The greatest of all time is something usually easily recognized. The player with the most touchdowns, most yards, most tackles, most (insert random stat here) is usually in the discussion for who is recognized as the Best Ever. But on the flip side of the coin, deciding on the worst ever is something that few agree on, and many argue over.
Who is to decide what constitutes as “The Worst”? In fact if a player truly is the worst, shouldn’t they have been holding clipboards and getting Gatorade for the superstars of the team? While this is most often the case, a few sparkling turds make their way onto the football field, where they can stink up a whole stadium with their lack of skill, leadership, talent, and athletic ability.
It is from this thought that I bring to you the first installment of the Niners Nation: Worst of All Time list. This will work in a similar fashion to the Best of All Time list, just on the opposite end of the spectrum. I’ll list a few players that are in the running for Worst of All Time at their specific position, you vote. In the end, the winners will be put on the Worst of All Time roster, and can go through their lives living with the shame of having thousands of fans consider them Worst of All Time.
And since QB discussions have been so hot on this site lately, why not begin with the most important position on the offensive side of the ball, the QB. We as 49er fans have been blessed to have some of the greatest QBs of all time (
After the jump, a list of the worst of the worst (as I see it), some general stats and a quick wrap on their careers wearing the Red and Gold.
Ahh, Just Turn Overs…. How I loath you. Let me count the ways… The #3 on the depth charts, #1 in Martz’s heart walking train wreck sent our most recent season into a tailspin with inept play, awful ball control/game management, and an inability to step up as the team leader. Sure, he knew Martz’s system the best, and it takes quite a strong mind to grasp that. In nine games of play, JTO threw for 1678 yards at a 58.0% completion rate, threw for 8 TD’s, 11 INTs, and fumbled the ball 11 times (that’s 22 total turnovers for those whipping out the calculators).
Unfortunately for JTO Suckagain, the bad FAR outweighs the good in this scenario, and now my respect for him is somewhere in between my respect for a toaster oven and the white stuff that accumulates at the side of your mouth when you are really, really thirsty.
The former Super Bowl Champion QB (and some consider worst winning Super Bowl QB ever) joined the Niners shortly after the franchise drafted Alex Smith to serve as a mentor for Smith’s “developmental period”. In 2007, after Smith separated his shoulder, Dilfer stepped in to lead the team to a 2-5 record in seven games as a starter. During his one half-season as a regular player, Dilfer threw 7 TDs, 12 INTs, 1166 yards with a completion percentage of 51.6%, and had a QB rating of 55.1. Not a superstar for sure, but worst 49er QB EVER?
The jury is still out on Mr. Smith, and he has a chance to take him off of this list if given the opportunity. However, one decent season out of four after being drafted first overall is not enough to keep him off the list this go around. A 25% chance of a decent season puts him in the bust category, and since he was #1 overall it would make it a massive bust. Personally, I would say no where even close to the worst QB of all time, but some could argue drafting him instead of Aaron Rogers (or anyone else) in the 2005 Draft might have kept the team out of the doldrums for the past few years.
NOTE: Shaun Hill Haters - I am NOT including Hill on this list because he has a winning record for the Niners. I am not playing favorites, or even stating I want Hill as the starter this season over Alex Smith.
Here we have the all around crappy, 1st round bust, and utter disappointment known as Jim Drunkenmiller. Selected 26th overall in the 1997 draft, he was seen as the new Steve Young/Joe Montana when it came to be his turn to play. Unfortunately, his turn to play came and went very quickly. He played in only six games, completing 21 of 52 pass attempts while throwing only one touchdown pass, four interceptions and leaving with a QB rating of 29.2. The Niners later released him, he was signed by the Dolphins, then was cut and never played in the NFL again. He was seen in the AFL and the XFL, but briefly, and by very few people… Kind of like Loch Ness, but much, much, much less impressive.
Cody has the dubious distinction of being the only starting QB of the 49ers to have never earned a touch down. In 6 games of play (2 starts), he completed 18 passes, threw 4 interceptions, fumbled the ball 4 times (but didn’t lose any of them!) and finished with a QB rating of 16.4. Ouch. The slight asterisk next to him was that he was drafted 217th overall (7th round) so nobody was expecting the greatness that some from other #1 overall picks (*COUGHDRUNKENMILLERCOUGHSMITHCOUGH*), but that’s not an excuse that will get you off of this list.
I never watched him play, just coach. But from what I read on the interwebs, during his ten year career (nine of which with the 49ers, one with expansion Tampa Bay,) Spurrier played in a total of 106 games, accumulating 597 completions, including 6,878 yards and 40 touchdowns, and 60 interceptions in 1,151 pass attempts. He had one very good season, statistically, in 1972 (1938 yards, 54.6 completion percentage, 18 TDs, 16 INTs, 75.9 QB rating), but four of his 9 seasons on the team he barely threw 10 passes (mostly because he was behind/sharing time with John Brodie), but in the end he never contributed much to the team. More of a bump on the log than anything else...
Here we see another Super Bowl winning QB (he was even the MVP for his first super bowl – XV). However in this instance, Plunkett reached his greatness after his time with the Niners, and in a more painful way. In 1976 Plunkett was traded to the San Francisco 49ers, and led the team to a 6-1 start before faltering to an 8-6 record. After a 5-9 season in 1977, the 49ers released him during the 1978 preseason to the Oakland Raiders. He rode the bench until Dan Pastorini broke his leg week 5 of the 1980 season, and in a Kurt-Warner-for-the-St.-Louis-Rams-type-performance, led the team to the Super Bowl, beating the Eagles. Why is he on this list? A) Because he sucked as a Niner. B) He “betrayed” the team by going across the bay to our most evil of rivals and C) He led our rivals to multiple Super Bowl titles. Where was that talent when in
That’s the small list I created, but others could make a strong argument for others I left off the list, so throw them up in the comments section. Let the [site decorum]-fest begin!!!
PS - Thanks to Wikipedia, Databasefootball.com, and NFL.com for the stats and information for all of these players.