Favre is a Viking

June 24, 2009

Image Courtesy of Gridiron Girl

According to WISN in Milwaukee, B-Fav has agreed to terms with the Vikings. Best part:

An ESPN reporter asked Packers General Manager Ted Thompson if he was taking it personally that Favre plans to play for Minnesota.

Thomspon’s reply was, “No, no, no, no.”

Translation: Yes.

And for the fun of it, here’s some stats from last year:

  • Brett Favre Rating: 81.0, Int: 22, Sacks: 30, Pct 65.7
  • Gus Ferotte Rating: 73.7, Int: 15, Sacks: 29, Pct 59.1
  • Tavaris Jackson Rating: 95.4, Int: 2, Sacks: 14, Pct 59.1

Brett Favre to Re-Unretire

May 4, 2009

Just when you think he’s teared up at a press conference for the last time, yet ANOTHER rumor pops up that Brett “Journeyman” Favre now wants to play for the Vikings.  Hmmm.  Is it because he’s got “something left in the tank”, maybe, or maybe the economy is such that it’s too soon to open a car dealership.

Had to post this. Original is Law Blog RLHB.

Either way, he wants in, and Mike & Mike on EPSN seemed to hint that it’s purely to get revenge on his old team — the Green Bay Packers.  That should work out for everyone, as we all know through centuries of theater, books and movies — aging gladiators called into battle for revenge’s sake and fueled by blind ambition usually succeed without much difficulty, agnorisis, etc.

What’s sad is that Wisconsin has gone mute on the subject (not that is has a say anyway).  Scanning the most recent headlines on google The Frozen Tundra is frozen still.  There’s a national frenzy but Milwaukee is mum… there is NO mention of Favre on the Journal-Sentinel front page and BARELY even a mention of this anywhere on the sports page. Hmmm. This from the paper that would run a picture of Favre above the fold instead of  Afghan war coverage.

Maybe it’s a McCarthy-era strategy — don’t publish stories about him and maybe he’ll just go away.  Meanwhile, Chicago Sun Times and Tribune both had stuff to say about it.

A few other thoughts:

  • Brett should look for a new shoe endorsement.
  • Green Bay is not quarantined with swine flu — they just don’t have the will to get out of bed this week.
  • Internet-friend Ryan thought: “If [this] … happens the NFC North will be land of the QBs with Cutler here, Stafford at Detroit, Farve at Minnesota and Rodgers in Green Bay, could be interesting.”  It’s true.  Would the NFC North not be the butt of jokes for once?  Maybe they could shake that guaranteed noon start time pattern.
  • Internet-friend Kenny thought: “….if Brett Favre goes to Minnesota, his legacy will be somewhat tarnished. This is the guy that replaced Bart Starr as the face of the franchise historically, and he is going to go wear purple and play in a dome? Just stick to playing football with a posse of country folk at a field in the middle of nowhere while wearing Wranglers.

Five Stars Kenny.  Real. Comfortable. Blog.


Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears, and Scratch-Off Tickets

April 19, 2009

The completely unexpected happened a few weeks ago.  Because I’ve been slacking, I haven’t  posted anything, but, after all my bear-bashing, I’m about to eat my words and enjoy it.

Photo from Blog Down Chicago Bears

The oft-criticized Chicago Bear front office pulled off what amounts to the most important personnel move in my personal history with the team, and perhaps the biggest move in Bears history.

Though other franchises make blockbuster moves and offer ridiculous contracts nearly every off-season (Hi Jets! Cowboys! Redskins!), the Bears are traditionally a stoic, staunch, and slow-moving franchise.  Instead of grabbing hot free agents every year, the Bears opt to reward their core players with generous contract re-signings…  regrettably, as the cornerstones of the defense proved last year, sometimes that’s not the best idea (see: #21).

All that was blown out of the water earlier this week.

