Marino needs to grow up

Ex-Dolphins QB's reaction to Favre's accomplishments have been childish

For one more week, Brett Favre and Dan Marino will be seen as equals.

All anyone has to do this week is flip on SportsCenter and you can see the split screen comparing Marino to Favre.

But sometime, probably in the first quarter of Sunday's game against the Minnesota Vikings, Favre will pass Marino and become the NFL's most prolific touchdown producing quarterback. That will be fitting because Marino has never been and never will be on the same level as Favre.

That's not to take anything away from Marino, who deservedly was a first-ballot Hall of Famer. But all Marino has is his records and he may not have any of those left by the time Favre finally decides to hang it up.

I'm not going to sit here and claim to know who the best quarterback ever is. I'm not going to compare Bart Starr, Sonny Jurgensen, Fran Tarkenton and Johnny Unitas to the current crop of quarterbacks. Unfortunately, I'm too young to have followed their careers.

I do know that Joe Montana is the best quarterback I've ever seen, followed closely by John Elway and then Favre would probably be a close third. I don't put Marino in the same category as those three, who all will go down as some of the greatest to ever play the game. I'm not even completely convinced that Marino deserves to be on the same tier as Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, four quarterbacks who seemed to always make their teams better and were also able to manage a few wins in the postseason.

One of the most telling moments of last weekend was watching Marino's reaction to Favre tying his record. While he may have said the right things, he looked completely disgusted, like he would have rather seen Shawne Merriman break Favre's legs so Marino could preserve his precious record. Marino seemed the same way a few years back when Manning was breaking his single-season touchdown record.

Favre has said repeatedly that he doesn't care about the record, and while I don't believe that for a second, I do believe he cares more about winning. I think Favre is happier that he has the Packers off to a 3-0 start than he is that he's thrown six touchdowns in the last two games.

I also believe that in several years when Manning has a chance to break Favre's passing records that Favre will be genuinely happy to see the baton passed and won't sit there on national TV and pout like a spoiled little child.

For quarterbacks like Favre, Montana, Elway, Manning, Brady, Young and Aikman, their proudest accomplishments are what their teams did. For Marino, his proudest accomplishments are his individual statistics and the few records he still holds.

Dylan Tomlinson is a frequent contributor to and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at

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