This morning during the sports minutes on WTMJ radio in Milwaukee, John Jagler played a great clip of a Brett Favre interview back in 1992 after his first game. Great comment he makes about getting hit – makes him feel the game more. Nobody has written about his consecutive games streak quite this way, but could it be due, confusingly, to Favre’s enjoyment of getting hit??? Does he psychologically just love showing people he’ll get up after any hit? Could very well be – but that’s a tough guy mentality I’ll never understand (I think I just injured my lower back turning slowly to check on the snow out my window).
Archive for February, 2008
Read this article from cnnsi.com.
As regular Packergeeks readers may know, I like Buffalo and make a habit of picking them in my spread picks due purely to just liking this team. They are a small market team, who plays real football in real weather, they have hearty/faithful fans, they have a history of some serious success (and disappointments), and one of the most (perhaps only) sensible political commentators out there as a fan – Tim Russert. When I read this article, especially the smug quotes by the powers that are in Toronto and Ralph Wilson’s evasive comments re the Bills future in Buffalo, I just got angry that money may be the decisive factor in Buffalo losing their team. While I don’t worry that this will happen to Green Bay (that would spell the likely doom of the NFL if it did), I worry that hard-working fans who shell out $46 a ticket may soon be deprived of something that has become part of the fabric of their culture.
I am trying to figure out just how strongly I feel about this possibility and the only indicator I could come up with is how much money I myself would donate to the Bills for the franchise to continue in Buffalo – I decided $250 (which is a lot coming from a guy who used to strategically buy the first round at the bar when everyone is sober and remembers who bought and then drinks free the rest of the night…just kidding…sort of…well, at least I don’t practice that bit of financial wisdom anymore…).
Please Ralph Wilson, or some new wealthy Buffaloian, as it were, keep the team there.
Aaron at Cheesehead.tv has a smart take on Spygate (or, as others have started calling it, Spygate I) here. Read the whole thing.
He points out that Patriot apologists (and others) claim that the Patriots could not have gained an advantage with their taping. I’ve heard this argument countless times and it’s very interesting except for one thing: It is ridiculous on its face.
If there was no advantage to be gained by taping, why were the Patriots doing it? Let’s say the Patriots suddenly started eating Snickers bars every time they came off the field. Others noticed and commented on the phenomenon and the Patriots said the practice conferred no advantage. Would anyone believe them? (Yes, it’s an imperfect analogy, chiefly because eating Snickers would be legal.)
Let’s not make this more complicated than it is. The Patriots would not have been taping for as long as they apparently have been if there was reason to do so.
UPDATE: Our friends at PackSmack made a strong argument that Belichick should not have been coach of the year in Vince Lombardi’s NFL. Outstanding Best line, speaking to exactly the point I made above: “Only someone with an extreme case of cranial-rectal inversion syndrome will believe that.” He was too humble to provide a link, so I will here.
Whether you want Brett Favre to return, as I do, or you’re crazy and want the NFL’s 4th ranked QB in 2007 to retire, this is a good place to check a few times each day. It’s the Biloxi Sun Herald website, where Favre has broken news of his plans several times in the past to his friend Al Jones. I suspect we’re going to hear something in the next couple of days.
This is good news. I had concerns with Mike McCarthy’s playcalling on a couple of occasions, particularly in the first Bears game and in the NFC Championship. But he is a good coach and players respond to him. I’m glad to have him back and signed to a well-deserved long-term deal.
I just caught Chris Mortensen on ESPN saying that the Patriots problems “may be bigger than Spygate.” I’m hearing the same thing from people in a position to know.
I defended Bill Belichick from the whining that he was running up the score in the first half of the season. I’d do it again. But the guy is an asshole and I think those complaints had much more to do with other issues — his fudging on the injury report, for example — than they did with allegedly offensive offensive output. Speaking of injury reports, Tom Brady’s high ankle sprain wasn’t even listed on the one submitted by the Patriots for the Super Bowl. Maybe he was fine, but I’m skeptical. A little more than a week he was walking around in a boot and on Sunday he badly underthrew his receivers with regularity. Coincidence? Maybe. But as I say, I’m skeptical.
