Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What the Favre? Part 8

As the Favre-escapades continue, a Hall of Fame quarterback with Minnesota connections described Ol' #4's antics as "despicable." That would be the great Fran Tarkenton tossing about such verbiage. He used that word to describe Brett's departure from the Pack, his signing with the Jets and now - sigh -- his possible signing with the ViQueens.

Tarkenton made his comments in an interview yesterday with Atlanta radio station 790 The Zone. It is only today getting widely reported as the sweeping nature of Tarkenton's condemnation of Brett's behavior spreads. Here's a choice bit that Packer fans can really agree with: "Here's an organization (the Packers) that was loyal to him for 17, 18 years, provided stability of organization, provided players. It just wasn't about Brett Favre. In this day and time, we have glorified the Brett Favres of the world so much, they think it's about them."

Tarkenton also said Brett was "a great, flamboyant quarterback, but he has made more stupid plays than any great quarterback that I've ever seen." And as for how Tarkenton would feel about Brett joining his old team, the ViQueens? He said that a part of him hopes Brett does wind up playing for the ViQueens "so he can fail." Ouch.

You can find lots of reports out there today about Fran the Man's take on Favre. Here's one for you, courtesy of Fox Sports.

People are turning on you, Brett. Diehard Packers fans have bailed on you, Jets fans have a bad taste in their mouths now too, ViQueens fans say they don't want you after all this drama...and now you have Hall of Fame QBs saying what you're doing is "despicable."

Wow. Who would have thunk it? Truly sad. The legacy is tarnished big time.

You could have gone out on top with a lot of class, Brett. That would have been the first time you retired. Everybody loved you. Now, people are starting to loathe you instead. Wow.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

What the Favre? Part 7

First reports emerged over the last day or two that even the Favre-lustful ViQueens are growing weary of waiting for Ol' #4 to make up his mind about playing or not playing. Word was they wanted an answer by the end of the week.

Apparently, the ViQueens fans have already made up their minds: they don't want Favre. According to a poll of 500 'Queens fans by Rasmussen Reports, only 29 percent of those queried want the team to sign Favre; 42 percent said it was a bad idea to sign Brett; and 30 percent -- modeling Brett's behavior -- aren't sure whether the ViQueens should sign him or not. In addition, 44 percent said they would be less likely to support the use of their hard-earned tax dollars to build a new stadium if the team signs Favre.

You can read the full report of the survey result here.

It just gets weirder and weirder, doesn't it?

Even uber-Favre-fan, ESPN's Pardon the Interruption co-host Tony Kornheiser, referred to Brett as "Hamlet" today...without even mentioning him by name, the reference was clear who he was talking about. When even your most loyal fans get fed up...Brett, Brett, Brett...we tried to tell you...

Packers begin OTAs

Let the OTAs begin! Today begins the first round of organized team activities for the Packers, with physical exams the primary task for the day. While voluntary, most players are expected to attend. OTAs will continue through June 18. The collective bargaining agreement between the players union and the league allows for 14 days of these OTAs. Other restrictions on length of practice, etc. also pertain. Thursday's practice, May 28, will be open to the public, as will the following three Wednesdays, June 3, 10 and 17. After this OTA period there will be a mandatory three-day, full-squad mini-camp from June 22-24. The players then have nearly a five-week break before the start of training camp on Saturday, Aug. 1.

The main focus of these OTA activities for the Packers will be on -- what else? -- installing the new 3-4 defense. But while that will take priority, offense and special teams will of course get their share of attention as well. The Packers official website is doing a series of overviews on each of these phases of the team beginning with the offense. Check it out here.

There was an excellent article in Saturday's edition of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel about the challenges and changes facing the defense in the shift to the new scheme. Rather than rehash it here, check it out for yourself; it's well worth your time.

Keep checking back here at for updates as the OTAs progress.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What the Favre? Part 6

What? What is this? Conflicting reports about what Brett Favre is doing? No-o-o-o-o-o. Can't be.

