Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Greatest Players to Have Never Won Anything

For those not in the New York or San Jose markets in which this story has probably been hashed and rehashed and probably rerehashed, I will recap. When the Rangers defeated the Sharks 2-5 in a game on October 31, Joe Thornton, the captain of the Sharks, commented that the Rangers were a "soft" team. John Tortorella, the coach of the Rangers, did not take kindly to this statement and fired back saying that Thornton lacked class for his comment and is one of the great players in the league to have never won anything. Maybe it's the Florida connection (Tortorella coached the Tampa Bay Lightning to their Stanley Cup win in 2004), but this made me immediately think of Dan Marino... which lead me to think if Joe Thornton never wins a Cup, how accurate might this statement be?

Status: Retired                                                 Status: Active
Born in Pittsburgh, Pa                                    Born in Lyndale, Ontario, Canada
Stats: 6'4", 224 lbs                                            Stats: 6'4", 230 lbs (Jumbo Joe)
Draft: Selected 27th overall but first              Draft: Selected 1st overall by the Boston
          for the Miami Dolphins in the                          Bruins in the 1997 draft
          1983 draft                          
Wears #13                                                        Wears #19
Career: 1983-1999 (16 years with the           Career: 1997-2004; 2005: Boston Bruins
             Miami Dolphins)                                            2004-2005: HC Davos (lockout)
                                                                                      2005-present: San Jose Sharks
College Distinction: 1981 National                Juniors Distinction:
             College Quarterback of                            1996 CHL Rookie of the Year
             the Year runner-up (University              1996 OHL Rookie of the Year
             of Pittsburgh)                                            (Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds)
Pro Bowl Appearances: 1983 (first rookie    All-Star Appearances: 2002, 2003, 2004,
       QB to play), 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987,             2007, 2008, and 2009 (named
       1991, 1992, 1994, and 1995                             captain)
Super Bowl Appearances: Super Bowl          Stanley Cup Appearances: None; made the
           XIX in 1985, defeated by Joe                     playoffs with the Boston Bruins in
          Montana and the San Francisco                 2002, 2003, and 2004; made the
          49ers; made the playoffs in 1983,               playoffs with the San Jose Sharks in
          1984, 1985, 1990, 1992, 1994,                      2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and
          1995, 1997, 1998, and 1999                         2011             
Awards: 1984 NFL MVP                                  Awards: 2006 Art Ross and Hart
                                                                                Memorial trophies, only player to win
                                                                                the Hart while splitting the season
                                                                                with two clubs
Notable Distinctions and Milestones:            Notable Distinctions and Milestones:
      Played 242 games and started 240              2011: Played in 1,000th game
           of them                                                       April 8, 2011: Scored 1,000th point
      Ranks 3rd in all-time wins with 147                      against the Phoenix Coyotes
      First QB to have six 4,000 yard seasons     2005-2006: 125 points, the highest
              (1984,1985, 1986, 1988, 1992,                          point total for a player during
              and 1994)                                                           a season with two clubs
      First QB to pass for 5,000 yards in a          2006-2007: 3rd player in NHL
              season (5,084 yards in 1984)                           history to post 90-assist
      Played the most seasons for the Miami                  seasons in back-to-back years
              Dolphins franchise                                2010: Won the gold medal with Team
      Has 110 wins with former head coach                    in the Vancouver Olympics
              Don Shula, the second most for a
              coach-QB tandem
      Inducted into the Hall of Fame 2005

Comparing the impressive careers of these two athletes, Dan and Joe are not so different. Each has proven to be a superstar and have reached pivotal milestones. Marino may be able to boast having played in the Super Bowl and won the conference championship, but Thornton still has neither won the conference nor appeared in the Stanley Cup final. However, Joe is not empty handed, for he can raise his gold medal from the 2010 Olympics. It should be noted that Marino would never be able to do so since football is not an Olympic sport, or at least not American football. Although Marino has been featured in the blockbuster hit Ace Ventura: Pet Detective while Joe has yet to make his Hollywood debut.

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