NFL Quarterbacks Judged on the “L” Factor: Likability

A lot of words are written every year about football. A lot. We’re talking NFL here. Oblong American ball. Pigskin and bruises. Quarterbacks in particular. And how they stack up.

The stars of the game are ranked by all sorts of things. Size. Talent. Stats. Stuff that matters. Stuff that counts. The rankings we see are not generally based on popularity. And why would they be? Popularity and likability are subjective. These are professional athletes, not television stars or competitors receiving golden buzzers on America’s Got Talent.

None of these brushes with reality are in evidence in a recent article on Medium with the tongue-in-cheek title, “The Definitive Likability Ranking of the 32 NFL Quarterbacks.” And how do we know said title is tongue-in-cheek?

“You looking for an athlete who respects the fans,” this about number two pick, Patrick Mahomes, “can seem down to earth and otherworldly all at once and perfectly treads the line between confidence and cockiness?” Or this about the player ranked at number 15: “If Matt Ryan had not been given the nickname ‘Matty Ice’ before he’d earned it maybe he wouldn’t be choking under the pressure of it now.”

But it’s really not until we’re deep into the list — and getting to the quarterbacks here judged less likable — that the article hits its stride.

“[Ben] Roethlisberger is one of the most disliked players in the league and we know this because he consistently tops the lists of most disliked players in the NFL, despite the fact he plays for one of the most beloved franchises of all time. Maybe it’s the weird E in his name.”

There’s a lot more zingers. And they’re here.

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