What players in a franchise’s history would you like to converse with over a beer? It is a fundamentally different question from being asked to identify the best or the most famous players in a franchise’s history. If a population of music aficionados were asked to identify the greatest rock ‘n’ roll band in history, The Beatles would win almost every time. If that same population was asked which rock ‘n’ roll band they’d most like to share a beer with, I’d bet on the Rolling Stones to unseat the Fab Four from Liverpool.
By comparison, selecting the most famous or the best players in franchise history is easy. Of course, there will be consternation and debate, but the fundamental question is less complex (these are just lists). Picking the Top 5 players in a team’s history to sit down and share an adult libation with is a far deeper question. Having a beer with someone is synonymous with free conversation, deep thoughts, getting off the cookie cutter list of topics, going off the record and boldly asking questions that scratch a curious itch.
The selection process must consider a player’s charisma, complexity, intrinsic qualities that connected with everyday people and the impact on the franchise, sport or even society — in short, all facets of their personal history. To get on this list, you need to be more than just good: You need to be interesting, fascinating and, still, a bit mysterious.
Is your mind churning? Have you picked the Top 5 happy hour guests from your favorite team? Here are mine, just mine, for the Washington Redskins. Cheers.