Thursday, July 31, 2008

Here's How You Make Favre Stay Retired

So most Packer fans have heard today's ridiculous and anonymous report that the Packers offered Favre somewhere in the realm of $20 million over ten years to stay retired. And I assume that most, if not all, Packer fans were repelled by the news. While this story may have been taken out of context (I'm guessing the Packers might have been concerned that Favre was unretiring because he needed money), if anything it reaffirmed that the Packers' brass strongly wants Favre to stay retired, far more than it wants to trade him or have him back-up Rodgers.

If that's true, there seems to be an easy way out-- trade Favre to a team he won't play for. He'll then pull a Jake Plummer: he'll refuse to show up for training camp and he'll stay retired. While this might burn any remaining goodwill with Favre, it'll do the trick and it'll cost far less than $20 million. Now the team might not get much in return, but so what? The point is to make him stay retired. And they could probably get some conditional compensation. A sixth round pick, let's say, with escalators that go up if Favre actually plays for whatever team that takes him. Hell, the Packers could even pay some of Favre's salary to make the whole thing go down a little easier for the receiving team. Again, it would cost a heck of a lot less than 20 million bucks and accomplish the same goal.

Of course, what's to stop the team who trades for Favre from eventually releasing him? (And having him end up on the Vikings.) Nothing, but why would a team release a player who's retired? He doesn't cost that team anything.

I know, this is hardball. It would mean Favre wouldn't be one of the team's happy, waving to the crowd, retired veterans like Willie Wood and Bart Starr, at least not for several years, or until Thompson and Murphy are gone. But if they really, desperately want to keep him retired, and he refuses not to come back, why not do it?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Sinking Feeling?

Does anyone else have a sinking feeling, a rising pessimism, about the upcoming Packer season? Maybe it's just my natural instinct to low-ball expectations, but I'm starting to get concerned. Let's break things down, shall we?

First, we have the horrendous Favre situation, the most recent developments including Favre signing and submitting his reinstatement papers, and the Packers flying new president Mark Murphy down to Southern Mississippi, apparently in effort to talk Favre out of coming to training camp. Oh yeah, and for some reason Favre refuses to talk with trading partners the Packers have proposed (perhaps he's trying to force his release), and the Bucs' initial trade offer was a late draft pick. Hopefully, Murphy is actually going down there to ask Favre to cooperate with the trade dealings. Most reasonable fans are now hoping that Favre gets traded to a somewhat legitimate contender and the Packers get some decent compensation. Preferably right now. The situation just needs to end. It's turning training camp, which was supposed to be the final leg of the entire team-building/getting over Favre offseason-coehsion process into a circus. Hell, Sportscenter led last night's broadcast with camera interviews of Rodgers, Woodson, Driver and Mark Tauscher. Since when does a Mark Tauscher interview headline Sportscenter? Not good. (Way to wear the Wisco cap though, Tausch.) This is just distracting and draining the energy and focus of a young team that needs to be forging its new identity.

Second, there's the defensive line situation, specifically the DT issues. We all know that Corey Williams and his inteior pass rush were traded in the offseason. Johnny Jolly, already recovering from shoulder surgery, was then found with 1/5th of a kilo of codeine a few weeks ago. (Sal, as the resident physician, how many milligrams are in a normal dose of codeine?) Several writers have predicted that the resulting arrest will lead to a league suspension. Then there's Harrell, who hurt a disc in his back in June and underwent surgery. Now he's reaggravated that same injury, and is one the PUP list. The worst case scenario is he'd miss the entire season. If both of these guys are gone, Colin Cole starts DT next to Pickett, with last season's undrafted rookie Daniel Muir as the primary back-up. That's serious trouble for a team that relies on dominance from "the big uglies" to make its defense work.