Yes, in the ongoing soap opera "As the Brett Favre World Turns," we have Ed Werder from ESPN continuing to assert -- contrary to what the St. Paul Pioneer Press reported yesterday -- that Ol' #4 is not meeting with any surgeon today. Nor is he going to have surgery. Instead, according to Werder's source, Favre is going to have cortisone injections and do exercises to fix his torn biceps tendon. As reported last week, that fix is intended to actually finish the tear in the tendon. If that works, and Brett feels he can perform, he'd then do the nasty with the ViQueens (I apologize for whatever imagery that may raise for you).

The ESPN report also says, "Either way (surgery or not), Favre is losing patience, causing the source to say the shoulder problem must be overcome soon or Favre is likely to abandon his effort to play a 19th NFL season."

So, will he or won't he? Flip a coin. And then flip it again tomorrow. And the next day. And on and on and on and...Oy.

You can check it all out for yourself here.

Monday, May 18, 2009

What the Favre? Part 5

Proof positive that spite and revenge outweigh common sense in the human psyche. Today, the St. Paul Pioneer Press is reporting that Ol' #4 will meet tomorrow with noted orthopedist James Andrews in Birmingham, Ala., regarding the options for repairing the torn biceps tendon in his throwing arm and will likely have surgery later this week. Rehab time would likely be 6-8 weeks. Then Brett would reportedly sign with the ViQueens and be ready to join their summer training camp...which is apparently exactly what he intends to do.

Are you listening, members of the Packers defense? Time to circle Monday night, October 5, and Sunday November 1 on the schedule. That's when you can reacquaint Ol' #4 with the Green Bay Packers. He wants to make a point. Well, gents, it will be up to you to really make the point. To Mr. Favre, that is. When he retired from the Packers (retirement first time around, that is), he said in his press conference that he gave it his all and there's nothing left to give. Hmmm. Please, defense, be inspired by those words. When you meet, and see Ol' #4 in that funky purple, give it all you have as you defeat the 'Queens...and make him wonder why in heaven's name he ever thought it was a good idea to go through all this just to get back at Ted Thompson.

Such a sad end to a great career. Never thought you'd become a caricature, Brett. But that's where it's at.

If you want to read the Pioneer Press story, just go here.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What the Favre? Part 4

Yep, the Black Knight comparison from Monty Python's Holy Grail seems to work pretty well for our friend, Ol' #4. ESPN has reported that Brett Favre met with a specialist recently to discuss the torn tendon in his throwing arm. That's not surprising, I guess. But discussing specific exercises to completely finish the tear? Supposedly this would allow Brett to throw without pain. But more importantly for Brett, it would enable him to avoid surgery...and the three to six weeks of rehab that would go along with it.

Yep. Ol' #4 isn't ready to give up the ghost - or the spite - yet. Like the Black Knight, he's saying his injury is "just a flesh wound." If he could learn to throw with his left arm for a chance to stick it to Ted Thompson he'd do it. Even if it means wearing that funky ViQueens purple.

Brett...come to your senses, man. Let it go.

Friday, May 08, 2009

What the Favre? Part 3

You know, I'm starting to think of Ol' #4 as the Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail movie. You know, he had his legs, arms, shall we say...unavailable to him and he kept trying to fight. "C'mon ya pansy!" was his taunt. Clearly didn't know when to quit.

Jeremy Schapp of ESPN is now reporting that Brett has sent X-rays of his throwing shoulder to the ViQueens for evaluation. If Brett doesn't require surgery, the report says Favre would play for the 'Queens because of...yawn...spite. Getting back at Packers GM Ted Thompson is what is still fueling his fire.

What was the classic movie? Cape Fear? Especially the remake where Robert De Niro keeps coming back and coming back and coming back. He extracted a bit of revenge several times...but didn't it end rather badly for him?

Bad karma coming for you, Brett, if you make this move. What would karma exact for your spitefulness? Wouldn't it be something if instead of lighting up the Pack twice, as you no doubt are dreaming while both asleep and awake, that you got knocked out once and for all by your old team? That would be very much karma squaring things away.

A sad way to go out, even if it does play out the way you imagine. In your blind fury to get back at Thompson, you are flushing your goodwill with Packers fans right down the crapper.

