Why I Now Disrespect Brett Favre (Updated)

July 28, 2010

Many people remember the interview that a then Green Bay Packers’ quarterback Brett Favre gave to NBC’s Andrea Kremer following a Sunday night football game between the Packers and the Chicago Bears.

All we have found out, is that those were big crocodile tears.  And the saga of whether or not Favre is returning for another season to his illustrious NFL career starts all over again.

Closing in on the start of training camp, everyone awaits the decision, which probably deserves a two hour special from ESPN, of whether or not Favre will return and honor his contract with the Minnesota Vikings.

I am tired of this saga that occurs every single year during the summer months.  Is Brett Favre finally going to retire?  Will he return?  Will he hold a team hostage all through the summer?

The answer the last few years has been yes to all those questions.

I began to really despise Favre back when he was with the Packers.  He repeatedly would force Green Bay to wait on his decision of if he was coming back, which at times hurt the team in trying to move along a draft players they needed.

At the end of the 2006 season, with the emotional interview on NBC, it seemed like Favre would go out with style.  He announced his retirement, and the Packers were ready to move on with Aaron Rodgers as their quarterback.  They decided to go with Favre one more time in the 2007 season, but they had enough.

Just think about all the back-up quarterbacks that went through Green Bay as the quarterback of the future and the heir apparent to Favre.  One of those was Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.

So then as the 2008 season was approaching, Favre riding his tractor down at his home, suddenly decided that he wanted to come back and with the Packers.

But the Packers made the right choice, and stuck by their quarterback, Aaron Rodgers.  Rodgers was the biggest person through all of this, repeatedly stating that he would do whatever was the best for the team.

After many days over who was indeed the Packers’ quarterback, the team allowed Favre to seek a trade, and found him a home with the New York Jets.

So Favre played the 2008 season with the Jets, getting off to a great start, but stumbling down the stretch.  And then the saga started all over again.  Favre was now unleashing his indecision problem on the Jets.

The Jets placed him on the reserve/retired list.  This time now, after training camp had already started, the Jets having drafted Mark Sanchez, Favre was ready to come back.

But this time, Favre wanted to come back to the Minnesota Vikings, something he always wanted.  After he felt the Packers did him wrong, he wanted to get them back.

A release was worked out and Favre was signed to a two-year contract.  He led the Vikings to the NFC Championship Game, where they were beaten in overtime by the eventual Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints.

So now once again, as training camp is getting geared up, speculation surrounds whether or not Favre will once again make his return, stealing the spotlight from players that deserve it.

Like the whole LeBron James decision, Favre has an entire television network in ESPN that is willing to follow his every move until he makes his decision.

Vikings Coach Brad Childress has spent the last few days talking to Favre in Mississippi, trying to gauge his interest in returning, after undergoing offseason ankle surgery.

Favre is doing exactly what he has done for at least the last five offseasons — keeping his team held in a tight ball, making teams believe they will be useless without him.  The Packers finally did not bite at that.

Favre has learned how to play the system.  He doesn’t believe he needs training camp anymore and knows that teams, for his arm, are willing to give into his needs.

So as Favre will undoubtedly return once again, we are reminded once again that Favre is a hall of fame player, but maybe not a hall of fame person (This comment is not referring to his off the field life in terms of charity work and being a family man, it purely applies to his dealings with football and deciding if he is returning.)

(Update August 3rd, 2010)  According to the Associated Press, Brett Favre is retiring.

Once again, making it all about himself, if this is indeed true, Favre has screwed another team into the ground.

By waiting this late, the Vikings are now in a bad position, intending that Favre would return and high hopes for a Super Bowl run, will now be forced to decide between Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson to take the team back to the playoffs.

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LeBron, Wade, Bosh: Super Team or Nightmare?

July 6, 2010

NBA free agency is in full swing, and there is a lot of talk on whether a super-team, comprised of the NBA’s biggest stars might occur.

However, while it creates buzz around the league in the summer, it by far would not create great basketball come tip-off time.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and Amare Stoudemire are just a few of the franchise-changing caliber players who are free agents this offseason.

All of them together, would create a situation that would blow up.  There would be too many high-profile names, and the likelihood of them co-existing would be slim to none.

It was announced today that Stoudemire, the former Phoenix Suns forward, rectified his problems with New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni.  Stoudemire signed a 5-year, $100 million dollar contract to help save the Knicks from another disastrous season.

That leaves three of the biggest names in the sport still for teams to go after.  James, Wade, and Bosh are still out there for somebody to change the future of their franchise.

First, Chris Bosh, who might be the most over-rated forward on the market right now.  The big man has spent the first part of his career up in Canada, as a member of the Toronto Raptors.

It is easy to be the best player on the Raptors, who have struggled to make the playoffs since trading Vince Carter.  However, the problem that Bosh brings is that he is one of the most selfish players out there.

Bosh may go somewhere and become a bigger star.  I just don’t see it.  A team might over-pay for Bosh, and they could be rewarded.  Despite saying he would not return to Toronto, there is a good chance that he will go to the team that will pay him the most, and that very well could be the Raptors.

