Two Guarantees for the Upcoming NFL Season
I have been waiting for this day to come. We are about a month into Brett Favre being a Minnesota Viking.
Now, I have not been waiting because I have a desire to see him in a purple uniform for the Vikes this season. Oh no, I have been waiting because I cannot begin to tell you how sick and tired I was of hearing about this old man.
Do not get me wrong, I think Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks—if not the greatest—I have ever seen play.
I respect him as a player. But the past two seasons have caused me to lose all respect for him as a man.
The fact that he wanted to play after leaving Green Bay two years ago is OK by me. I understand that pro football is a business, and these guys make money.
But to lead a team on, offseason after offseason about what your intent is—either retire or play—is not only annoying to fans, but disrespectful to the team that cuts your checks. Not to mention the guys with whom you will eventually be playing.
NFL players have enough distractions without a washed-up hero taking all the headlines. Young signal callers Kellen Clemens and Tavaris Jackson had enough to worry about each of the last two offseasons without having to hear week in and week out that Favre may be coming to take their jobs.
Is that warranted?
Yes. Favre is great. But does that mean he should automatically be “the guy” when he comes into camp? No. He should have to earn it.
Favre, with the exception of one game last year in which he went nuts and threw for six touchdowns, was very pedestrian (at best) as QB for the Jets.
Favre is a liar. He has led teams and fans alike to believe that he is going to retire. Yet he continues to pull surprises, coming out of a “retirement” that he never really was in.
Man up and say it, Brett: You do not want to go through training camp. Stop leading your fans and brothers in arms along the emotional roller coaster that you like to ride. We are all sick of riding it with you.
So here is my first of two guarantees for this upcoming season:
The Vikings will be no better this season with Favre under center than they would have been with Jackson running the offense. They may win the division. But only because, let’s face it, the NFC North is not what it used to be. But I am willing to say right now that with Jay Cutler in Chicago, Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, and Daunte Culpepper in Detroit, all have better shots of making a Pro Bowl and putting up better stats than Favre this season.
Let's stay in the NFC and talk about another quarterback who created a major stir this preseason.
Call me crazy, but I am happy to see that Michael Vick is back in the NFL, and more over, I am glad to see him land with the Philadelphia Eagles.
No, I do not agree with or condone anything that Vick did off the field in regards to the dog fighting ring he ran while in Atlanta. But that said, he has done his time.
As a fan of the sport, and a fan of the NFL, I am glad to see Vick back on the field because he is exciting. I think that Donovan McNabb will be a good influence on him. Lord knows that Andy Reid has seen enough controversy in the last few years—his experiences with difficult media questions should help him help Vick cope with the media onslaught he'll encounter.
Vick will do great in the Wildcat formation. He will do great if he is rotated in and out with McNabb. Vick instantly makes the Eagles a force to be reckoned with in the NFC, and in my mind, the favorite to represent the NFC in this years Super Bowl.
All the pieces are in place for a great run this season.
But one thing looms on the horizon. And it is my second guarantee for this season:
The minute Donovan McNabb has a bad game, the Eagles fans will be screaming for Michael Vick to take over the reigns as the No. 1 guy. There's a better chance that the sun doesn't rise tomorrow morning than McNabb not being the subject of criticism when he screws up.
Vick is in the wings. He is able. He is perhaps the best scrambling quarterback with the best arm to ever play in Philadelphia. That says a lot considering the pioneer of scrambling strong armed quarterbacks—Randall Cunningham is best known for electric years in Philly. Not to mention the guy they already have, McNabb, has made his living off of being a similar type of player.
These are the same Philly fans who booed when the team drafted McNabb over pot head Ricky Williams. The same fans that a few years back wanted McNabb gone. The guy who has done more for the franchise in the last five or six years than most players have done for their teams.
When that time comes, the big burning question will be this: When the same fans that are heartless enough to boo Santa Claus start calling for McNabb’s head, will he continue to be the consummate professional we have all come to know and love, or will he allow Vick to get best of him?
Time will tell in what is already shaping up to be a year full of fun things to blog about.
Be sure to keep checking back for more...
Thomas Gemkow is the official Tampa Bay Buccaneers Correspondent for WhatTheBucs.com, a blog that is part of the FanBall.com sports blogosphere. Currently residing in Lake County, Thomas has been a local sports correspondent the St. Pete Times, Citrus County Chronicle, Ocala Star Banner, and was honored by the FCCPA in 2003 for his sports and feature writing ability. You can check out his archived work at his personal blog site, ThomasGemkow.com or follow his updates on Twitter @ThomasGemkow
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