Third, the only addition to the pass rush this offseason was the drafting of fourth-rounder Jeremy Thompson, who appears to be a developmental prospect. Anyone remember the Dallas and Giants losses? With KGB hampered or out, Manning the Younger and Tony "Nick Lachey sucks" Romo had all day to pick the Packers apart. The Packers needed to find a third and fourth option behind Kampman and KGB, and, unless Mike Montgomery or Jason Hunter emerge, have failed to do so.

Fourth, unless Trammon Williams is suddenly a star, the same problem holds with the corners. Woodson is good but brittle, and at age 33 Al is an American-made car approaching its 100,000th mile. It's already shown it can't perform at a top level (Burress, TO) and now you're just waiting for the wheels to fall off. As far as other potental replacements, rookie Lee is struggling in practice, Bush was ineffective last year, and Blackmon is injury prone and raw. We all better hope that Williams becomes a solid-starter caliber guy, and fast.

Fifth, Grant remains a holdout. Though we can hope that Wynn and Jackson have improved since last season, there's certainly no reason to think that they're better than Grant, who was stellar generally stellar. As Sal noted, a Favre-less offense will need a strong running game to function. Grant is clearly the best option, but this contract problem means he has not fully participated in any offseason practices, thus missing the opportunity to gel with Rodgers and the tweaked offense.

Sixth and finally, take a look at the schedule. In addition to the division (and an improved Minnesota), it's Dallas again, the Colts, an improving Houston team, at Tampa, at Jacksonville, at Vince Young and Tennesee, and at Drew Brees and New Orleans. Those are some tough match-ups.

Even if Brett had come back and been close to his '07 form, I'd say that repeating as 13-3 is essentially out of the question. 10-6 looks optimistic, honestly, and would require that Rodgers stays healthy and performs pretty well. And a record like that will not come close to satisfying the Favre fanatics, even if he goes to another team and flops or gets hurt. I know the Packers are very strong at LB and WR, and are overall a young developing team, but I just don't see a great year on the horizon. In fact, if injuries kick in at spots where they did last year (CB, DE, DT), I could see the team missing the playoffs and being labled one of the "disappointments" of the year. Combine that with the hangover from the Favre ballyhoo, and you have an organization and a fan base in serious turmoil.

Am I just being a curmudgeon? Can someone give me some reason for optimism, besides the fact that Aaron Rodgers has never lost to the Bears?

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

NFL Trade Rules

So we all know that the Packers don't want to deal Favre within the division, and must of us agree with that stance. But does anyone know how the NFL trade rules work? Can an NFL team trade for a player and then trade them again? Can we trade Favre to the Dolphins, and then watch the Dolphins trade him to the Vikings? Is there a rule against this? 

Even if there is, what if Favre is traded to the Dolphins and he tanks? He's washed up, so the Dolphins release him. Can other teams (Vikings) then swoop in and pick him up off waivers?

Monday, July 28, 2008

And another thing...

Lost in this Favre mess is the Ryan Grant situation. It seems strange that a guy who put together 1/2 to 2/3 of a season up last year, after doing nothing previously in his career, is holding out for a contract. Is he overly concerned that he isn't good enough to repeat his success? Is his agent an asshole who actually thinks that this is a good way to endear your client to his team/fans?

Note to Ryan Grant: T.O. is not a good role model. Just show up and practice in good faith while you work out a new deal. Surely we would have heard if the Packers were refusing to negotiate with you, so why use a holdout as your first strategy? It looks selfish, not Favre selfish, but selfish nonetheless. We need a solid presence behind AR, so please come and get ready for the season.

Oh...and the argument that Favre has earned the right to his behavior is BS. Nobody earns the right to be a selfish baby by being a Hall of Famer. Barry Sanders wasn't a selfish baby, nor was Walter Peyton. If the Lions and Bears get unselfish franchise players, why can't we?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Things Just Get Uglier

Today, Favre ranted to ESPN's Chris Mortensen about the current status between him and the Packers and continued to demand his release. He did say something, which, if true, changes how I feel about this whole situation. Which is, that the Packers were not interested in having him compete for the job, at least not now. If it's true, that's disappointing. I hope if Favre had said he was willing to come back and compete for the job in June, that the response would have been different. Maybe now they just feel it would be too much of a spectacle and hurt the team as a whole and they feel Favre and Rodgers are relatively even and it won't be worth the headache. Or they think that Favre can't finish a season at a high level anymore. Or they think Rodgers will be better in the long run and aren't interested in undermining him. When this all pans out a few years down the road, it'll be interesting to see what the team's thinking really was.