Bears fans have had nearly enough of GM Jerry Angelo’s big talk with no follow-through, while Lovie Smith’s unnerving poker face press responses further aggravated fans.  Meanwhile in Colorado, Jay Cutler, former Midwest-born Bears fan and 25 yearr-old Pro Bowl quarterback, was refusing to answer the phonecalls of his team, the Denver Broncos.  Cutler was rightfully peeved — the Broncos’ new sherrif in town, Josh McDaniels, had made no secret of the fact he was not interested in having Cutler under center during the 2009 season.  McDaniels had an inexplicable man-crush on a Patriots backup QB.

Photo from Football Nation

This was the highest-profile trade in recent memory and the Bears, somehow, fended off a HUGE amount of competition to lock up what could wind up solidifying the always-iffy Bears QB position.  A gutsy move that could feasibly solve the perennial Chicago QB problem for the next decade-plus.  Imagine not worrying about this issue again until after we host the Olympics!  Ha.

But there are always naysayers… here are the biggest complaints which I will swiftly refute:

Naysayer #1: “Jay Cutler is a good QB but he doesn’t have anyone to throw to”

  • Aside from the fact that the Bears have two solid tigh ends and one the best pass-catching backs in the league, I get the point — the Bears wide receiving corp(se) is  the worst in the league.  But, as my pal Jimmy pointed out, good quarterbacks create better receivers.  Good receivers don’t make great QBs.
  • Note how unimpressive past Packer wideouts become after they leave a team that had  Brett Favre throwing to them. Note how well Randy Moss fared in Oakland without a decent signal caller under center.  Note how well the pass-happy Eagles threw this year without any real stars at the position.  Note how Wes Welker played on the Dolphins compared to how well he’s played in New England.
  • Also worth mentioning: the Bears are sure to make some moves post-draft.  Aside from the draft itself, there are plenty of veteran wide receivers to pick up… Torry Holt, Marvin Harrison, The Foot-Shooter to name a few.  Granted two of those three athletes are past their prime, but they’re still  serviceable, savvy, smart, possession players.

Naysayer #2: “The Bears gave up too much to get Cutler”

  • To lock-up Cutler, the Bears gave up two first-round picks, an additional pick, and their starting QB, Kyle Orton.  On paper, this looks like a pretty steep cost.  But for anyone that’s followed the history of Chicago drafts, this is a great move.  Long-story short, the Bears DO NOT draft offensive players well… or develop them well. Trading away what might be for what already is makes perfect sense.
  • Think about it like this:  Some guy (probably in a trenchcoat) approaches you on the street… let’s call him… ummm,  Josh McDaniels.  He has five-hundred dollars neatly stacked in a pile and wants to trade you for your two “Win a Million” scratch-off lottery tickets.  Mr McDaniels (who is obviously clinically insane) would rather have your two scratch-offs than his cold, hard cash.  He’ll trade you his liquid assets for two of your unscratched lottery tickets.  Sure, your tickets might be worth lots too, but your name is McCaskey and your family has never had much luck in the lottery.  WHY DO YOU NOT AGREE TO THIS TRADE?
  • Appendix: Here are the Bears’ 1st round offensive skill position picks since 1988: Greg Olsen, Cedric Benson, Rex Grossman, David Terrell, Cade McNown, Curtis Enis, Rashaan Salaam, Curtis Conway, Brad Muster, and Wendell Davis.  It’s pretty evident you’ve been squandering them anyway, why not give them away for something tangible? Tangible and fucking awesome btw.

Naysayer #3: “Kyle Orton is the future”

  • K.O., god love him, is a solid QB, and may still wind up being a fantastic player.  But look at the facts: He is not a Pro Bowler,  Cutler is.  He isn’t 13-1 when the defense allows less than 22 points, which Cutler was last year (fyi — Bears avg points allowed last year: 21.9).  Lastly, Orton’s lack of arm strength nullified the speed that “#1” receiver Devin Hester possesses; while the words “Cutler”, “canon”, and “lazer” often appear in the same sentence.
  • It’s Science:
  • Note how "canon" spikes when Jay Cutler news spikes.

I’m thrilled to see what happens this season.  And if Cutler is a bust — so be it.  I don’t think Chicago would have ever forgiven the franchise for not pursing an all-star QB that was within their grasp, so I commend the Bears for making a huge, and long-awaited move.  I’ve never anticipated a season more than I have this off-season.  I wish it started tomorrow.


