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Finally, Some Favre-ing Peace and Quiet
September 2, 2008 - John Whittaker
I know, I know -- it's not the usual random thoughts for a Tuesday, but, with the debut of the picks contest, I felt an NFL blog was appropriate.
Here's how this will work.
Every Tuesday, the slate of games will be posted on Tuesday. My buddies Todd, Finn and Sir Cumference, along with Simon Teska from The Post-Journal's sports department, will pick the week's college and pro games. The records will run each Tuesday along with the next week's games.
After weeks of trying to figure out a prize or a bet, we'll be playing for the Fat, or Formerly Fat, Guy Trophy, which will be given out to the yearly winner so they can gaze upon it each day with pride, kind of like the Stanley Cup.
The picks will be sent to me before games begin for the week - though the guys' picks won't run until Sundays.
If any readers out there want to pick against the non-pros, (except for Todd) send your picks to my e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are the picks:
Ohio at Ohio State
Marshall at Wisconsin
Eastern Illinois at Illinois
Southern Miss at Auburn
Furman at Virginia Tech
Central Michigan at Georgia
Cincinnati at Oklahoma
Citadel at Clemson
Utah State at Oregon
Oregon State at Penn State
Mississippi at Wake Forest
San Diego State at Notre Dame
West Virginia at East Carolina
Buffalo at Pittsburgh
Southeast Missouri State at Missouri
Louisiana Tech at Kansas
South Florida at Central Florida
Tulane at Alabama
Miami at Florida
Troy at LSU
Texas Tech at Nevada
Stanford at Arizona State
Texas at UTEP
Detroit at Atlanta
Cincinnati at Baltimore
Seattle at Buffalo
N.Y. Jets at Miami
Kansas City at New England
Tampa Bay at New Orleans
St. Louis at Philadelphia
Houston at Pittsburgh
Jacksonville at Tennessee
Dallas at Cleveland
Carolina at San Diego
Arizona at San Francisco
Chicago at Indianapolis
Minnesota at Green Bay
Denver at Oakland
I should probably be more annoyed than I am that the Brett Favre saga ended in perhaps the worst way possible for a New England Patriots fan -- with him playing the Pats twice this year and making the Jets relevant again.
I was kind of looking forward to seeing Chad Pennington passes fluttering 5 yards downfield or Bill Belichick confusing the H-E-doublehockeysticks out of Kellen Clemens with one of his patented defensive schemes.
But, I'll take having to play Favre twice this year if it means I can turn on ESPN without having to see or hear about Favre's unretirement, his waffling, how the Green Bay Packers management didn’t love him enough or what his teammates were saying - or weren't saying - about Favre.
I'd had enough of Favre.
If you see a report of a short, chunky masked man sneaking into Favre's Mississippi home and pulling a Tonya Harding on Favre's knee, well, the Whitless Wonder will probably have been writing to you again in 3 to 5 years because Favre on the brain made him go crazy.
It's time for a sports Ritalin.
Gather around, and let me tell you about a time before Chris Mortenson, NFL Live, ESPN News, PTI, Around The Horn, 3,000 sports talk radio shows, and instant video of events ranging from political assassinations to a quarterback driving his car.
Let me tell you about a time before short attention spans and the need to justify everything before it has a chance to play out, a time when a really good quarterback got traded, in the twilight of his career, because his team thought it was better without him.
Let's jump into the WayBack Machine (patent pending). In 1991, Joe Montana, who had led his San Francisco 49er teams to three Super Bowl wins, misses the 1991 season and most of 1992 with assorted injuries. By then, Steve Young has entrenched himself as the 49er quarterback, leaving the 49ers to trade Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs, where Montana led the Chiefs to the 1993 AFC Championship game and a playoff appearance in 1994 before calling it a career.
I remember watching Montana lead Kansas City to a win over Denver in which Montana looked very much like the Joe Cool who won all those Super Bowls, outplaying John Elway down the stretch to pull out the win.
I don't remember TV stations camped outside Montana's house, film footage of Montana driving to the airport to fly to Kansas City, or even the relentless phone messages (there was no text messaging in those days) between a teary Montana and a sympathetic ESPN broadcaster. There was no Montana castigating the 49ers for trading him instead of Steve Young. The process wasn't public -- it just sort of happened.
When it was all over, there was no debate over Montana's legacy, whether or not he should have kept playing, if the 49ers would let him retire as a 49er. Nobody cared about jersey sales or personal endorsement contracts.
Joe Montana was a two-year stopgap for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brett Favre is a two-year stopgap for the New York Jets. They're each Hall of Fame quarterbacks who finished their career on a team other than the one where they were made famous.
The moral of the story, for all you kids reading this, is that no matter what ESPN or your favorite sports talk show tells you, chances are the once-in-a-lifetime situation they're screaming about has happened before.
Now, back to Pardon the Interruption.
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