There’s an endless conversation about the best NFL players of all time.
Sports show personalities devote much air time in making their case as to why a certain player stands above the rest.
Social media is also a welcome platform for football fans who argue that their idol is the greatest.
The exchange can go on forever, making Green Bay Packers offensive lineman David Bakhtiari fed up with the standards for naming someone the Greatest of All Time. or GOAT.
Honestly, we throw around GOAT, and terms that are attached with greatness too easily. We gotta respect the greats. It’s becoming way too saturated.
— David Bakhtiari (@DavidBakhtiari) February 15, 2022
Unfortunately, a debate of this nature is both a blessing and a curse.
It is a blessing because it keeps the sport in news cycles even during the offseason.
There’s no doubt that segments on popular sports-oriented programs will feature discussions on the best NFL players in certain positions.
They will blend these debates with updates from the NFL Combine and free agency to consistently dominate ratings.
It’s a low-hanging fruit to attract an audience because sports always attract a crowd because of the competition.
On the other hand, it is a curse because Bakhtiari does have an excellent point.
Recency bias may bring a fan or a sports show analyst into the pitfall of declaring someone or something they saw recently as great.
The GOAT Debate Is Worthless
Bakhtiari brought it home when he said that respect is due for the real greats and that discussion gets saturated.
But to bring the argument to another level, all the GOAT talk is organized blabber because it’s hard to compare players who dominated in different eras.
It’s unfair to say that the quarterbacks of the 1970s are inferior to the ones playing now because they have fewer passing yards.
The game back then wasn’t as pass-happy as it is nowadays and the run game was king.
Therefore, the best GOAT discussion will only happen if you dissect a player’s career in relation to his contemporaries.