Game changers can come in all shapes and sizes. In fact, they don’t even have to be players.
The NFL revealed the remainder of the top 100 game changers of all time Friday night, a list selected through a panel of football historians and media in conjunction with the league’s celebration of its 100th season.
While legendary figures like Bill Belichick and Vince Lombardi were included, so too were innovations such as Astroturf, ESPN’s “NFL Primetime” highlights show and Fox’s decision to use the now-commonplace time and score box as part of their broadcasts.
It’s an interesting list that is littered with minority trailblazers like Fritz Pollard, who was one of the first two black players as well as the first black coach in the league, and woman such as Amy Trask and Sarah Thomas. Trask, a former Raiders executive, was the first female CEO of a team while Thomas became the league’s first female official.
There was plenty of room for traditional game changers as well and the Patriots had three, led by Belichick, who checked in at No. 11. Joining the coach were Tom Brady at No. 25 and Randy Moss at 79.
For a team that has dominated the league for the better part of two decades, having just three representatives on the list seems a bit light. But when giving it some further thought, it speaks to the longevity and both Brady and Belichick and their impact on the modern game that allowed them to be ranked so high.
Next week NFL Network will begin its look at the top teams of all time, another area in which the Patriots figure to be prominently featured.