Chicago Bears: Door Open, Checkbook… Open?

February 18, 2009


Lots of moves going on over at Halas hall.  Plenty of time before I can start fretting about the Preseason, but I’ll quickly dish about Chicago Bears’ recent moves, and drops, and free agent opportunities.  Chris Curran, Kenny Bernat (of Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt Kroll (of BellyFullofHell) also have some thoughts…

The Never-ending QB Rotation

Brian: Only 6 months left.  I’m going through serious withdrawal.  Hockey’s not helping… it’s like a expired box of methadone.  Combine coming up.  Bears have picked up NWU’s  Brett Basanez at QB… because that makes sense… career stats: 6 of 11, 56 yards with one interception. 0-1.

Does anyone like Jeff Garcia as much as I do?  No matter how good he makes a team, he always gets ditched for someother “project” QB.  Why 49ers, Browns, Lions and Bucs have all dropped him, I have no idea.

Curran: I thought he did well this year, i think his problem is that he is older and he is not an amazing QB.  So teams are allways going to take a chance on the possible upgrade.  he will still play well when given a chance.

the bears are just horrible with their QB choices. they get this guy from NWU and the back up QB from the Panthers?  what they hell are they going for guys with the least actual experience?  Qualifications: Nice Smile all others need not apply.

Kenny: I have basically given up on the Bears offseason. It’s more frustrating than the regular season. All this talk is about a new quarterback is bullshit. The Bears cannot, CANNOT evaluate the position at all. What they should really be doing is signing receivers left and right. But they won’t. They will just draft somebody that will probably get hurt.

At this point Jeff Garcia is probably the only decent BACKUP left. Let’s face it, he is not a championship quarterback. Other than that, he is an aging hot head that reminds me of Jeff Kent.

Bitter? The Bears have given me no choice. They hate their fans.

Waive Goodbye & Free Agents

Kenny: Today’s rumor Mill has the Bears looking at Chris Simms and Fred Taylor.

Bye bye Mike Brown and John Tait.

Brian: Hmmmm.

I don’t care how many QBs they sign so long as one of them shows up to play.

Simms looked pretty deece when he started for the Bucs a few years ago but, apparently, they got bored of him or something.  Also, didn’t Simms Sr. get pissed when a commentator called Chris “soft”.

Mike Brown, bless his heart, can’t do a season anymore. What scares me is Craig Steltz trying to make tackles in his place… did you see him get buldozed last year?

Oh yeah… bye bye Booker.   And 2/5ths of depleted Offensive Lin…

Fred Tayor would be a KILLER pick up.  A nice one-two with Forte who got really effed up after a full season with no legitimate backup.

Kenny: Simms hurt his spleen really bad. I think he ruptured it. The fact that people were giving him a hard time was probably because they were bonehead NFL fans.

I agree having Taylor as the second running back would be a much needed improvement. Just gotta form an O-LINE, which the Bears need to solve to give Orton more success this year.

Just Trade Haugh

Awesome Image Courtesy of Angy Orange

Brian: Urlacher for Boldin?

Kenny: I went off [ ] when I read that. David Haugh might be one of the wost sports writers behind Jay Marriotti. He always comes up with these theories that don’t have any merit behind them. Last year, he wanted them to trade Urlacher for Brett Favre which would have been so idiotic. When I went to Holy Cross, Haugh was a writer for the South Bend Tribune, and wrote about Notre Dame as if he made up how they were doing. The fact that he is our beat writer for the Bears is embarrassing. I invite everyone to boycott his article.

Brian: Haugh always seems to say whatever will make people talk — regardless of if it makes any sense at all.  That’s not journalism.

Kenny: I know. It’s kinda sad. I would think writing for a professional football team would be quite an opportunity and a privilege.

Dog Days

fuuuuuuuuuck no.  I will become a Browns fan if this happens…. Bears Looking At QB Options, Including…Michael Vick?

