Todd Blackledge vs. Kerry Collins: Pick one

Preface: Remember that you are allowed, encouraged even, to make an emotional decision here. This is not necessarily about who's the greatest. As for previous polls, well, come on, Hunt and Poslusnzy are obviously the greatest.

I know what's going to happen here. Collins is going to win, and quite possibly by an easy margin. Why?

1) The majority of people here are probably too young to remember Blackledge.

2) Collins had a longer pro career.

3) People who are too young to remember either have most likely heard from their parents and others the fresher memories about Collins.

Well, you're all wrong. Wrong! Forget you!

Kerry Collins is the greatest Penn State quarterback ever. But Todd Blackledge is in elite company. Blackledge, Curt Warner, Lydell Mitchell, Shane Conlan, Tamba Hali, Mike Reid, Blair Thomas, Greg Buttle, Shorty Miller, Bruce Clark, and Lenny Moore are the coolest Penn State players ever. Moreover, Todd Blackledge was awesome.

Who here has ever seen the 1982 Nebraska game? I'm too young to have it watched it live, but I have it on DVD. And, my word, Todd freaking Blackledge.

Nebraska took a 24-21 lead late in the 4th quarter, their first lead of the game. Blackledge, who is now without his good buddy Curt "Herschel is a walker, Warner is a runner" Warner, out with a leg injury, doesn't panic. He navigates Penn State down the field, through a third down conversion, a wicked sweet fourth down conversion with Kenny Jackson on the receiving end, and a second down pass to Mike McCloskey at the five that was too close to call an "outrageous referee call" you stupid Nebraska pillocks. Oh, and then he worked the play action perfectly for the touchdown pass to Kirk Bowman. Game. Blouses.

Collins had his drives, of course. The 98 yarder against Illinois and the game winner in the 4th quarter. The game winner against Michigan that same year. And, one of my favorites, the great drives against Notre Dame in '92 in a losing effort.

But Blackledge was cooler. His style of play was simply cooler, more fun to watch, and I just love him. He always gave me the impression of being in a state of making up for something (He was pretty small in comparison to Collins and his arm strength wasn't all-world), whereas Collins was so obviously perfect in almost every regard.

Also, in 1982, my Dad and Todd Blackledge looked almost identical. Long, casually-trimmed hair, sweet mustaches, coolness. Ah, the early '80s.

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