len Dawson before they think of Thomas, so I'll say Dawson.

OAKLAND RAIDERS - this team probably needs its own thread. So many to pick from. I know when I think of the Raiders, the first name that pops up in my mind is Howie Long, so that's who I'll go with. (Let the debate begin.)

CINCINNATI BENGALS - this just tells you how much of a football nut I am: Anthony Munoz. (Although I don't doubt a lot of young'ns would be quick to say Chad Johnson/Ochocinco in current day.)

CLEVELAND BROWNS - Jim Brown. That's my hands-down choice.

BALTIMORE RAVENS - separate franchise from ^that team or not, clearly Ray Lewis.

PITTSBURGH STEELERS - another tough one, lotta guys to pick from. You got one guy famous for a Coke commercial, another with a famous vehicle nickname, and now this current "Big" guy quarterbacking the team...not to mention the QB they had on that vaunted '70s squad. If history takes prevalence, I'd say Joe Greene, though a case could be made for Jerome Bettis.

BUFFALO BILLS - sheeit. There's a good many that could be chosen here, but I think the most popular is probably Jim Kelly.

MIAMI DOLPHINS - Dan Marino. It ain't even close.

NEW YORK JETS - Namath??? (Though my own fond memory would say Wayne Chrebet.)

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Y'all already know. (Hint: he wears #12 and bangs a supermodel.)

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - If restricted to just Indy, uhh...Peyton. Overall...I'd say it's between him and Johnny U.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS - can expansion teams have faces? If so, then this team's face was definitely Mark Brunell, though Tony Boselli and Fred Taylor might have something to say about that.

HOUSTON TEXANS - Same question here. Team's too young to have a face, but Brian Cushing's doing a heckuva job auditioning for that inaugural spot.

TENNESSEE TITANS/HOUSTON OILERS - I know Imma catch it for this one, but for me...Eddie George. (Though if left strictly to "Oilers", I'd pick Earl Campbell.)

ARIZONA CARDINALS - hell, another team that's hard to pick one for--but for the opposite reason, so I think I'll go with one of their former stalwarts, Dan Dierdorf. Soon, though, it'll be Larry Fitzgerald.

L.A./ST. LOUIS RAMS - I personally say Deacon Jones. That's the first name, and image, I think of when I think of the Rams. Now, if one wanted to split it and pick one for the St. Louis side of things, then Marshall Faulk would probably be that guy.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS - Lots of good players have managed to sneak through the Seahawks organization, but I still place one name above all: Steve Largent.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Straight-up coin flip between Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. I can't even pick one.

CHICAGO BEARS - Dick Butkus for me. But there's others for whom a strong case can be made.

DETROIT LIONS - Barry...Sanders.

GREEN BAY PACKERS - another team with a lot of great players, but I'll single out Ray Nitschke. (Hope I spelled that right.)

MINNESOTA VIKINGS - tough one here, but I think I'll give the nod to Jon Randle...and all that daggone eye-black.

DALLAS COWBOYS - oh boy...this team might need its own forum. I could be a homer and pick Emmitt Smith (he is from my hometown after all), or be an old-timer and pick Roger Staubach--ah hell, I'll go with the hometown guy, Emmitt. (I can be a homer ONE time, can't I? ^_^ )

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - here's one team I'm not all that knowledgeable about, but I do know the league's last "iron man" played for them, Chuck Bednarik (unless you count that short stint Troy Brown did as WR & DB a couple seasons ago). Someone in/from Philly can answer this much better than I, but I'd bet the most notorious Eagle is (okay, was) probably Donovan McNabb.

NEW YORK GIANTS - Lawrence Taylor, for obvious reasons.

WASHINGTON REDSKINS - probably Darrell Green.

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS - here's a good one. Of the "new guard" of Bucs (that is, mid-late '90s thru early 2000s), I'd have told you Mike Alstott. But as one who bleeds creamsicle orange, ain't but one answer in my mind: Lee Roy Selmon.

ATLANTA FALCONS - this one is also tough. The Falcons have actually had a good many great players...but if this was a popularity contest, I'd have to say Deion Sanders. (Though if he keeps it up, Matt Ryan might well end up atop that mantle.)

CAROLINA PANTHERS - here's that "expansion" question again. Many would be quick to say Steve Smith...but having followed the Panthers since their inception, and remembering what he was to the Panthers during his prime, I'm going to pick Wesley Walls. (Although it should be mentioned if any team was to have a kicker as its "face", it be this team, and its kicker, John Kasay.)

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - I say Archie Manning.


There's my picks. Let the great debating begin!

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I think for some teams Coaches can be the face of a NFL team.

