Dan Marino is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL. Boomer Esiason wasn’t bad, either. The one knock on Marino is that he was never able to win a Super Bowl, and the same is true for Esiason. During the CBS pregame show before the Denver Broncos took on the San Diego Chargers on Sunday, Shannon Sharpe reminded his colleagues of that.
The panel was discussing whether or not Super Bowl championships validate greatness. Perhaps forgetting that he was sitting beside a Hall of Famer who never won a ring, Sharpe chimed in.
“For a quarterback, at the end of the day, you don’t even get to enter this discussion if you don’t have a championship,” Sharpe stated emphatically. “I’m sorry, that’s just the way it is.”
Oops. Marino then admitted that a Super Bowl trophy is the one thing he never captured, saying “I wish I had that feeling.” He also pointed out that Esiason walked off the field with a lead in Super Bowl 23 and would have won a championship if one of his Cincinnati Bengals teammates didn’t drop an interception. Sharpe then backpedaled.
“One more thing,” he interrupted. “Let’s not get carried away — there’s a lot of guys that have Super Bowl rings that are lesser quarterbacks than Dan Marino. So let’s not just say, ‘Oh, he won a Super Bowl…'”
Sharpe had a point. Championships are the ultimate measuring stick, especially when statistics vary so much from generation to generation (see: All the dudes who threw for over 4,000 yards the past two seasons). Sharpe just happened to make his point at an awkward moment, which made for extremely uncomfortable television.
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