There was a very interesting call-in segment the other evening on 620WTMJ radio in Milwaukee. Sports guy, Bill Michaels, was asking listeners not only what they felt about this whole Brett-ViQueens story, but also whether they were more on Brett's side last year when things went sour. While a few callers were still in Brett's corner, what was amazing were the number of callers who said they were on Brett's side last year. Now, they have turned on him. One caller even suggested that if Ol' #4 were to come back to Lambeau in that funky 'Queen purple, instead of boos -- which would probably be evenly split with cheers -- the entire stadium should just go silent. Like the ultimate shunning. A variation on the theme would be for all fans to stand as he was introduced and turn their backs to the field. Can you imagine? Again, it would be an appropriate tit-for-tat response, actually: "Brett, you're sticking it to Packer fans, not just Ted, we're sticking it to you in kind." This writer has been as big a fan of Brett over the years as anyone. But enough is enough. And there is no player that is ever bigger than the franchise, especially when that franchise is the Green Bay Packers.

So sad. But like the character in Cape Fear, revenge and self-destruction go hand in hand. Brett is really losing more ways than one.

There's a great commentary about the Favre situation from ESPN writer Len Pasquarelli. You can read it here.

Jim Rome also has his take on the situation. In a twisted way, he's telling Brett to come back...kind of like encouraging the guy on the roof to jump. You gotta check it out here.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

What the Favre? Part 2

ESPN is now reporting that Yahoo Sports has reported (got that?) that Ol' #4 told the ViQueens in a phone call that he will not sign with them and will stay retired. Further, that he will hold a news conference soon to explain his decision.

The report further states that the 'Queens wanted Brett to have surgery on his torn bicep as well as attend all OTAs, minicamps, etc. At about age 40, Brett has apparently decided enough is enough.

But...we've heard this all before. A couple times actually. So, until the season begins..and ends...with no Brett sighting on anything other than his lawn tractor in Hattiesburg...well, paraphrasing The Who, we won't get Favred again!

Does it even have to be said here: stay tuned.

You can read the Yahoo Sports story here.

What the Favre???

Just as the confirmation process for a particular Supreme Court nominee became known as being "Borked", or a pro golfer's major collapse after a wide lead in the last round of a major became known as "pulling a Norman" (rolls off the tongue easier than "pulling a Van de Velde"), I think we are witnessing the birth of yet another generic negative reference: being Favred. Of course, there are lots of variants, along the lines of the headline. To express major confusion, especially if we are in a family situation or are just trying to clean up our language, we can now say, "What the Favre?" and people will immediately understand your sense of confusion and exasperation.

In this instance, our vocabulary is being enhanced courtesy of...OK, does anyone anywhere actually know what's going on with this story? Doesn't seem like it.

Yesterday, reports were all over the place that ViQueens coach Brad Childress travelled to Mississippi to meet with Ol' #4 about playing in the funky purple. But, then we read that Brett's agent, Bus Cook, is quoted as saying not only does he not know any of this information but that when he contacted Brett he was assured that there was nothing to any of this. Hmmm. See here for more on that angle to all this.

If you really want a fun take on this, be sure to check out this column in the Sporting News by Dennis Dillon.

And then there's this report also in the Sporting News, citing Minneapolis media, that has Childress at ViQueens headquarters today.

All I can say is...What the Favre is goin' on???

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Ol' #4 to meet with ViQueens

ESPN's Ed Werder is reporting that Brett Favre and ViQueens head coach Brad Childress will meet later this week at an undisclosed location. (Sigh)

But the really interesting part of this story -- although less interesting as each supposed retirement comes and goes -- albeit not a surprising one is Brett's reason for wanting to talk with the ViQueens. It's one we Packer fans know all too well: revenge.

In a story reported on Yahoo Sports, "According to a New York Daily News column by Gary Myers, a(nother) Favre return to the NFL would be motivated by his desire to get revenge on the Packers, the team that kicked him to the curb last spring in favor of Aaron Rodgers.