Kenny: Yeah, Vick as a Bear would be complete poison. The good news is, I don’t think it will happen. If you look at other papers across the nation, his name is being brought up as well as fodder for dying newspapers. What’s also interesting is, since Vick went to prison there hasn’t been any running quarterbacks. (And really I have always thought that their success is very limited.) Remember how much McNabb used to run? That changed when they groomed him into relying on his arm. Vince Young will be in that transition too. So if Michael “Pass efficiency FAIL” Vick is thinking about entering the league again, he might consider adjusting his game, because football evolves in some way every 5-10 years.

Brian: If Virginia McCaskey refuses to endorse cheerleaders, there’s no way she’ll allow them to pick up Vick.

Vick will wind up on the Cowboys or the Bengals… they all do.

Matt: Yeah this would be a huge mistake. Running quarterbacks were a fad; just like prison is a fad. Wait…


NFL Playoffs: For the Birds

January 14, 2009

 Since I can’t really wrap my whole brain around the season right now, I’m just going to post a few blogs based on coversation points I had with some assorted pals online; Ryan, Jim, Rob (from the blog Walker’s Point), Kenny (from Ask Dr. Kenny) and Matt from Belly Full of Hell). Here goes:

On The Playoffs…

Arms, Distance: The bloody Cardinals did it again, as if I didn’t have good reason to hate Del Homme already. How ‘bout them Ravens eh? I actually used to hate them, now I kind of like ‘em.

Jim: I really enjoyed watching Delhomme fail. I loved all the slow-mo replays of his reactions to his interceptions. He’s the worst. These playoffs are insane. I’m kind of rooting for AZ. They’ve been horrible forever.

Also, Philly doesn’t deserve to be the NFL and MLB champions. Thats reserved for Boston.

Rob: Arizona has K(c)urt Warner and Jesus on their side, but Edgerrin James is weak compared to Tim Hightower, who lulls the defense with thoughts of Police Academy movies from their childhood.  Lary Fitzgerald jumps for catches that do not require it and Steve Breaston has an erotic name.   The online-educated home field advantage will be strong.

On the other hand…

Philadelphia has the Phillies World Series victory and the perception that the fix is in for them this year, compared to Boston since recent memory.  They also have Donovan McNabb’s lack of self-awareness and Kevin Curtis’ steely determination to make white people proud.
Westbrook is what Reggie Bush writes about in his diary and Andy Reid’s sons are tenacious addicts.  Plus, he stole the beard of a homeless man.

Kenny: I love Larry Fitzgerald. The past two games he has made career highlight receptions that were in the middle of two defenders. Sure, he jumps as much Derek Jeter on a routine grounder, but he’s also short. You are also forgetting that Warner is married to Gozer (The Destructor.) She is one apocalypse away from making Andy Reid’s sons sit beside her in the judgement of mankind for all of eternity.

A,D: What do you think about Marinelli coming to town and this Warren Sapp / Tommie Harris thing once the playoffs end?

PX00001_9.JPG

J: I don’t know. I’m just happy the Bears are making changes. It could be good.


Vikings and Bears NFC North Run-off

December 9, 2008

I’m not going to waste time talking about the Bears and Vikes games last week, but I AM going to focus on what happens now — with three games left apiece.

So far, all we know is that the Bears D is not good when playing other good teams.  They only appear to be good when playing games they’re expected to win.  It’s no coincidence their recent wins have been against the lousiest of the league — Jacksonville, Detroit, St. Louis — they remind me of a pouty Rec League group that plays in the lower levels just to feel good about themselves.

Lance Briggs said earlier this year that when the Bears defense wanted to play well they would play well.  Hmmm.  Well, sidestepping the most obvious question, (“As a professional athlete player, when do you NOT want to play well?”) question #2 is, “Do you find it odd that in games the defense SHOULD have been amped up, you actually played worse?”  Failures such as:

  • A chance to beat an undefeated Titans team.
  • A chance to claim first place in the NFC North by beating the division rival Packers at Lambeau.
  • A change to reclaim first place in the NFC by beating the Vikings in prime time

Were they not pumped up about these games?

THESE are the games you have to win, THESE are the games you win if you deserve to be the Division Champs — Tough games, DIVISION games.   It’s because the Bears can’t win to save their own hides that having to root against the Vikings is just maddening. 