Anyhow, this whole thing stinks. Favre should quit demanding his release and start working with the team on a trade. The team should agree to some reasonable consideration-- maybe a decent DT and a mid-round pick. And you're not going to the Vikings, Brett. Anywhere else is possible though. Get permission to work the phones and get on it. Bring this embarassing saga to an end.

Friday, July 25, 2008

It's Boo Wade All Over Again

Wisconsin Badgers' running back Lance Smith, he of the dynamic outside sweep, was just suspended from the football team indefinitely. Why, you ask? After his shoving/shoe-stealing/cab-fare incident last fall, has he done something else? NO. He just refused to follow through on the sweetheart, first-time offender program deal the Dane County DA's office cut him. These programs allow a first-time criminal defendant to have the charges against him dropped entirely, if he or she completes this first-offender program, which involves counseling, community service, meeting with probationary-type folks, a lot of admitting you were the bad guy, etc. Tedious, yes. But it is so, so much better than going to jail, it's not even funny. And at the end of it-- you don't have a criminal record! The charges have gone away. That's huge in the long-term.

Lance was supposed to complete his first-offender obligations by this December. But he's been so half-assed and delinquent in following through on his responsibilities that the DA is calling off the deal. Lance, this was one class you couldn't blow off. You're going to jail and you'll likely never see a Saturday at Camp Randall ever again. Argh.... This is exactly, exactly, the same as Boo Wade's situation several years ago.

- Very talented player, full of potential? Check.
- One moronic initial crime involving violence against a woman? Check.
- Receipt of lucky/sweetheart deal from prosecutors? Check.
- Only need to complete "first offender program" in order to make whole thing go away forever? Check.
- Inexplicable failure to complete "first-offender program"? Check.
- Suspension from team, jail time, end of Wisconsin career as both student and athlete? That final check is coming.

This is intensely frustrating. Lance had so much potential. But he's what, 20 years old? If he isn't mature enough to follow through on these obligations, he's not worthy of having a scholarship to UW. He may come from a tough background (Warren, OH is not a particularly nice town), but in reality he's had an extraordinarily lucky life-- athletically gifted, healthy, smart enough to qualify for a scholarship to a top university. It's sad when you see someone throw all their gifts and everything they've worked for away. And it's especially sad when they don't throw it away for something else, for a new direction, but just because of laziness and apathy. I hope Lance recovers someday, manages to finish school somewhere, and goes on to have a happy and meaningful life. If he does, it's likely he'll have learned something from this foolish episode. This is a shame.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Breaking News

Brett Favre blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blah Favre. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, Brett. Packers GM blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Time is Nigh! (Updated)

Football season doth approach, and Packer positional previews are starting to creep out. For your organizational benefit, here are links to previews of

The Packers' Receivers
- From the State Journal
- From the Journal Sentinel

The Packers' Running Backs
- From the State Journal
- From the Journal Sentinel
- From the Press Gazette

The Packers' Tight Ends
- From the State Journal

The Packers' Offensive Line
- From the Journal-Sentinel
- From the State Journal

The Packers' Linebackers
- From the Press-Gazette

The Packers' Defensive Line
- From the the Press Gazette

The Packers' Defensive Backs
- From the Press Gazette

I'll be updating this post as additional previews come out. Prepare to get psyched.