"Writes Myers: One NFL source insists Favre can't peacefully retire until he finds a way to get revenge on the Packers. He wants back into the NFC North so he can face the Packers twice. The Bears traded for Jay Cutler and the Lions drafted Matthew Stafford. Hello, Minnesota. 'Favre can't stand Green Bay,' the source said. 'He wants to play Green Bay and say, "I told you so." His bitterness is creating this. I think he's calling Minnesota. I think Minnesota is talking about this as we speak. You haven't heard the end of Favre. No way. He is bionic. As long as somebody will let him in, he will play.'"

As the author of the Yahoo article opines, "As if Brett Favre doesn't try to force the ball to his receivers enough, can you imagine if he was playing a game solely for spite? He'd probably be throwing into quintuple-coverage every time he dropped back to pass. There's a legitimate chance he could throw, like, 19 interceptions in the two games Minnesota would play against Green Bay. That would almost make up for having to hear incessantly about Favre for the next few months."

Yesterday, former QB and Favre buddy Trent Dilfer said on ESPN's NFL Live program that he and Brett had exchanged text messages and Brett had given Dilfer a resounding "NO" when the subject of ending his retirement and playing for the ViQueens came up. There was absolutely nothing to the story, said Dilfer. A day later, this. But should we be surprised? As Michael Wilbon said on ESPN's Pardon the Interruption today, "I don't believe anything this guy (Favre) says about retirement."

As long as Brett hangs onto his spite for Ted Thompson and can stand upright he's going to think he can extract his revenge. I never thought I'd say it, but I almost relish the thought now of new kids B.J. Raji and Clay Matthews meeting the same time...and reacquainting him in a personal way with the Frozen Tundra. I'd rather have Brett walk out onto that hallowed ground for his number retirement ceremony and the adulation he rightly deserves. But if he wants to be a advice to the Packers D: plant him!

Maybe that will finally knock the spite out of him and some sense into him.

You can read the Yahoo Sports story here.

Rootin' for the little guy

Apparently the status of rookie RB and free-agent signee Tyrell Sutton with the Packers isn't what we -- or at least I -- thought it was. Turns out, he is still on the roster. He's currently listed on the Packers depth chart. It was erroneously noted in a post here last evening that he was not offered a contract after this weekend's rookie orientation camp. Turns out, he had one before he got there. Sorry about that, folks.

But the question still remains whether he will be able to make the squad. It's hard enough for a small back to make it in the league under usual circumstances, all the various OTAs, minicamps, etc. The problem for Sutton -- and the Packers --is that he has complications caused by Northwestern University's class schedule. Sutton is a senior. As a result, according to an article about him in today's Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, "He won't be allowed to rejoin the other rookies and veterans for the Packers' practices later this month and in June because classes and final exams extend into the second week of June. NFL rules prevent rookies from playing football until academic commitments are completed, except for three days after the draft." Yikes. The story continues, "Sutton's unique school obligation means he might make only the very last organized team activities practice on June 17. He then expects to attend the full mandatory minicamp June 22-24. If he and his agent can find any loopholes, he might try to scurry up to Green Bay for one of the earlier practices, but if not, he'll have to use the last weekend to make a lasting impression."

As noted in several posts here regarding the rookie camp, Sutton impressed head coach Mike McCarthy quite a bit. Seems as if they might try to find a way to get him on the squad. But it's still a long shot, especially given the school schedule complications.

But I'm rootin' for the little guy.

Read the article here to find out why.

Monday, May 04, 2009

For the Pack, four come in and one goes out

Following the rookie orientation weekend, which draftees, free agents, practice squad and tryout players attended, the Packers announced the signing of four players: cornerback Trevor Ford, punter Adam Graessle, nose tackle/defensive end Dean Muhtadi and tackle Dane Randolph. All these players were in on a tryout basis this past weekend.

According to the Green Bay Press-Gazette, perhaps the most intriguing of the signings is that of the punter Graessle. That puts three punters on the Packers roster: Graessle, Jeremy Kapinos and Durant Brooks. You may recall that the punting situation was basically, hmm, not good last season. And this is why some, including yours truly, thought the Packers might actually pop a draft pick on a punter. But perhaps there is still such a bad taste in the collective mouth after Mike Sherman's drafting B. J. Sander in 2004 (shudder) that no one can yet contemplate actually drafting another punter. So, they go the free agent and tryout route.