Second, is LeBron James.  The hometown hero has played his entire career thus far as the star of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Now James might take his show somewhere else.  Widely considered the best player currently in the NBA, James literally could pick from the teams that are courting him.

With James, you get a guy who provides impressive numbers.  The problem is that LeBron sometimes does not make the players around him better, like Michael Jordan did with the Chicago Bulls.

LeBron is also looking for his first NBA title, despite reaching the NBA Finals.

LeBron would be best suited to go to New Jersey and the Nets, which brings the spotlight of a big city and a big media market, but not necessarily the pressure of playing at Madison Square Garden.

Ultimately, his best option is to stay in Cleveland.  It would be the best for the sport, and the popularity in his home state of Ohio, could not be matched by any other city.  LeBron James needs to stay a Cavalier.

The best player I believe still on the open market is Dwyane Wade from the Miami Heat.

Wade has a NBA title, and has the ability to make the players around him better.  There is no one who can take over and dominate a game like Wade does.  Even when a team rotates a defense to try and shut him down, he still finds a way to make his opponents pay.

Wade is the only player that could be affected by a third party.  The former Marquette star is in a custody battle with his estranged wife.  Wade’s kids currently lives in the Chicago area.

Wade has said that it is a priority to be close to his kids.  Both Chicago and Miami are willing to provide Wade with the maximum contract he deserves.

It would be conceivable that he could either end up a Bull, or remain a member of the Miami Heat.

The bottom-line is that the NBA is better suited with its stars on different teams.  While a super-team would be entertaining, it would create much more off the court drama than the league, the team, or the players would want.

The start of that super-team’s problems, who would take the last shot?  The best answer is that they all will, for different teams.


South Carolina Gamecocks: National Champions

July 2, 2010

How do you put into words, the crowning of a champion, when it is your own school?  How do you put into words the ending of a curse?  How do you put into words the end of an era and the beginning of one that involves winning?

I am not sure, but I’ll start by saying, the South Carolina Gamecocks are college baseball’s 2010 National Champions.

As the Gamecocks’ Scott Wingo crossed the plate to clinch the championship, years of frustration, years of suffering was erased from the minds of many fans.

The Gamecocks won six straight at the College World Series, including the two in a row to defeat the UCLA Bruins to win the National Championship.  It is the first championship for the school in baseball, and only the second in the school’s history.

There were many different ways of celebrating, some were in 5 Points, some were watching with friends, and some people were in the comfort of their own home.

The common theme, however, was the elation felt at 3 minutes until midnight on Tuesday, as the Gamecocks beat the Bruins 2-1 in 11 innings.

For a student at South Carolina, time has seemed to stop, even if everything else is going on in the world.  Oil is still gushing into the Gulf, the economy is still down, and a hurricane struck Mexico.

But the thought in Gamecock Nation right now still remains:  The Gamecocks are National Champions.

So how do you explain everything that has happened in the last 72 to 96 hours.  Tears have flown, cheers shouted, and immense joy have all been a part of it for sure.

One thing is for certain on this championship; Yes, there may be a new champion next year, but no one will ever be able to take away the fact that the Gamecocks are the last team to ever win a championship in the 61-year history of Rosenblatt Stadium.

The famous home of the College World Series ended its run this year, and the series will move to a new home across town in Omaha, Nebraska.

Nevertheless, there are two things that I will for certain remember in the Gamecocks run in Omaha:

First, Michael Roth.

The left-handed specialist all season for Gamecocks Head Coach Ray Tanner was called onto pitch in a starter’s role.  Entering the College World Series, Roth had two career starts.

In the first game against Clemson, Roth was only expected to go two to three innings, getting through the first time through the order against a lineup filled with left-handed hitters.

Roth only provided the biggest pitching performance of the season, and the outing that will by far define his career as a Gamecock.  Roth pitched a complete game 3-hitter, only giving up one run in the process.

Then Roth came out again in the second game against UCLA, for his fourth career start.  The same thing was expected of him, get through the lineup the first time through.

Yet again, Roth battled through five innings, holding the Bruins to one run.

Roth’s performances were an example of what defined this Gamecock’s team.

The second person to highlight is Bayler Teal.

Bayler was a six-year old who was battling cancer, and had become a friend of this baseball team.

One of Bayler’s dying wishes were to see his Gamecocks win a national championship.  I never knew Bayler except for seeing him throw out a first pitch, but by the end of the run, everybody knew Bayler.

It causes me to break down when I think of Bayler and him not being able to see what happened on Tuesday night.  Bayler passed away during the first Clemson game.

Regardless, congratulations Bayler, this championship was for you.

In the end, how do you describe the feelings of this championship from the point of a student, fan, and radio host?  It personally chokes me up to see the game-winning play and sometimes just to hear the words:  South Carolina Gamecocks, National Champions.

The Gamecocks are known for choking in big game situations, creating storylines for messing up, not for being the team everybody wants to be.

So my answer to that:  It just doesn’t happen to us.  This just does not happen to us.