NFL Writer Dan Pompei Just Wrote a Book on the 100 Greatest NFL Players
The NFL season is in full swing, and the storylines are boundless. But as is the case with any sports league, looking backwards is a good way to analyze just how far the league has come and find and better contextualize current players.
It's for those reasons and many others that Dan Pompei, Senior NFL Writer for The Athletic, decided to collaborate with Mike Sando and The Athletic Staff on The Football 100, a massive, 600+ page book that looks at 100 of the greatest NFL players in history. This isn't a book confined to the post-merger era either. Pompei, Sando, and the dutiful Athletic staff went all the way back to the past for this enormous read.
Dan Pompei was kind enough to join me on the phone to discuss The Football 100 as well as some other storylines circulating in the NFL. Of course I had to ask Pompei why my Chicago Bears suck so hard each and every year, and what the path forward is for the beleaguered franchise. Naturally, I had to get his take on the juiciest storyline in the NFL.
In addition, I presented him with four teams (the Atlanta Falcons, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers) and asked which of these up-and-down, Jekyll-and-Hyde teams would he pick to make the playoffs. But The Football 100 was the star of this interview, as this is a massive achievement for The Athletic and all involved.
One of the nice things about the book, in my opinion, is that we had a lot of different contributions doing profiles, so there's a lot of different styles and a lot of different ways at looking at the players.
Pompei campaigned heavily to include players pre-1960s, in effort to preserve the legacies of the founding fathers of the sport, so to speak. We even chatted about Dick Butkus, the legendary Chicago Bears linebacker known for his vicious hits and hard-nosed style of play. Butkus passed away earlier this month at the age of 80.
Views from the Hawkeyes/Badgers Football Game on 10-14-23
Gallery Credit: Steve Pulaski