In this case, it seems Kapinos and Brooks will have a good challenge on their hands from Graessle. If you want to read why, check out the article here.

This same article also details a surprise move that was made in the release of veteran LB and special teams standout Jason Hunter, who appeared in 42 games with the Pack since 2006. The Packers were looking to upgrade the linebacking corps and apparently felt that their new acquisitions trumped Hunter, even though the team had given him the $1.01 million restricted free-agent tender, which usually means you'll be sticking around. Nope.

One of the names which had been mentioned extensively over the weekend as a player who was really popping out was RB Tyrell Sutton. While not offered a contract, it might be that the Packers still keep an eye on him for the future. He intrigued coaches and reporters alike, according to both print and radio reports of the weekend. He was described as a short back (5'8") who didn't play small. He displayed quickness and good hands and was talked about as a third-down/situational type back. Will be interesting to see where he lands.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

The Packers' weekend for rookies

The first step on the path to an NFL career for many young men was last weekend's NFL Draft. For those not drafted, it was being signed immediately afterward as a free agent. And for still others, they were invited in for a tryout. All those players come together this weekend for the Packers in Green Bay. The rookie orientation camp began Friday and will run through tomorrow.

In addition to the eight players the Packers drafted, there are 11 rookie free agents along with 21 players in for tryouts. Four players from the Packers practice squad also are participating. This would be a fun weekend to be on hand. But it's not something open to the public, and only one of the three sessions is open to reporters. Still some serious business going on. Such as who among the free agents and/or tryout guys might actually have a shot at making it to the roster.

One of the players that caught Head Coach Mike McCarthy's eye according to a report was former Northwestern RB Tyrell Sutton: "I think Tyrell Sutton jumped out. I don't know what everybody else thought but I thought he showed some ability...He definitely has some athletic ability." John Dorsey, the Packers director of college scouting, had this to say about Sutton: "He is Northwestern's second all-time leading rusher. He's a short guy, not a small guy. He's got some strength from his hip to his knee. He catches the ball really well. We don't have a guy like him." At 5'8" and 213 lbs, perhaps Sutton might be the type of change up or third down back the Packers haven't really had in the last year or two. Will be interesting to see how he comes through the weekend.

If you want to read a capsule summary of Dorsey's take on each of the free agents, you can do so here. You'll also find a list of the players in for tryouts...among whom there are even two punters! Oh...and a safety prospect whose nickname is "Pig." Long-time Packer fans will remember fondly the late, great player and coach Dave "Hawg" Hanner. There can only be one "Hawg." A "Pig" is a long-shot.

Ol' #4 to be a ViQueen?
We've known for almost a year now, especially when the relationship between Packers GM Ted Thompson and our former QB Brett Favre went south -- and I don't mean Mississippi -- that in Brett's mind the best way to stick it to Ted would be to play for the rival ViQueens. That's why the Pack had a poison pill clause in the deal with the Jets that if they traded Brett to anybody in the division the Packers would receive three first round draft picks. But the Jets released Brett this week which makes him a free agent eligible to sign with any team...including any team in the division. Well, let's see...Da Bearz draft, as even one Chicago sports writer mentioned on radio this last week, can be summarized as "Jay Cutler" (oh, and that summarizes next year's draft for Da Bearz too according to this same reporter)...and the woeful Lions of course spent what's left of the Motor City on a rookie QB from Georgia. That leaves...hmm...the ViQueens. And just to stir the pot, "During a minicamp news conference on Friday, Vikings coach Brad Childress said he likely would discuss that (Favre's availability) with his staff at some point."

Oy. Brett, buddy, will ya please retire already? Ride your lawn mower, work on your farm, go huntin' and fishin'. Enjoy your money. Don't do any more damage to your reputation by showing that your shoulder and/or arm isn't what it used to be. And worse: don't EVER wear that funky purple. Yes, we'd still love you. But it would kind go from that admiration and grateful kind of love to more of that love you have for your crazy old uncle who still thinks the government can listen in on your phone calls...well, wait...they did...bad example...well, you know what I mean.

Read more on the latest Favre soap opera here.