Archive for August, 2009

The Cutler-Favre effect

August 19, 2009

I just finished reading the comments from the last couple posts. Lots of great thoughts and ranging opinions on this whole Favre matter.

One thing I didn’t mention in any of my previous posts on Favre-to-Vikings, is that I think the Favre signing will be a significant psychological boost for the Vikings. Earlier this year, when Jay Cutler Favred himself out of Denver (or was pushed out Denver depending on your perspective), lots of folks initially said that the Bears gave up way too much to get him. They did give up a lot, no question. But I think it was a smart move (and a surprising one for Angelo). I figured the Bears signing Cutler would be an instant psychological boost for the Bears. It was and importantly, the excitement has only grown in Chicago since the signing – training camp was wild with Cutler there.

In many ways, the Cutler to Bears situation is similar to the Favre to Vikings situation. Both QBs have the luxury of having fine RBs and good running games behind them. Both will have decent O-Lines. Both will probably have good defenses to support them (if the Williams’ duo aren’t suspended). Both will be throwing to mediocre, at best, receivers. Both are self-centered, clearly. But perhaps the most significant similarity is that both QBs have landed on teams that have struggled to find consistent/quality QBs over the years. And because of this, the positive psychological effect their acquisition will have on the respective organizations, fans, coaches, teammates, will be huge.

Some may dismiss this psychological stuff as “fluff”/as not being a legit factor, but I think psychology is a huge part of football. Before the Cutler signing, I had the Bears hovering around .500 – same with the Vikes. But after these signings, I think both will now compete with the Packers for NFC North supremacy. When the perception is that THE position that has been a question mark for both teams for a while now has been settled, it has the psychological effect of inundating the team with confidence. Even if the reality may be different and even if there may be legit statistical reasons why these signings shouldn’t be a boost, if the perception is that the QB position has been at least temporarily shored up, chances are, that flow of confidence will carry forward and lead to some extra success in the season.

In fact, what I find somewhat interesting is that we’re already seeing the positive psychological effect of Favre’s signing on the Vikings – and yet at this point in his career, I view Favre as a mentally fragile athlete. Will his confidence be restored because of the support from a team that desperately wanted him or will his mental fragility infect his new teammates?

What do you think – Favre to help Vikings?

August 18, 2009

I’m interested to know if you all believe Favre joining the Vikes will make them better this year, about the same, or worse. And of course, let me know why.

It’s official, Favre signs, Packergeek pukes

August 18, 2009

I hate the Vikings. I hate few things, but I hate the Vikings. This makes me sick. It’s official though, Favre is taking snaps for the Packers biggest recent rival (John David Booty had to give up his #4 jersey so Favre could have it). This is for real. Brett Favre is on the Vikings.

What does this mean? Well, first of all, it means I’m pissed off at Favre. I hate the Vikings, this just pisses me off.

I also think it means the Vikes will be very good. As I’ve mentioned before, because I think Favre is no longer good at handling pressure, he has to be pleased that he will be quarterbacking a team led by the best RB in the league. This will lift tons of pressure off of Favre – and when Favre doesn’t feel pressure, he can be very good. He will also benefit from having a decent line in front of him.

Interestingly, before this announcement today, I was preparing to pick the Vikings to be 7-9 this year, no kidding. I just thought that Childress/Wilf had caste a storm cloud over the organization with their heavy, very public flirtation with Favre and the second either of the 2 QBs screwed up, there would have been chaos. Well, now that Favre has signed, I wouldn’t be surprised to see MN make it to the playoffs, maybe even win a game at home, and then get blown out when Favre folds under pressure.

Helicopters following Favre’s arrival?

August 18, 2009

I’m going to get sick…

Favre heading to Minnesota?

August 18, 2009

Read here from WISN. Here we go again.

Justin Harrell’s career over?

August 17, 2009

Read here from jsonline blog re the possibility that Harrell’s latest back pains may at this point, be career threatening. If he is indeed done, I know a good many will be even more frustrated that Ted Thompson took a chance on the guy (considering his injury history was well-documented before the draft). I won’t hesitate to criticize that decision either because even at the time, I thought it was a questionable decision. However, one thing I want to put out there that could very well get overlooked in all of this is this: Justin Harrell is more disappointed than any of us. The guy worked hard to make it in this league, it wasn’t his fault he was drafted by the Packers in the first round and he has had a succession of unfortunate injuries that continue to interfere with his dreams too.