Here are my choices across the board

Dolphins Dan Marino

Patriots Tom Brady

Jets Joe Namath

Bills O.J. Simpson

Ravens Ray Lewis

Steelers Mean Joe Greene

Browns Jim Brown

Bengals Anthony Munoz

Colts Balt Johnny Unitas/ Indy Peyton Manning

Jaguars Mark Brunnel

Texans None Yet

Oilers Earl Campbell Titans Steve McNair

Chargers Lance Alworth

Broncos John Elway

Chiefs Len Dawson

Raiders Al Davis

Giants Lawrence Taylor

Eagles Chuck Bednarik

Redskins Darrell Green

Cowboys Tom Landry

Packers Vince Lombardi

Lions Barry Sanders

Bears George Halas

Vikings Fran Tarkenton

Buccaneers Derrick Brooks

Saints Drew Brees

Falcons Michael Vick though Matt Ryan stands take over soon

Panthers Julius Peppers

49ers Joe Montana

LA Rams Deacon Jones St. Louis Rams Marshall Faulk

Seahawks Steve Largent

Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald

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Darrell Green for the Redskins. Still the teams most popular player ever.

That is a great choice.

Mark my words... 10 years from now... JOHN BECK

If John Beck becomes a good NFL QB I will scream bloody murder

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Darrell Green for the Redskins. Still the teams most popular player ever.

That is a great choice.

Mark my words... 10 years from now... JOHN BECK

If John Beck becomes a good NFL QB I will scream bloody murder

Redskins fandom is either going for BeckMania or Suck4Luck right now. And if coaches are included, id say Gibbs for DC

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Dolphins: Dan Marino

Patriots: Bill Belichick

Jets: Joe Namath

Bills: Jim Kelly

Ravens: Ray Lewis

Steelers: Jack Lambert

Browns: Bernie Kosar

Bengals: Chad Ochocinco (yes, I'm serious on this one.)

Colts: Johnny Unitas

Jaguars: Tony Boselli

Texans: Andre Johnson

Oilers/Titans: Warren Moon

Chargers: LaDainian Tomlinson (but Don Coryell might have a strong case.)

Broncos: John Elway

Chiefs: Len Dawson

Raiders: Al Davis

Giants: Lawrence Taylor

Eagles: Reggie White

Redskins: Sammy Baugh

Cowboys: Jerry Jones

Packers: Vince Lombardi

Lions: Barry Sanders

Bears: George Halas

Vikings: Randy Moss (or maybe Cris Carter or John Randle.)

Buccaneers: Warren Sapp

Saints: Drew Brees

Falcons: Michael Vick

Panthers: Steve Smith

49ers: Jerry Rice

Rams: Kurt Warner (or Marshall Faulk.)

Seahawks: The 12th Man

Cardinals: Pat Tillman (or Dick "Night Train" Lane.)

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Cowboys: Tom Landry

Giants: Lawrence Taylor

Iggles: Donovan McNabb

Redskins: Joe Gibbs

Bears: Walter Payton

Lions: Barry Sanders

Packers: Brett Favre

Vikings: Adrian Peterson

Falcons: Matt Ryan

Panthers: Steve Smith

Saints: Drew Brees

Buccaneers: Derrick Brooks

Cardinals: Larry Fitzgerald

49ers: Joe Montana

Seahawks: Matt Hassleback

Rams: Eric Dickerson

Bills: Thurman Thomas

Dolphins: Dan Marino

Jets: Joe Namath

Patriots: Tom Brady

Bengals: Ochocinco

Browns: Jim Brown

Ravens: Ray Lewis

Steelers: Terry Bradshaw

Texans: Andre Johnson

Colts: Peyton Manning

Jaguars: Fred Taylor

Titans: Steve "Air" McNair

Broncos: John Elway

Chiefs: Tony Gonzalez

Raiders: Bo Jackson

Chargers: Ryan Leaf

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Like my MLB list, I'm just going with who pops into my head first at the thought of the team.

Dolphins - Dan Marino, followed by Larry Csonka (spelling?)

Bills - Jim Kelly

Patriots - Tom Brady, followed by Drew Bledsoe

Jets - Joe Namath

Broncos - John Elway

Chiefs - I'm with Buc in that I think of Derrick Thomas, but I also think of Len Dawson. Even Jan Stenerud.

Chargers - For me, it's LaDanian Tomlinson, then Dan Fouts, then Kellen Winslow.

Raiders - Dare I say John Madden? He really is the first figure I think of when thinking of the Raiders. Then, Marcus Allen.

Bengals - Boomer Esiason, then Chad Ochocinco.

Browns - Jim Brown, then Otto Graham, then Marion Motley.

Ravens - Ray Lewis, hands down.

Steelers - I'm going to say Terry Bradshaw, though Joe Green or Lynn Swann could work.

Colts - Toss up between Peyton Manning and Johnny Unitas. Lenny Moore and John Mackey come to mind as well.