I don’t dislike the Patriots players and I think a lot of the criticism they get comes just because they’re really good. I mean, some of my best friends are Patriots fans. But Belichick sucks.
We’ll have more on Spygate-plus in the coming days.
UPDATE: At least one person close to Brady says he was hurt. See here.
* Brandon Jacobs is just plain not that good. He’s huge yes, and sort of hard to tackle for corners/safeties – but he never gets to the second level so that doesn’t matter. Look, when a guy is 6’4″ 260 or whatever he is, he is too big to fit through any holes created by the offensive line. If I’m the Giants, I line Shockey and Jacobs up for a big trade and get some serious talent while people still think they’re good.
* As I indicated in my pick for the game (which was Giants 34 Pats 31), Wes Welker never runs a deep route. While his quickness obviously is a major problem for defenses, last night, he ran one route over 10 yards. Seems to me it would be somewhat easy to come up with a defensive scheme to contain him knowing he’ll never go deep.
* My MVP trophy would have gone to the Giants D-Line. At one point, Aikman indicated that the line had 4 sacks, 16 hits, a bunch of hurries etc. The D-Line was phenomenal.
* Tom Brady had a very bad game. I’ve heard words like “mediocre” to describe his performance, but he was terrible. I counted 6 passes of his that were nowhere near his intended receivers (and this does not include those errant passes caused by the pass rush). He was bad, Tom Brady choked.
* There is something lately about wild card teams riding a playoff wave. The Steelers did it a couple years ago. I was surprised that so many journalists and others picking this game actually picked a blowout by the Patriots (one GB Press Gazette guy had it 45-10 Patriots). To get to ther Super Bowl, the Giants simply took care of three talented teams in a row on the road, including two games that they were really expected to probably not just lose, but get handled (Dallas, GB). This team deserves a lot of credit and I was happy to seen them pull off a big win.
I ran into Jim Belushi yesterday morning at the Arizona Biltmore Hotel. Belushi, for those of you living in a cave for the past quarter century, is one of the country’s best-known Chicago Bears fans. So, how could I resist. Our conversation went very close to this.
Me: Hey, Jim. I’m surprised to see you here. The Bears aren’t here this year.
JB: Really? I thought the Bears were playing the Patriots this afternoon.
Me: Ummmm, no. The Bears were not even .500 this year. They were awful.
JB: Wow, I thought they were playing today.
Me: No, but the Bears did at least beat my Packers.
JB: The Packers had three chances to win that game: After the two missed field goals and again when they won the coin toss in Overtime. That interception was awful.
Me: The playcalling all game was awful, worse even than the first game against the Bears.
JB: That’s true. Pretty bad. I would have loved to see Favre in the Super Bowl. I hate the Packers, but how can you not love Brett Favre? The guy is like my age. (For the record, Belushi is 15 years older than Favre.)
Me: So, who are you going to vote for on Tuesday?
JB: Oh, I can’t tell you that. Actually, I’m going to write in a president and a vice president.
JB: Mike Ditka for president. Dick Butkus for vice president.
Me: Bears fans are all the same.
He was a very good sport.
Great game. Here is my take, for anyone interested. It begins this way.
BILL BELICHICK IS NOT a good loser. Not long after the end of Super Bowl XLII, Belichick sat next to his son in the front row of a large gray charter coach designated “Bus 1.” For ten minutes they did not speak. They both looked stunned. No one else on the front of the bus spoke either. Most sat silent and stared straight ahead.
Belichick, who is famous for the grubby, homeless-chic look he sports on the sidelines, had changed from the red, hooded sweatshirt he wore for the game. He was now wearing a gray suit, a white shirt, and a maroon tie that he fingered distractedly as he sat waiting. A call on his cell phone momentarily interrupted his stupor. Belichick spoke quickly – maybe a sentence or two – and then hung up. After several additional minutes of quiet, he got up, stepped off the bus, spoke to a young man in a suit, and returned to his seat, where he once again sat silent, this time with his arms folded across his chest. He was ready to leave. Losing makes a man impatient.
UPDATE: Here is Greg Bedard. Don’t miss his assessment of Belichick. It tracks pretty closely with mine.