So, on Sunday, Emmitt Smith finally joined Troy and Michael in the Hall of Fame and naturally, the whole debate between “the best running back ever” pops up again. It seems like the debate about those four running backs – Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Walter Payton and Jim Brown – will forever be linked – thanks in no small part to a weird sort of related connections between all four of them.

Many people who saw Jim Brown play will always regard him as the greatest ever and will argue, had he continued to play while still in his prime, he would have gone on to level Walter and Emmitt would have only dreamed of in terms of all time rushing yardage. Walter Payton fans will tell you he amassed all of those yards for many years by himself… that it was only during the late 80’s when Walter finally had a decent team around him.