The Merits of "Top 100 Lists"

Ezra Shaw

Let's have radical opinions about Michael Crabtree and lists! But especially lists!

Yesterday we had a long discussion about Michael Crabtree's absence from the NFL's annual offseason "Top 100 Players" list. It is, I think, an egregious error. He's clearly one of the best in the league. Frankly, there are a couple of WRs on the list whom he should probably replace. And don't even get me started on Mike Iupati's absence. As the youngsters say, dat cray cray. No, but seriously, that's crazy.

And then, when you realize this error, you wonder to yourself who the heck votes on this anyway. And maybe it's a serious voting thing. I don't personally think the NFL Top 100 is all that reputable, but maybe you trust something like the PFF rankings more. I don't know; that's personal preference. And both probably have their merits. It's like debating pre- or post-Syd Barrett Pink Floyd. Both bring fantastic material to the table, even if you like one more than the other.

But the fact still remains that, yes, these lists do have their merits. They are worth generating and reviewing. After seeing that Crabtree was left off the NFL list, I scoffed all condescending-like and disparaged the lists existence out loud even though nobody was in the room with me. That's how much disdain I had for the list. Surely we shouldn't even pay attention to something like this.

But then, after I thought about it for a bit, I started to change my tune. This last season, I did the Power Rankings for this site. They were both challenging and a lot of fun. But writing them up and discussing them with you all made me think about the NFL teams in a different way. My perspectives were continuously disjointed and forcibly re-evaluated. This is good for me as a fan and blog writer. And, I hope they helped you all think about NFL teams in fresh, new ways.

So, yeah, that's what these lists should do. The fact that Crabtree's absence can generate 80+ comments that included substantive discussion about, say, Dez Bryant's merits as a WR is a good thing. The lists can seems silly sometimes -- especially since they are subjective to the point of absurdity. But, I'm glad they are around.

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