The Pug (Anthony Pugliese) takes a look at the best players in NFL history to wear every number from 0(00) up to 99. In the second part of a ten part series, The Pug tells you who the best players in NFL history to wear jersey numbers 10-19 were(or are).
Part 2: Numbers 10-19
#10: Fran Tarkenton, Quarterback:
#29 | Fran Tarkenton is the best 29th pick of all-time.
Fact: Tarkenton was the 1st player to pass for 4 TDs in their 1st NFL game. Wow! pic.twitter.com/zBvzmW4sWU
— Talking Ball (@Talking_BallYT) March 29, 2017
Tarkenton was a true pioneer at the quarterback position, as he essentially introduced the league to the idea of a mobile quarterback. He played for 18 seasons between 1961-1978; five seasons for the New York Giants and 13 for the Minnesota Vikings. Eli Manning has similar passing numbers to Fran, but his innovative playing style and Canton presence has him holding on to the best player to sport the number 10.
‘The Mad Scrambler’ as he was sometimes referred to was selected to nine Pro Bowls, and won an MVP award for the Vikings in 1975. Tarkenton led the Vikings to three Super Bowl appearances but came up empty in all of them. When he retired following the 1978 season(a year that he led the league in passing), he held every major quarterback record.
“I scramble because I’m good at it, because I can twist and dodge those big pass rushers better than most guys and we get a lot of touchdowns that way.”- Fran Tarkenton via profootballhof.com
Fran has been extremely busy outside of the football world as well, creating a software company Tarkenton Software, a program generator company. Tarkenton sold his shares to Sterling Software in 1994, and was later ordered to pay a $100,000 fine and $54,187 in restitution for inflating earnings of his computer software and consulting firm, KnowledgeWare Inc. He did not admit any wrongdoing. Most recently, Tarkenton endorsed Donald Trump during his presidential campaign.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1986 and currently ranks 8th in all-time passing yards(47,003) and 6th all-time in touchdowns(342).
Honorable Mention: Eli Manning