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The NFL '08 Thread


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Hey Larry - Did the NY tabloids also make Thomas Jones and other unnamed Jets trash Favre in the wake of the Cowher issue (or non-issue, I guess, if it was a total media fabrication!)? Per Jones and others, he made no attempts to fit into the team at all....now I'm sure this wouldn't have come up had BF played better down the stretch and the Jets had made the playoffs. Nonetheless.......

P.S. My guess is the Cowher/Favre issue was Bill C's personal acid test he gave Jets management. I'm guessing he wanted to see just how much authority they'd give him regarding personnel issues. If he's not going to even be allowed to determine who his QB's going to be, why would he want to coach there?....as opposed to being "afraid" of Bret F., which I'm sure he isn't, unless he somehow perceives that BF is uncoachable at this stage....(or maybe he simply watched him playing down the stretch!)

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Come on.... You're not putting stock in the NY tabloids, are you? You know what they're trying to do there. It's not journalism; it's selling papers. Read the NY Times if you read anything in NY. Not that I don't read the tabloids.... I've been noting all the crap they've published and posted about Favre, and I hate myself for clicking on their sites.... Indifferent

Look, I'll be the first one to say that Favre looked terrible down the stretch of the 2008 season. After 11 weeks, he had 'em at 8-3, with a 5-game win streak and upsets over NE and Tennessee. He was being talked about as an MVP! The tabloids were praising him. Five weeks later, they're nailing him to a cross any which way they can. That happens, in NY; I understand that. He wasn't going to get any free passes in the Big Apple. Nobody does. The Post and Daily News would crucify J.C. himself again if they thought it could sell papers.

I just wish there were more reporting and less raking over the coals, slicing and dicing, and dumping salt in the wounds -- often by using hearsay and "unnamed sources" and excerpts of interviews taken out of context. That does happen, you know.

Ironically, the Iron Man himself was playing with a torn biceps down the stretch, but he never used it as an excuse. Was it a factor in his play? Well, if it was, then the Jets should have spotted it and, yes, given him a week or two off. By then, the streak wasn't that important; it's not like when Cal Ripken was chasing Lou Gehrig. A week off might have made a world of difference when the Jets went over to play SF or Seattle....

[to be continued]

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Regarding Thomas Jones.... Now, how can someone with your sense of fair play and sportsmanship condone that kind of trashing? They're teammates; Jones couldn't have kept his comments in house, and talked to Favre privately? Seriously?

You just don't throw your teammates under the bus, JohnO. In 18 years, I never once heard Favre throw a teammate under the bus. And having watched so many Packer games, I can tell you he had his chances.... He threw 9,200 passes in the NFL, and there were countless receivers who ran the wrong route and cost him in INT, and countless drops of passes that cost him TDs, and countless fumbles by RBs. But I never heard Favre rip any of 'em.

I saw Greg Jennings cut the wrong way on three different routes in his rookie year, and those three passes got turned into INTs, but Favre didn't blast him. I'm certain he talked to him, but it was in the locker room, and it was unpublicized.

This year, I saw virtually all the Jets games, and Jericho Cotchery, as much as I like him (a lot more than I do Coles, who never got over Chad Pennington's release), was still running off routes late in the year. There were two key examples in the Seattle game that the Jets lost, 13-3. Favre could have pointed a finger, but he didn't.

None of which is to say Favre is perfect. I'm just saying:

A) It's wrong to blame him alone for the Jets' collapse (just as he didn't deserve all the credit when they were 8-3).

B) You have to take tabloid news with a grain of salt. There have been unfair and false slams on Favre all season, including that crazy bit about him secretly calling the Lions to tip them off on what the Packers' offense does.

The Cowher situation is one example of how a speculative comment can turn into "fact" and get passed around at the speed of sound. After that "story" broke, the NY Times had the real deal: Cowher bristled after being told that owner Woody Johnson was out of the country and couldn't meet with him. He instead would have met with the GM, and that wasn't to his liking (see, he wanted a lot of responsibilities that were the GM's).

Yet the fun thing to do for the NY Post (where I first saw the Cowher-hates-Favre thing) was to blame Brett. It was one more way to get the fans barking and the message boards lighting up and the talk-show lines chattering. Ugly, man... ugly!

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All that said.... I do hope he walks away now. I'm glad he played this year, just to see a few last examples of Favre at work (the 6-TD game vs. Arizona, for example, and the Tennessee and New England wins). But I would say: Brett, don't subject yourself to that "NY experience" again. It's not worth it.

The NY fans and media simply don't have a history with or a connection to Favre. Longtime Packer fans (like me), well, we do.

See, you had to be a Packer fan through the 1970s and 1980s to understand. You had to have been a little kid who only read about the Lombardi-era Packers, and who arrived in time to see a revolving-door QB situation, from Hunter and Tagge and Whitehurst to Hadl and Zorn and Wright and many others (though I liked Lynn Dickey).

You had to have been constantly disappointed by the end of the NFL season, when your Packers finished with another 4-10 or 6-10 record.

