Berg vs. Ferg: Production or longevity in All-Decade voting?
With voting well underway for the All-Decade team presented by LeoVegas, CFL.ca columnists Pat Steinberg and Marshall Ferguson return to go back and forth on the voting process and what matters most: Productivity or longevity?
TORONTO — The ballot for the All-Decade team presented by LeoVegas is a who’s who of the CFL’s most accomplished players over the last 10 seasons. Choosing which player(s) land in the appropriate spots isn’t an easy task. Some will go heavy on stats, others may think about those that came up big in the playoffs. Sometimes we drift toward the players we’ve seen most often or have the best memories of. Like any complicated question, the answer isn’t always just A, B, C or D. As you weigh your options and think about your reasoning for your decision, you may look for that precious option E: All of the above.
Pat Steinberg and Marshall Ferguson are spending time scanning all of those options and while they may have thought about going with all of the above, they managed to zero in (mostly) on a definitive answer. On one hand, it’s about recognizing the significance of achievements, even if they were in a shorter window than what other players provided. For the other it’s about consistency through the course of a career, which is no easy feat in any sport.
MORE ON THE ALL-DECADE TEAM
» CFL to honour the best of the last decade
» Vote Now: Receivers, Defensive Backs and Safeties
» Full list of nominees at each position
» ADT Voting schedule
» Morris: Stats aren’t everything for defensive backs
When you’re making your All-Decade selections, which carries more weight? Longevity or productivity? Pat Steinberg and Marshall Ferguson are here with their arguments.
|BERG VS. FERG: LAST TIME’S RESULTS
Last time, Berg and Ferg debated the best under the radar free agency acquisition.
Poll Result: Who was the top under the radar free agency signing?
Ferguson: Tyrell Sutton 29%
Steinberg: Dominique Rhymes (71%)
BERG (2-0): Respect to the stars that shine brightest
Pat Steinberg, CFL.ca
As I wrote in last week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, determining my individual criteria for the CFL’s first ever All-Decade Team presented by LeoVegas was difficult. In the end, I wanted my votes to reflect the best players of the decade, which is different than the best body of work. As such, I put more weight on what a player did while they were playing last decade as opposed to how many seasons they played.
I felt focusing most on productivity gave my votes the best chance to be inclusive without penalizing or excluding elite players who only played, say, three or four seasons in the 2010’s. I believe players like Alex Singleton, Winston Rose, William Powell, Jon Cornish, and Jamel Richardson (among others) deserve equal consideration compared to their more tenured counterparts. Focusing solely, or heavily, on longevity would have docked those players, which I don’t believe is fair.
Of course, it’s impossible to completely ignore longevity, and I certainly didn’t. Part of what has defined the outstanding careers of players like S.J. Green, Brandon Smith, Ryan Phillips and Andrew Harris is their ability to be elite for virtually the entire decade. That has to be considered, but I believe that type of extended stretch falls under the productivity banner, too.
In the end, there really isn’t a right or wrong way to go about this. Differing opinions on criteria and what should be deemed more important is part of what makes an exercise like the All-Decade Team presented by LeoVegas so enjoyable. I put more weight in productivity and tried to separate that from longevity as best I could in order to even the playing field. If you feel different, though, reflect it on your ballot! Voting on receivers and defensive backs is open until July 7th.
FERG (0-2): In it for the long haul
Marshall Ferguson, CFL.ca
There’s no doubt that individual season productivity is an essential factor in determining your all-decade team vote, but we are voting for the best players over a 10-year span and for me, that means celebrating players who showed their best for a longer period of time.
Some players have an exceptional year or two then vanish into the NFL as a special teamer or practice roster player. Others have a flash in the pan season of greatness and remain in the Canadian Football League but never attain their previous level of performance.
The best CFL players and those worthy of my CFL all-decade vote are those who stay in the CFL AND maintain a high level of performance.
Let’s look at the quarterbacks, for example.
Anthony Calvillo is without a doubt one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time, but this isn’t a career achievement award; it’s about this decade.
Zach Collaros had a stretch in Hamilton before injuries and an eventual trade sent him elsewhere that he was the most dominant player in the CFL. Since then? When healthy, Zach is undoubtedly a weapon any team would want, but the consistency at times has been called into question.
Henry Burris had a stellar statistical season for Hamilton in 2012 and finished with a Grey Cup in 2016 for Ottawa, but there were moments before in Calgary and in between ’12 and ’16 that could leave voters wanting more.
For me, when it comes to number of starts weighed more heavily with stats and overall performance Bo Levi Mitchell has to be the pick.
Every player on the nomination list has an argument to be made in their favour, but when the question of longevity vs. production arises I lean to those who stay in the league and stay at a level that can be celebrated and built around year after year as my determining criteria.
GET YOUR VOTE ON
Who do you agree with? Has Berg sold you on the impact that a player can have in a shorter burst over a decade? Or has Ferg convinced you that a lengthy resume carries more weight in the voting process? Weigh in by commenting and/or tweeting your thoughts to @Fan960Steinberg and @TSN_Marsh.
The winner will be revealed in the next Berg vs. Ferg.