By: Jason “Big J” Allen

Follow Me @UnsportsmenBigJ

Remember in all creative genres it goes through stages.  From creation, the silver age, the golden age, mass produced saturation, and return to creativity.  As a 29 year old I grew up in the “golden age” of hip hop and Quarterbacking.  Looking at the NFL landscape and where it has been, I didn’t realize how privileged I was to witness the “Golden Age” of NFL Quarterbacking in the 1990’s.  Also let’s not forget the 1990’s birthed some of the best hip hop and MC’s ever.  So lets go over this “golden age” and now this new era.

The ’90’s had some of the greatest QB play ever.  No! you say, well look at the list here.  Joe Montana (I know he was near the end of his career, but he was still in the ’90’s and we didn’t buck when he came back against the Broncos in the playoffs),  John Elway, Dan Marino, Steve Young, Troy Aikman, Warren Moon, Phil Simms, Brett Farve, Randle Cunningham, Boomer Esiason, Peyton Manning (ok I cheated on this one but he was drafted in ’98), Jim Kelly, and Drew Bledsoe (before you say WHAT!! look up those Patriot numbers and he did lead them to a Super Bowl).  I’m not even going to include Vinny Testaverde, or the wildly talented but dysfunctional Jeff George.  The point I’m making is in the ’90’s a league where it was still run, by the running backs (pun intended) we had 9 Hall of Famers, and at least 13 good/great QB’s in the league at once.  Like I said the “Golden Age”.

In hip hop it was still fighting for position in the music world, but by the time the ’90’s hit, Hip Hop had arrived.  Just think back to some of the ’90’s artist the ran the radio waves.  Biggie, 2Pac, Nas, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Busta Rhymes, Ice Cube (before the kids movies), Snoop Dog (before he became a Lion), Big L, Redman, Common, Eminem (taking my Peyton Manning liberty with this one and don’t forget Slim Shady LP was feb. 1999), DMX, Big Pun, and the list could go on and that is not even including groups that were awesome.  I mean Wu-Tang loved the kids, the Fugees, the immortal OutKast, and on, and on, and on.  But with all things, once it gets popular the levee breaks and we got saturated copycats.

In the 2000’s we fell into the trick of ranks and saturation, or should I say the word everyone wants to utter “Elite”.  Who’s ELITE!  I never heard this uttered in the 90’s, probably because it would have started a conversation that we all would still be arguing.  So after those great players retired, we were left with Manning, and Farve.  We had some new comers to the party, hell instead of me going over this list I’m going to let Bleacher Report do it for me….  I will give you a second to go over it.

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     I bet after the list up top I presented you, this best of the 2000’s doesn’t look or feel that great.  I know right, I mean Mike Vick, who admitted he didn’t take his craft serious is ranked.  Even Chad Pennington made the list with the water pistol arm (no disrespect Ray “Big Play” Miller but it is what it is), I love Jeff Garcia, but he couldn’t make the league in the 90’s and had top play in Canada.  I know some of you will point to Warren Moon doing the same, but that was more of a race issue rather than an ability issue.  This also why we started to see the emerging Diva Wide Receiver, and other positions self promoting.  With no strong or overly talented QB’s; the NFL looked to any talented player to market the league.  Enter the T.O., Moss, Ocho, and every wannabe Cornerback that thought they are/were Deion “Primetime” Sanders (Fred Smoot, and DeAngelo Hall to name a few).  Look at the strong QB’s of the 2000’s Peyton, Brady, Farve, Brees, and Warner, how many of them had the “Diva” player on their team? NONE, because they were the team, point blank.  When we look at hip hip a lot of the earlier names, were getting older, richer, dying, or just stopped making music.  This led to the terrible Hip Hop of the 2000’s, it was still good Hip Hop, but now you had to find it and look hard for it.  This started the trend of the illegal download.  People didn’t feel comfortable buying a Hip Hop cd when its a huge chance it would be terrible,  It even prompted a lot of older artist to say “Hip Hop is dead”.

Now going into this new era everyone should enjoy this youth movement.  The league has made it easier for a QB to come straight out of college and be successful.  We have these young guns (Newton, Dalton, Wilson, Kaepernick, Luck, RGIII, and Stafford) who are breathing life back into the position.  Now we are seeing how to creatively use these new athletic QB’s to the best of their abilities.  In Hip Hop we are starting to see a new creative movement of cross genre music.  Lil’ Wayne with a rock album, Kanye West singing?  This is not my “Golden Age” of hip hop this is something new…  Something creative.  Even our pure Hip Hop artist are making some of the best music in 10 years.  Listen to a  Kendrick Lamar, Tech9, Lupe Fiasco, and again the list can go on.  They have figured out to be lyrically great, mixed with catchy beats, and know how to massage the mainstream, while staying connected to the underground.  If this generation pans out we will be debating what was the best generation of QB’ing and MC’ing for years to come.  Hip Hop and NFL fans, to steal a line from Jim Harbaugh “Who has it better than us? NOO-BODY!!!”,  “Since this is a New Era and I got a fresh new hat!”

Jason "Big J" Allen  @UnsportsmenBigJ

Jason “Big J” Allen
@UnsportsmenBigJ

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