Friday, July 18, 2008

That's Why They Pay Them

There's been a lot of talk in recent years about how the media and newspapers are outdated, and that internet bloggers do just as good a job with commentary and news. Personally, I think, in regard to news, that's a colossal bunch of hooey-- people sitting in their basements and cubicles aren't out there taking pictures, talking to witnesses and gathering facts. Society needs reporters collecting news and needs more of them, now more than ever, as the world gets to be a more complex, more crowded, and more conflicted place.

As far as commentary goes, I sort of see the point though. You read guys like Gregg Doyle on CBS Sportsline or a Rick Morrissey in the Chicago Tribune, think "Hell, those guys don't know what they're talking about! They're just trying to draw attention! I know more of the facts then they do!" and wonder how they make a living off of this stuff. But then a real journalist drops a quality commentary, informed by their experience and knowledge, and you understand why he or she gets paid for their words, and you're sitting in your basement in your underware. Jason Wilde's piece on the Favre saga is that type of solid commentary-- coming from a beat reporter who really understands the facts. See here. Well done, Jason.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


The first positive news of this whole Favre debacle, is, in a word, AWESOME. Now, in tune to the Barber of Seville-- "Screw the VI-kings, Srew the VI-kings! Screw the VIII-kings!"


A bit of Greta Van Susteren's interview with Favre follows. Unfortunately, this portion reveals that this is a total puff piece, since Van Susteren refuses to follow up on really important issues. I'm going to add my proposed questions in bold and contained within brackets. .

GVS: I know you haven't made any decisions, but is going back to Green Bay an option and being the backup quarterback at this point?
BF: Going back and being a backup quarterback? No.
[Why not? What's so wrong about being a back-up? Haven't many great quarterbacks ended their careers as back-ups? Throughout your career it seems as if you've been opposed to mentoring younger quarterbacks on the roster. Is that true? If so, why is that?]

GVS: What about competing for starting quarterback?
BF: Why?

GVS: I'm just asking.
BF: That's what I would ask them: 'Why?' 'Well, Brett, you retired. You know what I mean?'
[You did retire, so don't you think you might need to show the team that you're still the best option by competing? Why not be open to competing? Are you not confident in your ability to beat out Rodgers? Don't other players have to compete for their spots all the time? I know you're coming off a good season, but you're turning 39 this fall and you missed all of the offseason practices, so why shouldn't you have to compete? On the other hand, why should the Packers just give you your starting spot back?]

GVS: Allowing them to trade you so that they get something in return?
BF: It's hard to imagine. But if I'm going to play, I mean obviously I would have to agree to whoever it is. And I'm sure they're not going to do it with a big rival or a competitor or whatever. But that may be our only option. I don't know what else to do.
[Would you be opposed to the Packers trading you to a competitive team in the AFC? If you are traded, do you expect you'll have to compete for the starting job whereever you go? Or do you expect to be given the starting job on any team?]

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

If You Ever Want The Kid Glove Treatment

Go to FOX News. Aww, yeah. Did anyone else watch that broadcast last night? Was anyone else slightly pained? Did anyone else think, "Man, I like Favre a lot better when he just doesn't talk so much"?

Two interesting reports on Favre's "interview" from Mike Lucas at the Cap Times, which is just plain funny, and a more detailed one from Don Walker at the Journal Sentinel, who got the full transcript of the interview, which was not broadcast entirely last night. One thing the Walker piece reveals, when it lays out Favre's comments from last night's and tonight's broadcast, is that Favre has totally tried to influence Thompson's decisions as GM and is at least somewhat irritated that Thompson hasn't paid much attention to what Favre wants. Two specific things that were mentioned were Favre lobbying for Moss a year ago, and Thompson declining to interview Mariucci for the head coaching job. Well, in response to the latter, McCarthy's done pretty well so far and Mariucci is still a broadcaster. And as for the former, Moss has talked about how Green Bay said he'd have to behave properly, and how that offended him and made him not want to go there. With Moss's lengthy record of misfeasance, I can't blame the team for preemptively laying down the law, and thus have little to no problem with the team's decision there.

