It’s a loaded question that disguises itself in many forms. Eli’s version came in 2011 when the Super Bowl XLII MVP was asked if he thought he belonged in the same class as Tom Brady. Joe Flacco’s version came the following year when the Baltimore quarterback was asked where he thought he ranked among NFL quarterbacks. But no matter the shape in which the question presents itself, it’s always asking the same thing.
Are you an elite quarterback?
It’s a loaded question because we all presume to know the answer before the inquiry even takes place. No. It’s why nobody would ask Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers whether or not they are elite. We’re all already in agreement that they are.
But we ask Eli Manning and Joe Flacco because we think we win with whatever response they offer. Answer in the affirmative and everybody will laugh while pointing to your shortcomings. Respond in the negative and your confidence and swagger will be called into question, along with whether or not you possess the “it” factor that we’ll be hearing so much about over the next few months.