If the Bears won games they were supposed to, we shouldn’t have to watch the scoreboard to see if Detroit is going to beat them (Or Arizona, or Atlanta, or New York) in the next few weeks.  Larry Mayer’s ChicagoBears.com Chalk Talk made it painfully clear what needs to happen for the Bears to make the playoffs:

There are two ways for the Bears to win the NFC North: They go 2-1 and the Vikings go 0-3, or  the Bears go 3-0 and the Vikings lose at least two of their final three games. Minnesota can win the division with two victories regardless of what the Bears do.

So, if I must, here’s who they both play in weeks 15, 16 & 17.

  • Vikes (8-5): Arizona* (8-5), Atlanta** (8-5), New York* (11-2)
  • —  combined record (27-12) .692
  • Bears (7-6): New Orleans** (7-6), Green Bay (5-8), Houston (6-7)
  •  — combined record (18-21) .462

(*Clinched Playoff Birth, **Wild Card Race)

So,  at first blush, The Vikings have a more difficult schedule. But you have to consider both Arizona and especially New York have nothing left to play for, so their only real difficult game is Atlanta.  Based on Mayer’s comments, I find it very unlikely that Minnesota — with the playoffs on the line, will manage to lose to the Cards and Giants; both disinterested teams.

Chicago, though their win% looks favorable, has to first play a New Orleans team with a matching record, healthy Reggie Bush, and a serious bone to pick with two losses in the last two years against the Bears — one a NFC Divisional Playoff upset.  Next up, Green Bay — historic rivals who, no doubt, would love to spoil a Bear playoff run.  Finally, you have a Houston team which the Bears should not even THINK about until they have beat both Green Bay and New Orleans and the Vikings have lost to Atlanta.

So… speculate all you want, they don’t deserve to win the division.  Why?  Because they’ve had TWO chances to do so within a month, and they’ve failed.  WHY DO WE WANT TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS ANYWAY?

To get blasted by whomever we play?  To give the Bears Franchise an excuse not to make any major shake-ups in the off season? To get a higher draft pick?  Seriously, why?


Squibgate

October 14, 2008

I’ll be brief.  In the final quarter of an otherwise yawn-fest of a game, the Atlanta Falcons beat the Chicago Bears with a field goal with 1-second left after Kyle Orton led the Bears in multiple late-quarter drives.  As a Bears fan, I will be succinct, but I must ask:

  1. Why a squib vs a regular kickoff?  Is Robbie Gould a good squib kicker — it didn’t look that way. 
  2. Are we supposed to have the best Special Teams coverage in the league?  Isn’t a game with 11 seconds left a time to expect them to perform.
  3. Was there a fear of avoiding a real kickoff because of what happened against the Vikings last year, when Adrian Peterson returned a kickoff into Bears territory that lead a Minnesota 3-point victory?
  4. Why stick to the Cover-2 when a short pass or running the ball would’ve ended the game?
  5. How do you allow a reciever to get even CLOSE to a sideline when the team has no timeouts with 6 seconds left?
  6. With all this recent referee criticsm, isn’t it bullshit that Atlanta’s game clock operator gave their offense a 1-sec or so cushion on the secon-to-last snap? (The same second that allowed Elam to kick the winning field goal).  A similar question was fielded in Larry Mayer’s Bears Q&A “Chalk Talk” yesterday:

Can the Bears file a formal protest of Sunday’s loss based on the clock operation in the Georgia Dome? It appeared that the clock conveniently started late on both on the Bears’ squib kickoff and on Atlanta’s 26-yard pass play that set up the field goal.

Will S.
Chicago

Well, whatever.  They say good teams find a way to win — what does that say about a Bears team whose every loss has been 3 points or less? I’m going crazy just thinking about this.  Also note: Jason Elam blew a gimmie field goal earlier in the quarter, and we blew a 4th and goal attempt so… we can’t complain, the Bears had plenty of chances to score and shouldn’t have allowed it to come down to the last second.

Relive the terror (or the glory if you’re reading this in Atlanta / Green Bay).