Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Randomization: 08/29/06

And you thought John Madden was bad. Once again last night, ESPN NFL "analyst" Joe Theismann took "Sucking up to Brett Favre" to levels previously unheard of. Working the Packers' unmitigated disaster of a loss to Cincinnati, Theismann spent most of the first half alternating his slobbering between Favre and Bengals starter Carson Palmer. Palmer looked good in the first half, but he had trouble, especially in his first few throws, planting that left leg and throwing with proper mechanics. Of course, Theismann refused to discuss any of this after Palmer's first throw, instead talking about how great Palmer looked and how well he was throwing.

Meanwhile, Theismann didn't ignore his boy (Favre). He praised Favre at every given opportunity, and was quick to try to make excuses for Favre's horrific fumble that led to Cincinnati's first touchdown. In fact, Theismann's excuse manufacturing wasn't even deterred by visual evidence that countered what he was saying (Joe argued that Favre's hand hit fullback Vonta Leach, even after a replay made it crystal-clear that he was wrong).

Since it was ESPN's first broadcast of a Packers game since Favre decided to return, I figured I'd hear about the decision and how Favre reached it and what the analysts thought about it.

What I didn't think I'd hear is Joe Theismann, at least a dozen times, reminding us that Favre "loves to play football" and just "wants to play the game". Really? I just figured that Favre wanted to get knocked around like Eric Hipple for another season. Never would have guessed that Favre loved playing and wanted to give it a go for another season.

What's worse is that normally solid play-by-play guy Mike Tirico mis-identified Packers receivers at least four times, even though the Packers were still using their starters, and the same four receivers were being used for at least two quarters.

So, yeah, it's going to be a long year of bad broadcasts on ESPN. For that matter, the stuff you see on FOX and CBS won't be much better.

He's baaaack. The Raiders signed Jeff George yesterday.

Yes, Jeff George.

That Jeff George.

George hasn't thrown a pass in the NFL since 2001, and the veteran may be called upon to compete for the Raiders' starting job, as Aaron Brooks has been positively dreadful so far in the preseason.

Speaks wonders to the state of quarterbacks in the league that George could get a gig at this point.

Good news out of Vikings headquarters. No one got arrested or caught naked in a stairwell yesterday. It might seem minor, but at least it's a step in the right direction.

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