Jaguars - Hmm...Mark Brunell, perhaps.

Titans/Oilers - as the Titans, I say Steve McNair. As the Oilers, its EASILY Earl Campbell.

Texans - hmm...Andre Johnson has taken the role of "face" in my opinion.

Eagles - Chuck Bednarik

Giants - Phil Simms, to me at least. Then Eli Manning.

Cowboys - so many to choose from...for me I'm going to say Troy Aikman, though.

Redskins - I usually think of Sammy Baugh before anyone.

49ers - this is more childhood nostalgia speaking...but I always, always think of Steve Young first. Joe Montana was the better player, though, and Jerry Rice was as well.

Rams - Merlin Olsen, then Kurt Warner.

Seahawks - Steve Largent

Cardinals - Pat Tillman, then Larry Fitzerald

Packers - Brett Favre, then Bart Starr.

Bears - Walter Payton

Vikings - Fran Tarkenton

Lions - Barry Sanders

Buccaneers - another childhood nostalgia pick, a tie between Warren Sapp and Mike Alstott.

Panthers - Steve Smith, then Jake Delhomme, then John Kasay.

Saints - At this point, Drew Brees, but Archie is a good pick too

Falcons - Odd answer I know....but to me it's Jamal Anderson. Followed by Michael Vick, then Matt Ryan.

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Al Davis is the face of the Raiders. The decrepit, prematurely decomposing face of the Raiders, but the face of the Raiders all the same. All the stars they ever had on the field and he's a bigger icon than all of them. Probably the coolest team owner in history.

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Al Davis is the face of the Raiders. The decrepit, prematurely decomposing face of the Raiders, but the face of the Raiders all the same. All the stars they ever had on the field and he's a bigger icon than all of them. Probably the coolest team owner in history.

This is the part of the thread where BlueSky valiantly states a case for John Mecom, I think.

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Alworth... Fouts... Winslow... Means... Tomlinson... Rivers... Gates... and you think of Leaf first? To each his own, but wow. :P

Tomlinson and Gates were the second and third thoughts respectively. But I remembered Leaf because I remember him as a Cowboys as well. :P

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These threads are going to produce results very similar to what we see in uniform preferences. The era we grew up in is going to influence a lot of our picks. Anyway, I'm going with the "true" face of the team, be it player, coach, stadium, whatever.

DENVER BRONCOS - John Elway. No contest. Not even close.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS - Don Coryell, Dan Fouts, and Kellen Winslow (can't mention one without the other)


OAKLAND RAIDERS - Can we seriously say anyone other than Al Davis?


CLEVELAND BROWNS - Jim Brown (another no-doubter)

BALTIMORE RAVENS - Ray Lewis (yet another no-doubter)

PITTSBURGH STEELERS - Mean Joe Greene and the Steel Curtain

BUFFALO BILLS - Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas

MIAMI DOLPHINS - Dan Marino. It ain't even close.

NEW YORK JETS - Joe Namath and it ain't even close

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS - Tom Brady and Bill Belichick

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS - Baltimore: John Unitas Indy: Peyton Manning


HOUSTON TEXANS - David Carr (no one said the "face" had to be good right?)

TENNESSEE TITANS/HOUSTON OILERS - Houston: Earl Campbell Tennessee: Steve McNair

ARIZONA CARDINALS - St. Louis: Larry Wilson Arizona: Kurt Warner although an argument could be made for "ineptitude" being the face of the team.

L.A./ST. LOUIS RAMS - L.A. : Merlin Olsen and Deacon Jones (you can't mention one without the other coming up) St. Louis: Kurt Warner


SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS - Montana to Rice (see Chargers, San Diego and Rams, LA)

CHICAGO BEARS - Walter Payton and it ain't even close

DETROIT LIONS - Barry Sanders and it ain't even close

GREEN BAY PACKERS - Vince Lombardi

MINNESOTA VIKINGS - Jim Marshall (is there a more famous Minnesota Viking?)

DALLAS COWBOYS - The Dallas Cowboys and Texas Stadium/Cowboys Stadium

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES - Their fans and it ain't even close

NEW YORK GIANTS - Lawrence Taylor and Bill Parcells



ATLANTA FALCONS - Tommy Nobis...OK seriously, it's gotta be Deion Sanders right?


NEW ORLEANS SAINTS - Archie Manning and paper bags. (Sorry BlueSky, some images die hard dude.)

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Well hell, I just kept my picks to players...shoulda known, though, coaches/front office personnel would've shown up. And also, lots of good choices have popped up...many of whom I'd completely forgot about (Jim Marshall being one of them...*headsmack*)

And 'Red, please never mention Jon Gruden & the Buccaneers in the same sentence ever again...pretty please? :P (Super Bowl 'ship or not, I'm still tryna forget he was actually HC for all them years...)

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