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Monday, December 20, 2010

Best Ironman Moments of the Decade (pt.3)

Click Here for Part I and Part II

4. Brett Favre's 2003 Season with Broken Thumb
Brett Favre makes his 2nd appearance on the list, which is no surprise considering how long he has played. Favre has constantly battled through injuries, playing in games most QB's would not. Favre has managed to play through a separated shoulder (non-throwing side), bruised hip, knee, elbow, and ankle, broken foot, and concussion among other things. Perhaps the most impressive of his 297 consecutive starts is his 2003 season, when he played 12 of the 16 regular seasons games with a broken thumb. Ask any QB which finger they would least like to be broken, and they will most likely say the thumb. The thumb is crucial to getting a good grip on the ball and throwing it properly. A broken thumb makes the QB's job extremely difficult, and there is an extreme amount of pain every time the ball is snapped into the QB's hands. Favre not only found a way to play through the pain, but also led the league in touchdown passes that year with 32. To be able to play through such an injury at such a high level is something Favre has been doing his whole career, but this time it was truly extraordinary.

3. Terrell Owens' Super Bowl XXXIX Performance
Love him or hate him, T.O. has been one of the
greatest receivers of our generation. He has been
called a cancer and shown the door by the 49ers, Eagles, and Cowboys after they got tired of his antics. Owens statistically, however, might be one of the top 3 receivers of all time, but his lack of Super Bowl rings is used by critics to demonstrate that teams are better without him than with him. However, T.O.'s performance for the Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX against the Patriots was one worthy of a ring, and no one can blame T.O. for the Eagles loss. Owens had 9 receptions for 122 and made a huge impact, but what makes Terrell Owens' performance one of the toughest is that he shouldn't have even been playing in the game. T.O. suffered a severely sprained ankle and fractured fibula in a December 19th game against the Cowboys from a now illegal horse-collar tackle by Roy Williams. Doctors told T.O. he would be out for the reminder for the year, and that even if the Eagles made it to the Super Bowl, he would still need several more weeks of recovery time. T.O. shrugged off the doctors and boldly proclaimed he would play in the game no matter what. Critics were highly skeptical, but not only did T.O. stick true to his word, but delivered a performance worthy of Super Bowl MVP if the Eagles had won. T.O.'s career has been filled with many controversial moments, but this is one that he can truly be proud of and shows that T.O.'s toughness and desire to win is not to be questioned.

2. Steve McNair's 2003 Season with Numerous Injuries
While Favre's 2003 season is good for 4th on this list, it wasn't even the toughest performance by a QB that year. McNair's entire career is a definition of toughness, however this particular season was especially impressive. McNair sutained calf, ankle, finger, and knee injuries that year, and his name was practically written in Sharpie on the injury report. McNair would often not practice the majority of the week, but would suit up every game on Sunday with the exception of 2 games. Despite the numerous injuries, Steve McNair's 2003 season was capped off by an MVP and made it all the way to the AFC Divisional Playoffs. McNair's ability to play through injury every week and be recognized as one of the best players in the league is a true testament to his toughness and will forever be a part of his legacy.

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