It's a little disconcerting to me that Favre has tried to influence some of the team's big decisions, and it's got to have been sort of irritating for Thompson, but at the same time it's understandable. He's the best single player in the history of the franchise. His career is winding down. He wants to win now. He trusts his own ability to judge someone's talent or coaching ability. It all makes sense. But what doesn't make sense is his inability to realize that he was wrong, or that Thompson's decision was, if not totally right, then at least arguably right. McCarthy has been an excellent coach so far. James Jones (who was taken with the pick that the Packers probably would have had to give up for Moss) had a great rookie season, especially for a wide receiver. Moss would likely have resigned with another team this offseason, and I don't see how his addition would not have solved the team's pass defense problem, which was their undoing against the Giants and would have been their undoing against the Pats.

On another note, it's cool that Greta Van Susteren is a high profile media talking head, and is from Appleton and is a UW grad. It's great to see UW grads go on to reach prominence in their professions, as many of them do. But man, she has oddly proportioned features. I wonder how she got on television? Maybe it was the "everyone else on TV is too blandly good-looking. Let's be different!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

On a happier note...

Amen and hallelujah! Billy Packer has been replaced. The third loudest, definitely stupidest color man in college basketball has been replaced. I have no idea what Clark Kellogg will be like out of the studio, but I know I will never beg for Packer back.

Goodbye uneducated comments about players because you don't bother to read scouting reports. Goodbye pointing out the obvious. Goodbye pompous comments about mid-majors. Goodbye ass-kissing interviews in which you attempt to verbally fellate poor, unassuming college All-Americans.

Now if we can just get Fox to get rid of Tim McCarver...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

An Excellent Post

Is from Tom Silverstein at the Journal-Sentinel. I'm sure I'm coming across as anti-Favre and as a management defender. But that's because I'm offended by his selfish wishy-washy behavior, this from a guy who I defended as being all about winning when people mocked him for chasing passing records, and because the team refuses to say how it acted in this saga. Everything is coming from his surrogates, people who are purely self-motivated, folks who are heavily biased or have heard only one portion of the story-- his moronic brother, his mom, his "journalist" friend in Biloxi who obviously owes his livelihood to Brett, his agent who is desperately trying to salvage Favre's image so he can get a cut of more ad deals. You just can't trust these people. Where's Deanna? I trust her. She's been with him all along. These other guys have been sitting around in Mississippi spending his money. Where's Brett himself? Let him speak for himself if he wants to trash the team, the coaches and the management. Man up.

And I want the organization to publicly say what steps they've taken and what they've done. Now. I'm a shareholder, I own a stake in the franchise. Explain what happened. Favre is deliberately harming the team's image. Enough. Defend yourself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh #*$%&!

See here. On the one hand, I'm irritated the Packers were standoffish with him. If he's insistent on wanting to play, the team should welcome him back. But he should have to compete with Rodgers. The position should no longer be handed to him. If he loses the competition, talk to him about a trade to a team that works for both him and the Packers. That is, not within the division. If he wins, Rodgers should be okay with it, because he had a real chance to be the starter. So it's too bad that the team, if reports are accurate, is not welcoming him back, at least with a caveat that he has to compete for the position.

But I wonder if they were willing to take him back with some conditions and he was just being whiny about it. The way Favre has behaved during this process makes me think less of him, both as a person and as a player. He has been acting as if commitment to one's teammates and to one's organization is relatively meaningless. And his alleged assertion that his decision to retire was forced upon him, because the team asked for it by a certain time, is simply ridiculous. If he's really upset about this, he needs to grow up. The team does not revolve around you. Your indecision and waffling each offseason was harming the Packers' ability to make personnel and budget decisions. Perhaps the Sherman years of coddling have rubbed off on Favre to a greater extent than we realized.

