Friday, October 05, 2007


Stop me if you've heard this one.

I'm a Packer fan, and frankly, I'm sick and tired of all the Brett Favre man-love that I get on television.

Please stop. You're taking away the joy of watching the guy play football by talking endlessly about how great he is.

There are other really good players in the NFL. Normally, Favre isn't the only good player on the field at a given time. Would it kill you to do some homework and occasionally discuss someone else's ability?

Thanks to The Big Lead for pointing out this gem from Joe Sports Fan. It's a list of really stupid things that have been said about Favre on television.

I mean, really. Berman should know better.
"And you know what? I don't care whether people are Packers fans or whatever, I'll reiterate what we said, rooting for Favre is like rooting for America."
Seriously? Is this crap for real? Why?

I'm not dumb enough to not be able to recognize the impact this guy has had on the game. I'm not dumb enough to ignore what he's meant to Green Bay. But I find the national media's obsession with Favre to be extremely perplexing. It's not like players like Manning and Brady haven't given them enough to talk about. Favre has been super so far this year, and this Packers team is a very, very nice story so far. However, Favre has basically sucked for the last two years, and basically no one questioned his poor on-field decisions.

When the reporting is that irresponsible during bad times, it's not surprising to see it be this irresponsible during good times.

We love Favre in Green Bay. Stop ruining it for us and everyone else.

By the way,'s Bill Simmons said it better than I ever could:
We're seeing the same thing happen with Favre and the Packers right now. It's not that "he's having fun" and "he's managing the game" and all the crap that the talking heads are spewing. This goes deeper -- it's about a seemingly washed-up superstar who landed in the right situation, realizes it, appreciates it, embraces it and, invariably, his skills regenerated and his team reinvigorated itself in the process. Everyone keeps mentioning how much fun Favre is having; nobody is mentioning his teammates. Each guy looks happier than the next, and if you think these guys aren't killing themselves to make sure Favre succeeds, you're crazy. (NFL Films caught a great moment before the Vikings game when each of his receivers was talking about how much he wanted to catch No. 421.) Most of them are young enough to remember watching Favre in his prime, and most of them are smart enough to appreciate that they've become part of something that's bigger than just a typical 4-0 season. Throw in Lambeau and it's the most amazing sports story in awhile. I just wish the Packers had a running game. Or even the mirage of a running game.
Perfect. That's what I'm trying to say, in part. As usual, the media sees the story, and they cover the story, but they have virtually no idea why it's a story. Instead of asking someone, they just guess and spout out some more cliches.

(For those of you who may choose to root for the Vikings, please take my advice: Enjoy Adrian Peterson now. Well, at least as long as Brad Childress will actually let him touch the football. Once he's done this for a couple years, and is actually allowed to touch the football, he's all people will talk about when the Vikings play. This seems like fun now, but trust me. It's not. When all they talk about is one guy on your team, you get sick and tired of it like everyone else does.)

Now, on to the picks, which are hopefully a bit more accurate than they were last week.

Last week: 6-8
Season: 40-22

Cleveland at New England: A few things make this game mildly intriguing. First off, the Randy Moss rejuvenation is the single-coolest story in the NFL this season. Cooler than the Packers, though there is that obvious tie binding the two.

What would have happened if Moss had ended up in Green Bay? New England had already pulled off a successful offseason, and their first four games ended up being against teams that are worse than we expected them to be. They'd probably be 4-0 even if Brady had skipped the first month to hang out with his kid.

But would Moss' perceived attitude problems have just as easily gone away in Green Bay? Would his big-play threat have helped the Packers keep defenders off the line of scrimmage and create a better environment to develop a running game in? Would Favre's game change with such a great player available to him? Would he do what he did much of the time with Sterling Sharpe, and try to force the ball when the play wasn't there?

Anyway, the Browns' offense, believe it or not, is the most balanced attack New England has seen so far. And don't discount the fact that there are ties between the organizations. Sure, it didn't help Mangini one bit, but Bill Belichick isn't obviously mad at Romeo Crennel.

The Browns will shock everyone by keeping this close, but they will need some luck to beat New England.
The pick: New England

Tampa Bay at Indianapolis:
There wasn't much chance in the preseason that this matchup would be the best of the day, but it might be. The Buccaneers have experienced a resurgence on defense, and Jeff Garcia is the perfect QB to run this team. He won't make mind-numbing mistakes (Hi, Rex!), and he still has enough mobility to be a threat outside the pocket.

The Colts are sweating some injuries this week, most notably to WR Marvin Harrison. But they have enough weapons on offense to cause Tampa problems. The question is on defense, where Denver lit up the Colts' run-stoppers last week. Garcia won't blow this game like Jay Cutler did, and they can run the ball, too. If Cadillac hadn't gone down last week, I might be more tempted to pick the upset.
The pick: Indianapolis

Other picks (home team in CAPS)

Jacksonville over KANSAS CITY
Arizona over ST. LOUIS
NEW ORLEANS over Carolina
NY GIANTS over NY Jets
PITTSBURGH over Seattle
WASHINGTON over Detroit
HOUSTON over Miami
TENNESSEE over Atlanta
Baltimore over SAN FRANCISCO
San Diego over DENVER
GREEN BAY over Chicago
Dallas over BUFFALO

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