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Books Pending
Dan, Hello, this is Joe Toppe.
Recently, I e-mailed you on my plans to write a book on the fan's perspective of who is the greatest quarterback of the past 25 years — and, of course, Brett Favre was the winner.  I am sending you the preface to chapter one, which is the chapter on quarterback comparisons.  Also, I have included a segment on how I end the chapter, containing a note from the author and a sentiment from the fans on Brett Favre.

Keep in mind --- this is a rough draft.

     Who is the greatest quarterback in the past 25 years?  Anyone previous to this generation was excluded because I believe it is impossible to compare differing eras in a sport, such as football, where the physical landscape has changed so drastically over the decades.  Therefore, I will not try and compare a particular team position in football, or any other position, as the players are decidedly different in size, speed and so on.  NFL players today are bigger and faster when comparing to the days of our fathers and grandfathers, so because of this, in addition to the fact that I have never seen Y.A. Tittle or Sid Luckman play ball, I have chosen to compare the greatest quarterbacks of this generation, a generation that is relative to me and current fans.  
     So who is the greatest quarterback of the past 25 years?  Almost without exception, the common answer would be Joe Montana.  However, I would not be so quick to come to that conclusion.  In no way would I dispute the greatness of Montana;  however, there are many variables in what makes an individual quarterback the best at that team position.  Some aspects go overlooked, and some, such as championships should not be a necessary ingredient when measuring the greatness of a quarterback — since championships are really the true representation of team success.  After all, football is the ultimate "team sport."  So many different conditions have to fall in place, just in order to complete a single pass.  Although team success cannot be left aside, as great quarterbacks are capable of raising their team's expectation and play. I have configured a certain set of necessary criteria that I feel have to be met for a quarterback to be considered in the top choices.  As a result, five quarterbacks, by their obvious talent and popular demand, have met the performance criteria — which are listed as follows:
Durability, Team Success, Leadership, Production, Physical Ability, and Game Savvy.
     Brett Favre, John Elway, Dan Marino, Joe Montana, and Steve Young, all meet each of the aspects of this criteria.  These five quarterbacks were assembled by me as well as having been the most popular answers given by fans.  As noted earlier, I effected a simple formula in order to determine the greatest quarterback of the last 25 years — both, for myself, and for the fans.  By comparisons made within the required criteria, without bias,  the conclusion favors Brett Favre.

Below, is the final segment, and also how I end the entire section on quarterbacks, after Brett Favre has been declared the winner.  It is directed to Brett Favre.

     Virtually, everything about Brett Favre is both admirable and engaging.  We as fans, are truly blessed to witness such a player who is a certifiable superstar, and yet so identifiable as a human being. Regardless of his amazing on-field accomplishments and undeniable talent, we find ourselves connecting with him on a personal level.  He's the type of guy, that if you were to meet him, you may not even talk about football.  You would probably find yourself telling jokes, chatting about the weather, or any of the other “under the sun” topics.  His life story in recent years could draw comparisons to the biblical story of Job, and yet, true to his unwavering character, he has weathered the storms of personal tragedy with unbelievable personal performances, and as always, class, humility, and a down home dignity.  We as fans salute Brett Favre, and hope that he can continue to play longer, as we will never see another one like him.