Regarding the specifics, his demand to be released (if the report is accurate) is ludicrous. If he is capable of performing anywhere close to last year's level for most of the season, he is a very valuable player, and the Packers would be foolish to let him leave for nothing, particularly when an attractive team that needs a quarterback is a division rival of the Packers. Under no circumstances should the Packers let him leave for nothing and with no strings. He has no leverage and has acted disrespectfully and petulantly. He is indeed the greatest player in the history of the franchise, and one of the greatest quarterbacks ever. But that in no way entitles him to the reward of becoming a free agent, especially after behaving in this manner. The team's executives should act in the best interest of the franchise, and if he refuses to come in and compete for the starting position, trade him to a mutually agreed team, not in the Packers' division.

As a Favre fan and someone who has followed his career closely, from start to now, the faux-finish, I am truly disappointed it has come to this. Both sides are to blame, I think, but I am especially disappointed in him.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

More Favre Nonsense

This whole situation is really getting out of hand. I was watching ESPN at the gym the other day and Captain Nimrod Skip Bayless called Favre's mystery unretirement "the hottest story in sports." Dear god. Please let it end. Favre should watch the NFC championship game again, remember how cold and terrible it was and how much he stunk, except for that one pass to Driver, and formally announce that he's not unretiring. It's time to move on.

That said, this controversy has given us the following piece of brilliant hilarity. See here. Even though I am not anywhere close to being in that camp, I'm still contemplating buying that shirt just because it's so damn funny.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The Favre Situation

When it's a slow period in the sporting world, small things can get blown out of proportion. That's my take, at least, on the various Favre stories reporting on his "itch" to play again. Of course people who spend most of their lives doing one activity, really enjoy it, and then retire will have urges to go back. It happens and it passes. That's what I think is going on. Not something to get too concerned about.

Still, though Peter King tends to be a little too happy-doodle-everybody's-buddy for me, this column, which assumes that Favre wants to come back and analyzes that situation, makes many good points, too many to not pass along.

If what King assumes is true is true, if Favre really does want to come back, here's my take. I loved and resented and was awed by Brett. He's the best football player I've ever seen in person. But everyone has a time. It sounds like he's bored and his extended retinue down in Mississippi (not his wife or his kids) is hectoring him to return, probably so they can continue spending his $12 million paycheck without any supervision.

To remedy the first factor, he should find something to do with himself. I suggest philanthropy. Brett is one of the most famous people in America, and could back almost any charity or cause and give it instant attention and credibility. He needs to pick a meaningful cause and get behind it. I'd suggest promoting an increase in the federal gasoline tax, ("Pay the national debt, not state sponsors of terrorism!") but that'd probably be too unpopular, especially in the rural South. Anyhow, choose a worthy cause and get seriously involved. Get a real life. Then, tell your parasitic retinue to get lives of their own. Buy your mother her own nice little house-- somewhere at least a two hour drive away. Tell your brothers and cousins and other assorted hangers-on that they have three months, and then they need to be out on their own-- no more sleeping over and no more handouts. Time for everyone to grow up.

If you, Brett, are really serious about playing one more year, agree to a trade to a legitimate contender (the Bucs and the Ravens would be good options). If Rodgers gets hurt or flops, a trade might be a huge boondoggle for the team, but it's the best way to go. And that's because Brett, with his sharp fade down the stretch last season, doesn't appear to have the capacity to take a team to the Super Bowl and win anymore. Especially not a team with a questionable pass defense like the Packers. I think this last season showed that he's probably just too old to handle the extended demands of a Super Bowl run. Spending a spring and summer sitting on a riding mower and playing catch with high schoolers won't help matters either. Hopefully, it won't come to a trade, and Brett will relax and stay retired.

The Curse of Gillette

What do Tiger Woods, Thiery Henry and Roger Federer all have in common? Well, they're all world class athletes, they were all dominating their respective sports until lately (or in Henry's case, the last two seasons), and, suspiciously, were all featured in this pretentious ad for the "Gillette Fusion" razor.

