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Reed vs. Polamalu: ESPN's Fans Debate

James Walker of ESPN writes his AFC North Blogon a regular basis, with stories and notes on the Baltimore Ravens as well as the Pittsburgh Steelers, Cincinnati Bengals and Cleveland Browns. When the NFL came out with their list of the Top 100 Players for 2011, and they had the Ravens' Ed Reed (#5) one spot ahead the Steelers' Troy Polamalu (#6), it set off a windstorm of debate comparing these two All-Pro's, primarily, but not just between the fans of both cities.

Walker says he does not purposely mean to regurgitate what he calls the "Troy Reed" debate, but that's like putting a match to kindling and saying you didn't mean to start a fire. His comment was not inflammatory by itself, but knowing the passion and loyalty both team's fans wear on their sleeves, you just knew it would explode in the readers comment below the story.

Obviously, it's difficult to statistically compare the two players, while safeties, they do play other positions with distinctly different on-the-field responsibilities. Reed might get more interceptions, while Polamalu might be more disruptive overall. Both make big plays that alter or decide games. Although Troy has two Super Bowl rings while Ed has none, that is more a factor of the team more than the individual player.

So check out the column on the link above, but scroll down to the passionate fan's comments for the real entertainment!