Last season's NFL had a dangerous ending when the New York Giants shocked the so-called "dynasty" of this era, the New England Patriots. But that wasn't the final shocker of the season. Then came the offseason...and the almighty insanity that comes with it. With the season only a few weeks away, I take a moment and reflect on five moments that left us gasping for air and spitting out our beers.
No. 5 Brett Favre Hangs It Up
After multiple seasons at the top of his game, Brett Favre's career ended with an interception in overtime that sent the Giants to the Super Bowl. A month later, he decided to end his quest for another Super Bowl victory and walk away from the sport he loved.
Favre's departure started a chain reaction around the NFL. Shaun Alexander found himself out of a job. New England was left fighting the system. Chad Johnson wanted to execute a sit out with TJ Houshmanzadeh. And the league was left to find a new role model for everyone to emanate and appreciate through the good and the bad...or were they?
No. 4 New York Gets it Right...and Wrong
Year after year, the New York Jets screwed up in the draft. The fans let them hear it, and when the season was over, they felt the wrath as the fans began to turn on them. On Draft Day, hell officially froze over in New York. Eric Mangini took a gamble and selected Vernon Gholston, a mean defensive end from Ohio State.
The result: The militia of Jets fans screaming and yelling...in a good way. With the chant of J-E-T-S! Jets Jets Jets! filling Radio City, one New York franchise got it right.
But unfortunately, the Giants imploded after their Super Bowl victory. It started with the departure of Michael Strahan to the Joe Namath Retirement Home. Then came the animosity Jeremy Shockey had towards his team and his demand to be sent elsewhere.
To top it all off, Plaxico Burress wanted out as well. In quite arguably one the biggest shocker of the offseason, instead of coming together for another Super Run, the Giants were coming apart at the seams.
No. 3 The Patriots beat the Rap (sort of) & Oakland Changes the Program
They got caught taping signals last season. They got accused of running up the score. They even got blamed for global warming. Okay, that last one was a little over the edge, but that's the kind of season that the New England Patriots had en route to another Super Bowl appearance. But the difference was that the Patriots lost the Super Bowl this time around. In some shocking twist of fate, that actually worked out to their advantage.
As Arlen Specter tried to find a new way to destroy the Patriots, the Oakland Raiders (formerly the NFL's most dysfunctional team) changed the game when they gave JaMarcus Russell some offensive help in the form of fellow SEC Alumnus Darren McFadden.
With their one-two punch locked in, the Raiders look more dangerous now than in recent memory. As for the Patriots, they lost the Super Bowl and a first round draft pick. I think they can sleep better at night knowing that was all they lost.
No. 2 Jason Taylor's Whine-A-Thon
If you hear the name Jason Taylor, what's your first thought? For anyone who is a Dolphins fan, the word would be "traitor." For anyone in the AFC, it's "thank God." For me, it's "World's Biggest Baby" award recipient.
Taylor whined about not having any offense or defense help last season. He whined about Shawne Merriman being in the running for Defensive Player of the Year. He even whined about getting eliminated off of Dancing With The Stars.
In all honesty, everyone wanted to see Stacy Keibler and her "Weapons of Mass Seduction" win instead of Jason's "Million Dollar Smile." But unfortunately, the biggest thing he whined about was...
No. 1 Brett Favre Plays with Packer town’s Emotions
After hanging up the pads and giving Aaron Rodgers hope for his career, the infamous No. 4 came back with a vengeance. After his family begged him to go back to the gridiron, Favre decided to come back and play.
Now Brett, did you think it would be that easy?
The Packers aren't exactly welcoming him back with open arms. They're actually trying to keep him in retirement by making it clear that Rodgers is their starter this season, telling other teams that they can't touch him and filing a lawsuit (which is pointless) against Minnesota for even talking to him.
No matter whether you're okay with Brett coming back or not isn't the issue. The issue here is clear: The man has the love for the game back, and wants to keep doing what he does best.
For the Packers to say that they don't want him back and that no one can try to lure him away from Green Bay is a little confusing to me. But since we're all having an opinion on Favre, here's the million dollar question: Should he stay or should he go?
Honorable Mentions: Chad Johnson's Sit Out, LT's Campaign, Keyshawn's Interview Skills (or lack thereof) and Cedric Benson's Double Deuce Departure