Originally Posted by DaneMcCloud
Rainman, I'm on my iPad, so will address in detail tomorrow. But population aside, you're missing the "Divine Spark" and "unique" aspect.
In musical terms, there's been only one Elvis. One Johnny Cash. One Jimi Hendrix. One Brian Wilson. One Eric Clapton. One Chuck Berry. One Mick Jagger. So on and so forth.
There are more kids playing football today than in the 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's and 90's combined.
Yet, where are the multiple Johnny Unitias clones, Joe Namath, Steve Young, John Elway, etc.?
You can add cities and players. But that doesn't mean that the talent level will remain consistent. Given the facts above, it'll be further watered down.
There are more kids playing today than ever before. Johnny U. looked remarkable because you have to compare what his talent level was in comparison to those he played against. It's the same as looking at college football. You have some guys who are absolutely dominant in college, but they might be simply mediocre in the NFL. The reason is that the talent level is so much better that the playing field is more equal. Johnny U. looked great because he was playing against lesser talents. Namath was actually just a mediocre QB.
There are, and have been, QBs every bit as good as Steve Young since Steve Young retired. The best QBs in the history of the game (arguably, of course) are currently in the league (Brady, Manning).
With a growing population and professional athletes being trained from the time that they can walk, the talent level has risen greatly, which will absolutely make it harder for individual athletes to be greatly ahead of others in the same game.