Posted on: July 11, 2008 8:49 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2008 8:50 pm

The Brett Favre Dilemma

Having played competitive sports in college, I understand the love of the comeraderie in the lockerroom.  There can be no better (and sometimes worse) feeling than to achieve something as a part of a larger machine.  So, hearing Brett Favre decided to come back was no great shock to me.  What amazes me is that it has shocked anyone.  We all knew as Favre cried before us that we'd not heard the last of him.  It took months for him to clean out his locker, for crying out loud.

Now, we hear that his agent has requested a release from the Packers, since they have absolutely no interest in keeping him around, to pursue other opportunities around the league.  For the record, the Ravens and Buccaneers seem to be the front-runners due to need and the fact that Jon Gruden has never said "no" to an aging quarterback, to play that is. 

So, here are the questions I have for you fine readers:

1)  Who's in the "right" here?  An aging Hall-of-Famer who at the eleventh hour plus decides to return to the game that gave him everything or the team that he retired from and told to move on and develop Aaron Rodgers or some other QB?

2) What happened?  Seriously, what occured to make him not be "mentally tired" enough to have retired on March 5th?

Give me your thoughts and I'll elaborate on mine. 

Posted on: April 29, 2008 7:56 am
Edited on: April 29, 2008 7:58 am

Draft Round-Up II - AFC North

<meta content="Microsoft SafeHTML" name="Generator" /><style type="text/css"> .ExternalClass .EC_hmmessage P {padding:0px;} .ExternalClass body.EC_hmmessage {font-size:10pt;font-family:Tahoma;}</style>Moving from the East to the AFC North, we'll do reverse order again:
Baltimore Ravens - had a curveball thrown their way with the retirement of Steve McNair.  Obviously, a QB is a need. Issues on their both lines, secondary, & offensive backs were concerns, as well.  The best way I can quantify the Ravens seven picks, all in rounds 1-4, is that they overpaid for them.  Joe Flacco from Delaware addressed their QB need, but did you really need to move a 2nd-round QB up to the 18th overall pick?  Ray Rice from Rutgers had over 2,000 yards at Rutgers in '07, but at 5'8" and no moves like Barry Sanders, he was a 3rd-round pick, at best.  And so it goes with, Gooden (LB), Zbikowki (SS), Cousins (G), Smith (WR) & Hale (OT); all should have been drafted at least one round later.  The Ravens then took flyers with Nakamura(S), Harper(WR), & Patrick (RB).  Harbaugh says they have a plan.  We'll see.  Grade: C-
Cincinnati Bengals - talk about a team with issues!  Wide Receiver was an obvious issue w/Henry's dismissal & Ocho-cinco being... Ocho-cinco.  Too bad for Cincy that this was a down year for Receiver talent.  So they take Keith Rivers from USC (OLB) with their first pick.  No major injuries...major contributor to a major program...safe, dynamic pick.  Then, 2 of their next 3 picks cover the WR dilemma; Jerome Simpson from Coastal Carolina & Andre Caldwell from UF.  Simpson pick is very suspect with Limas Sweed & DeSean Jackson still on the board.  Caldwell was good timing for a good player.  Pat Sims (DT) from Auburn fell between the two burners.  Anthony Collins (OT) from Kansas provides a serviceable lineman who was 1st Team All-American & an Outland finalist.  Jason Shirley (DT) at 6'5" 335 lbs sounds great 'til you hear he was dismissed from Fresno State for a DUI arrest (among other things).  Same old Bengals?  Lynch (FS), Sherry (TE), Craig (OLB) & Urrutia (WR) round out Cincy's draft.  Grade: C
Cleveland Browns - well, I hope you enjoyed last year's draft Cleveland, because it was most of this year's for you.  Round 4 saw the first Browns pick with 2 guys who could have gone in the 3rd.  Beau Bell (ILB) from UNLV had 126 tackles last year and can stuff the run.  Martin Rucker (TE), former Panther Mike Rucker's brother, from Mizzou provides another good set of hands for whoever QBs and insurance for the oft-injured Winslow.  From there, it was just one-dimensional players.  Ahtyba Ruben (DT) from Iowa State will be useful as a Nose Tackle only with little athletic leverage.  Paul Hubbard (WR) from Wisconsin while having size and speed has questionable hands and is coming off of a knee injury in '07.  Finally, mystery man Alex Hall (DE) from little St. Augustine's College (Go Falcons!) was good for Div. II, but the NFL?  Limited picks (5) with limited success do not make me very comfortable.  Grade: D
Pittsburgh Steelers - here's a team that believes strongly in the "take the best available athlete" strategy of drafting.  Otherwise, you can't explain how they didn't take the offensive linemen they desperately needed.  Rashard Mendenhall (RB) from Illinois is a strong, serviceable, long-term back and Limas Sweed (WR) from Texas topped many GMs' draft boards at his position.  Next, was Bruce Davis (OLB) who played Defensive End at UCLA, but must lose weight to play his projected new position.  Finally, in the 4th round, they pick up Tony Hills (OT) from Texas.  Injuries killed his college career, though, with 2(!) broken legs and nerve damage in his knee.  Yeesh.  To round out the injury parade for the Steelers, Dennis Dixon (QB) from Oregon shows up in the 5th round.  Probably another year 'til he's as good as he was the 1st half of last year after his torn ACL.  Ryan Mundy (FS) & Mike Humpal (OLB) round out the Steelers draft.  Grade: C-
The North didn't help itself that much, in my view.
Category: NFL
Posted on: April 20, 2008 6:13 pm

Brrrrr....a bit Drafty in here.