Packergeek goes to training camp

August 17, 2009

In all my years as a big-time Packer fan, I had never been to training camp…until last Friday (8/7). On our way up to Door County, I persuaded my wife to allow a brief detour to Lambeau. I have a homing device or something that just pulls me toward Lambeau whenever I’m in northeastern WI. Anyway, I knew we would be arriving right toward the end of the practice (I’d checked the schedule) and I kept telling my wife that my 2 year old would go nuts. He already loves Lambeau and all things Packers mostly because he’s my son and has no choice, but also because of a kids book we often read called Go Pack Go (http://www.amazon.com/Go-Pack-Aimee-Aryal/dp/1932888942) – Anyway, I was acting as though making this stop was for purely altruistic reasons when in reality, I was also pumped to see it myself.

We arrived shortly before practice ended (though practice was indoors due to the rain) and we positioned ourselves by the kids with the bikes to see some of the players. It was very cool. My son and I found a spot where few others were standing and he extended his arm to give high fives to all the players. A two-year-old slapping five with Breno Giacomini is something to see. My son was super excited and really, I was too – lots of fun. The best part I thought was that the kids weren’t the only ones smiling – lots of the players (Jennings, Driver especially) were hamming it up and having a good time with it.

Afterward, I called Brother Steve so my son could tell Uncle Steve what he saw. Steve picked up and I just said, “Dude, Ben wants to tell you what he saw”. Ben said: “big, huge, huge, giant, big strong guys”. Steve, was a bit concerned about what Ben had seen until Ben then blurted out “Donald Driver”. When he realized where we’d been, brother Steve, far from the homeland, was quite jealous.

But what a neat experience. And man was it easy to just park, walk across the street and slap high fives with some of the best-known athletes around. This experience made me think of something that I couldn’t shake until we got to Door County: there is a reason training camp is popular, the Packers are popular and the Lambeau mystique is alive and well…the team just does it right and it has for years. We should all feel lucky to be a real part of this organization. Sure not everything the team has done has been smart, but there is a constant undercurrent of class that keeps this organization separate from many others.

(Hopefully I can get some of the pictures we took up soon…)

Favre rumblings

August 17, 2009

We’re hearing it again, this time from Jay Glazer, that Favre and the Vikings haven’t totally broken up yet. I just got a text from Favre saying, “ummm, it’s not like we were exactly going out in the first place, we were more just friends” but “yes, we still talk ’cause like I am a good listener and they are like going through a hard time.” My guess is that even if Favre doesn’t join the Vikings now, we’ll be hearing rumors like this one all season (especially if Rosenfels wins the starting job because MN will struggle if he does).

I think Favre is delaying this not just because he doesn’t like training camp, which Glazer argues, but because the longer he waits, he figures the more desperate the Vikes will become for his help, which has the effect of reducing pressure/expectations. If he had come before camp, there would have been lots of hype surrounding his arrival and the expectations of Vikings’ fans by now would be through the roof, putting lots of pressure on him. But by delaying any commitment to the team, perhaps he’ll be hailed as a savior of sorts when he does commit – and of course then, if things end up going poorly, he can always claim that he didn’t learn enough of the offense due to not being at camp etc. It’s odd in a way, sometimes I think he enjoys the attention, the courting process etc, but at the same time, he doesn’t like the expectations that come with being so sought after.

good first game

August 15, 2009

Very solid first game – I’m pleased. Standout players were Rodgers, Grant, the first string O-Line, Jermichael Finely, Desmond Bishop (1 sack, 1 int, 2 pressures that led directly to interceptions), Donald Lee’s one catch was impressive, Matt Flynn, Tyrell Sutton and I thought Brandon Underwood had a few nice plays as well.

Love this Jesse Garcia post-game interview with Desmond Bishop’s dad. His dad is very humble, soft-spoken, yet he managed to work in there his and Desmond’s hope for more playing time. Capers and McCarthy may have some difficult decisions at LB over the next few weeks.

Bishop caused that interception too –

August 15, 2009

I agree with Gannon, Capers’ D has had a very nice debut in GB.


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