And you had to have been there when Favre came out of nowhere and suddenly made the offense dangerous. I'm telling you, it was a dramatic makeover of a franchise. Mike Holmgren was the perfect coach for the team, and Ron Wolf the perfect GM. I'll never forget Favre's first playoff game: vs. Detroit in January 1994, when the Pack was just about out of time and was trailing the Lions, 21-17.

Ah, it was great to finally see your team in the playoffs, but it was about to end all too quickly. Then, with time running out, there goes Favre rolling to his left, being chased by a host of Lions, when he suddenly turns and throws a ball -- all the way across the field -- 50 yards in the air. And when you watch Sterling Sharpe run under it in the middle of the endzone, well, you were just shocked. The Packers won! You couldn't believe your eyes! No flags? No penalties? Nope.

I was watching the game alone in an apartment in Richmond, having just relocated from NH to start a job down there. I remember that all I had in that apartment was a bed, a refrigerator, and a TV. (Ah... bachelor life! My then-fiancee was still up north, but who needs anything more than a bed, 'fridge, and TV?) Anyway, the lonely and empty apartment didn't matter; watching that game was absolutely killer anyway.

That was kind of the start of things for Favre.... Packer fans suddenly had a winner, and the Packers were suddenly contenders every season, and Favre put up huge numbers. That gunslinger approach had you sweating and thinking the worst would happen, but more often than not -- way more often -- it was good.

Either way, Favre was always there, while other teams went through any number of QBs. To me, that's the most amazing thing about #4: his 271 consecutive games started. Between 1992 and 2008, he never sat down. You cannot call a guy who doesn't miss a game in 17 years a prima donna, as the tabloids are now doing. It just doesn't fit.

That's all I've got on Favre right now. Sorry to use up so much server space....

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John, Darren Sproles, the last guy to make the Chargers cut at the start of the 2007, has paid some nice dividends over the last 2 years as a back up and kick returner. He's so small and fast, he hides behind his teammates until the last minute, then drafts like a NASCAR pro, and Swoooosh! "Where'd da little guy go?"

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Love Leon Washington.... He's a one-of-a-kind.

Re: the playoffs.... What do ya'll see happening this weekend?

Baltimore at Tennessee

San Diego at Pittsburgh

Arizona at Carolina

Philadelphia at NY Giants

Here's what I'm thinking:

* My upset special.... The Ravens will be a handful for Tennessee and edge the Titans.

* Steelers over Chargers. San Diego makes a nice story line, but... I think the Steelers handle 'em at home (sorry TC! Nice run, though.)

* Panthers over Cardinals. I'm rooting for Kurt Warner, but the money's got to go on the Panthers and that D.

* Giants over Eagles. It'll be close, because the Eagles are peaking at the right time, but I'll go with the home team.

Of course, I could be wrong....

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Baltimore at Tennessee - Ravens in a squeeker

San Diego at Pittsburgh - Steelers Roll sorry

Cartmill but I've been wrong a lot before

Arizona at Carolina - Panthers dismantle the Birds =- sorry peanut

Philadelphia at NY Giants - GMen win for GMan!

and finally

My jets will be home watching all the proceedings on TV just like ME!!!


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GMan, you must be in heaven, with your Giants looking so powerful. And to think: Just a year ago, they almost seemed like a team that "sneaked" into the playoffs and were lucky to be there. And then.... and then they ruined the lives of so many Packer fans, me included. Indifferent Well, at least they did the good deed of preventing that 19-0 record that Patriots fans were expecting.

Now the Giants are (or should be) the favorite to win it all. Tough team. I love the triple-headed backfield. And I like the way the Plaxico thing didn't derail the team at all. They seem like they're pretty focused -- on a mission. I do think they'll repeat.

Well, you deserve it, G, because Giants fans have had their tough times, like the Dave Brown years, and Scott Brunner, and, of course, Joe Pisarcik.

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Never, IMO, has the NFL regular season been so meaningless as it's proven to be in this year's playoffs.....In the first 8 playoff games, the team with the better record has won exactly once! (Pittsburgh (12-4) over SD (8-8))...and once there was a tie (Baltimore over Miami; each finished 11-5). The other 6 games, the team with the worse regular season record has prevailed, to the point that we now have the #4 playing the #6 seed for the NFC title, and the #2 playing the #6 seed for the AFC title.

I'm guessing the 9-7 or better teams which were shut out of the playoffs (New England, Dallas, Chicago, Tampa Bay, and the Jets) are now kicking themselves, thinking that they could be in one of the remaining slots now with just a little luck! I'm guessing that a 9-7 team (Arizona) playing a 9-6-1 team (Philly) for the conference title is probably some sort of a record......I believe the '79 Rams, at 9-7, have the worst record to ever make the Superbowl.

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Good points, all. John. Well, it's a long enough season that slow-starting teams can right themselves in time for a deep run in the playoffs (as in, the Eagles, who seemed to be coming apart at the seams early in the year.... Did Donovan McNabb really get benched?!?).

Anyway, I missed both NFC games, but got the AFC ones.

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