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Two Sports Questions


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(1) Will LC become a Vikes fan if they sign Brett F.?

(2) Can the Washington Nationals attendance possibly fall any lower? To date this year, they're averaging 19,400 fans per game (versus 29,944 per home game last year) in only the 2nd year of a brand new stadium!!!

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1) I'm already there. Just the fact that the Vikings' owner and coach are open to bringing in Favre (as opposed to driving him away) is great. I've not been wearing purple (yet), but I will if and when a deal is done.

As for Green Bay, I'm still taking a little sabbatical from Packer fandom. I've loved the Pack since I was a kid, and I'm still surrounded by green and gold. In my office here, I stil have mini-helmets signed by Favre and Ray Nitschke on a shelf, and signed photographs of Bart Starr (2) and Favre on the wall, and a signed and framed Starr poster (near my signed Raspberries litho, in fact), and a few odd Packer knickknacks. And that's just the tip of the iceberg -- there's a lot more packed away.

But I'm having a hard time reconciling Ted Thompson's moves and motives. And coach Mike McCarthy strikes me as chubby little curmudgeon who's incapable of leading the team very far(ve). He's no Holmgren; that's for sure. If Favre plays for the Vikings this year, I'll honestly have to root for Minnesota. (Sorry, Laura and Tim W.) Unheard of, I know, for died-in-the-wool Packer fans. But I can't help how I feel....

Down the road, in the post-Thompson years, I'll get back to the Pack. But I probably won't care nearly as much about football as I used to -- during and before Favre's tenure. Which isn't such a bad thing! (Hey, you've gotta grow up sometime!) haha

The New York Times has been running some lengthy and heated blogs on the Favre situation. Check 'em out and see if you can spot my contributions.... smile Here's one of 'em: http://fifthdown.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/favre-and-the-freedom-to-choose/

2) The Nats' attendance, which I hadn't been following, is really sad, JohnO. I hope it doesn't drop any more! For years, there was a cult following made up of fans of the old Washington Senators, and they pined and hoped and prayed for the return of baseball to DC. Now they have it, but no one's watching....

Maybe it's the team. If the Nats had a .744 winning percentage instead of .344, I have no doubt more fans would come out. The franchise needs an Amazin' Mets kind of season one of these years to grab the locals' attention.

Or... maybe Washington is just too busy to care about baseball anymore...?

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Larry - Truth be told, Washington's never really been a baseball town, although if a miracle happened and the Nats actually got good, I'm sure attending their games would turn into the trendy thing to do here.

On the other hand, I've never been able to fathom the city's infatuation with the Redskins, which probably wouldn't diminish if the team went 0-16 for 5 straight seasons! This is very strange, because I remember the team not being all that popular through the 50s and 60s. While they played to sell-out crowds back then, there was a pretty high turnover rate among season ticketholders, and tickets were always easy to come by. They became impossible to get during the George Allen era, when they turned into a very good team overnight around '69 or '70, and their popularity hasn't waned since.

Meanwhile, the old Senators got good the minute they went to Minnesota and became the Twins in '61, and the new Senators lasted about 9-10 years before leaving for Texas (and becoming the Rangers). No team here for 35 years, until the Expos moved....you would think that the local sports fans would have learned their lesson about losing MLB franchises....but frankly, we'd lose the Nats soon if not for the long-term lease on the new stadium......plus the fact that team was either the 2nd or 3rd most profitable franchise last year. I believe they actually made a profit of $40-45M, undoubtedly helped by the fact that they allegedly refused to pay any rent on the stadium last year because the builder and city did not finish the stadium completely, as per the contract everybody signed.

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"That was the late Vince Lombardi which coach the Washington Redskins from 1968-1969. Then it was the late George Allen who became the head coach after Vince Lombardi died in September 3, 1970."

Matt - While I was off a year or two (truth be told, Bill Austin coached the team the year that Lombardi got sick and died, and Allen showed up the next year, in '71), my basic point was that Allen and his instant success drove the team to new heights of popularity.

Lombardi, while coaching them to their first winning season in over a decade (7-5-2), did not get them to the playoffs, nor did Austin the next year, with a 6-8 record. Allen's first year, they went 9-4-1 and made the playoffs. His 2nd year, they went 11-3 and made the Super Bowl. It was right around Allen's first year that Redskins tickets became impossible to obtain, and the waiting list for season tickets began to grow like mad.

While Lombardi and his style of coaching excited a lot of the fans here, others weren't crazy about his run, run, run, pass only if you have to offensive style.....they had been used to Sonny Jurgensen throwing for 300+ yards every week, and the team losing by scores like 38-28 most of the time! Likewise, Allen didn't excite a lot of people either....until he got the team into the playoffs!

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