What's happened since that ad came out? Well, Thierry Henry, the prolific French goalscorer, was already in the middle of a downward cycle, one that probably indicates his career is waning. He missed the vast majority of the season for Arsenal in 2006-07, appearing in only 17 league games, as Arsenal's men's side went trophyless, failing to win the Premiership, the FA Cup, or make a serious run in the Champions League. He was then sold for a bargain basement price to Barcelona where he only scored 19 goals in 47 appearances, with Barcelona suffering a disappointing season, finishing third in La Liga, failing to make a run in the Copa del Rey, and getting eliminated in the Champions League by Man U (and not scoring in either of the two matches against Manchester). Plus, France just got knocked out in the first round of the Euro 2008, finishing dead last in their group, with Henry scoring their only goal of the competition. Ouch.

Now, Tiger's a brighter story, having just won the US Open in dramatic fashion. However, he had arthroscopic knee surgery in April this year, and missed two months of golf. He then rushed back for the US Open, and won in a playoff, then announced that he had a torn ACL, which had been torn for nearly 10 months, and had additional stress factures in his left leg, which he sustained while rehabbing from the April surgery. He's out for the rest of the 2008 season, and it's questionable whether he'll be back in time for the Masters next spring. This is easily the worst injury he's every head.

Then there's Roger. Unfortunately for fans of the Suisse tennis maestro, his reign as "Best Tennis Player in the World" seems to be at an end. After several years of unprecedented dominance, he has won only two tournaments this year, and has lost to Andy Roddick (for the first time since 2003), Mardy Fish, Radek Stepanek, in addition to what is now four losses to his Spanish nemesis Rafael Nadal, twice falling in finals of Grand Slams. Unless Federer wins the upcoming US Open, he'll have gone the entire season with no Grand Slam titles, a first since 2002. And he just lost his baby, Wimbeldon, an event he had won five straight times. A sixth win would have been the longest winning streak in the history of that tournament, but he came up short, looking tense and blowing his best shot early on, when he squandered a 4-1 lead in the second set, allowing Nadal to win five straight games to take an essentially insurmountable two-set lead.

What's the moral of this story? Maybe it's a parable about the problem of hubris. Endorsing a product by yourself (Federer endorses Rolex, for example) is one thing. But promoting yourself as a member of some exclusive fraternity of awesomeness, especially for the sake of an overpriced razor, well that's another. Fate comes around for us all, sooner or later.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

"They need to get on board now or keep their mouths shut.''

I don't know about you, but I love this quote. And that's for two reasons-- first, the "keep their mouths shut" line is just a bizarre and amusing choice of words and second, I have no idea what point he was trying to make. If I "get on board now," that is, get fired up about Rodgers being the Packer starting QB, I get to complain if he flops? Or if I don't get on board now, and instead remain rather concerned about him being the new QB, I'm not allowed to be upset or complain if he stinks? Only blindly optimistic fans are allowed to take him to task when he screws up (which he undoubtedly will, many times)? Huh? Is there some sort of record keeper out there who's going to keep score about who's on or off board? And when is "now"? Can I wait to see if he gets hurt in training camp or how he performs in preseason games before I "get on board," or will the ship already have sailed by then? Exactly when is the departure time, because, personally, I'd like to do a thorough inspection of the vessel before I board.

What a bizarre and hilarious comment. And Rodgers has responded quite defensively, asking people to envision the questions asked by the reporter that would have led to that statement. Uh, what? Why don't you just tell us what the questions were? We have to guess? Is this some sort of entrance exam we have to pass in order "to get on board?" This whole thing is hilarious and I love it. Well done, A-Rodg.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

WNBA Team Names

My response in the last thread got me thinking. How many terrible WNBA names could we have if the teams simply had to use the female counterpart of the male mascot for their NBA team?

The Milwaukee Does (as previously mentioned), The Chicago Cows, The New York Bloomers/Petticoats, The Washingtion Witches? I love it. Any other suggestions are readily accepted.