Sorry it's been a while since I last graced these pages with an entry, but frankly there really hasn't been a lot of sports news going on worthy of comment.  Sure the NBA & NHL Playoffs have begun and some folks ARE ACTUALLY WATCHING!  Not many for the latter, I'm afraid.  The former is to be seen.  Judging from the excitement of Game 1 of the Spurs / Suns series, this may be must-see TV.

It came down to waiting for the NFL Draft for me to have any really good material for thought.  It takes a lot for me.  You watch and listen so much to sports you get a bit jaded.  But I digress.  Let's talk Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair.  I still think it's a piece.  Anyway, regarding Mel, the only thing of interest I've seen from him is the verbal sparring matches he and Todd McShay, director of college football from Scouts Inc., are getting into.  At last, someone calling the self-professed talent guru out.  Their disagreements make for better TV than that fast-talking BaltiMORON could provide by himself spouting about what the 49ers need in the sixth round without challenge.

Even better have been the talk-radio geeks trying to tell you and I your local teams record for the 2008-09 season after the schedules were released.  This before the teams have drafted!  What are these idiots and their program directors thinking?  The trades and picks associated with the draft will make an enormous impact on the record of teams.  Let's ask what kind of difference Adrian Peterson made for the Vikings?  Here's another for-instance-thought: the Atlanta Falcons have 4 picks in the first 2 rounds (3, 34, 37, & 48).  Do you think the players chosen with these picks or those traded for them could have at least some small impact on the success or (more likely) failure of the Atlanta Falcons in 2008-09?

Finally, has anyone seen the man-love being poured over Chris Long like gravy on a Thanksgiving turkey.  Oh my God, I thought Kiper was going to make a stain on himself gushing about the immediate impact Howie Jr. would make with his leadership and work ethic and his "pedigree" (?).  Yeah, he's gonna be good.  Maybe REAL good.  Ask yourself a question though...when's the last time you saw a great Defensive End make an impact in the pros who was white?  David Pollack?  Guess we'll probably never know there.  I just was listening and asked myself the same question.

Category: NFL
Posted on: March 31, 2008 7:29 pm

So Much Going On!

It's an amazing time of the Sports Year.  Today marks the "official" Opening Day of Major League Baseball.  The Detroit Tigers strangely took it on the chin from the Kansas City Royals.  The New York Yankees had to abbreviate their final Season Opener at Yankee Stadium with the Toronto Blue Jays.  The Rays (no longer of the Devil) of Tampa Bay finally won an "away" Opener against the Baltimore Orioles.  And the San Francisco Giants are as bad as we thought judging from the first eight innings of their game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Money well spent on Barry Zito, huh.

At the same time, the NCAA Final Four has been named.  It is to be as it should, a battle of the best four teams in the nation; North Carolina Tar Heels, Memphis Tigers, UCLA Bruins and the Jayhawks of Kansas.  No Cinderellas to dillute the genepool of three games that should absolutely rock any fan of the "rock."

Shortly, fans of the National Football League will be going over reports from the Combine, film from past games and rumors involving the Wonderlic Test and just how dumb that kid is.  We'll all be waiting for Mel Kiper Jr. to tell us what he thinks he knows about the quality of young men our universities have put forth both physically, mentally & behaviorally.  He'll be wrong 25% of the time.  Just be prepared.

Amidst all this, I keep coming to a point and failing to care.  One of our own, Amerigo Vespuci (Amanda), is in the hospital and not doing very well.  One of her fellow Iowans, sporgie, has alerted a good sized group of her condition and it has just taken the wind from my sails.  AV as many of us call her, has told us stories of her life before and during cancer.  She has enticed us, challenged us, fought with us and celebrated with us.  Hers is a spirit that you can tell fills any room she enters and leaves it barren when she exits.

We all kind of "play" like we're friends and enemies on our posts and blogs.  We mock the trolls, feed the rivalries, and cheer our beloved alma maters or favorite pro teams.  We try to find an oasis of nothing but sports talk or social interaction from our lighted screens.  We seek to escape the everyday tedium or "reality" of a life that is not all we wanted or solace from something that can just be too much. 

I'm going to ask you to forego this search for a moment or two more.  I promise to go back to being my reasonably sardonically amusing self on my next entry.  Today, though, I need you to take a second out to thank God or your god(s) that you have your health, your family and your friends.  I need you to look around and remember how very much worse it could all be.  Watch ten minutes of the news, after they discuss the election, and you will realize just how much worse.  I'm asking you to think of a young lady who's going through some stuff that we wouldn't wish on anyone.  Help her with your thoughts, your prayers, your appreciation for your "discussions" with her and your appreciation of your own situation.

Get well, AV.  We'll talk to you real soon.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com