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Finally, Some Favre-ing Peace and Quiet

September 2, 2008 - John Whittaker

NFL Picks:

Week 1

I know, I know -- it's not the usual random thoughts for a Tuesday, but, with the debut of the picks contest, I felt an NFL blog was appropriate.

Here's how this will work.

Every Tuesday, the slate of games will be posted on Tuesday. My buddies Todd, Finn and Sir Cumference, along with Simon Teska from The Post-Journal's sports department, will pick the week's college and pro games. The records will run each Tuesday along with the next week's games.

After weeks of trying to figure out a prize or a bet, we'll be playing for the Fat, or Formerly Fat, Guy Trophy, which will be given out to the yearly winner so they can gaze upon it each day with pride, kind of like the Stanley Cup.

The picks will be sent to me before games begin for the week - though the guys' picks won't run until Sundays.

If any readers out there want to pick against the non-pros, (except for Todd) send your picks to my e-mail at

Here are the picks:


Ohio at Ohio State

Marshall at Wisconsin

Eastern Illinois at Illinois

Southern Miss at Auburn

Furman at Virginia Tech

Central Michigan at Georgia

Cincinnati at Oklahoma

Citadel at Clemson

Utah State at Oregon

Oregon State at Penn State

Mississippi at Wake Forest

San Diego State at Notre Dame

West Virginia at East Carolina

Buffalo at Pittsburgh

Southeast Missouri State at Missouri

Louisiana Tech at Kansas

South Florida at Central Florida

Tulane at Alabama

Miami at Florida

Troy at LSU

Texas Tech at Nevada

Stanford at Arizona State

Texas at UTEP


Detroit at Atlanta

Cincinnati at Baltimore

Seattle at Buffalo

N.Y. Jets at Miami

Kansas City at New England

Tampa Bay at New Orleans

St. Louis at Philadelphia

Houston at Pittsburgh

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Dallas at Cleveland

Carolina at San Diego

Arizona at San Francisco

Chicago at Indianapolis

Minnesota at Green Bay

Denver at Oakland


I should probably be more annoyed than I am that the Brett Favre saga ended in perhaps the worst way possible for a New England Patriots fan -- with him playing the Pats twice this year and making the Jets relevant again.

I was kind of looking forward to seeing Chad Pennington passes fluttering 5 yards downfield or Bill Belichick confusing the H-E-doublehockeysticks out of Kellen Clemens with one of his patented defensive schemes.

But, I'll take having to play Favre twice this year if it means I can turn on ESPN without having to see or hear about Favre's unretirement, his waffling, how the Green Bay Packers management didn’t love him enough or what his teammates were saying - or weren't saying - about Favre.

I'd had enough of Favre.

If you see a report of a short, chunky masked man sneaking into Favre's Mississippi home and pulling a Tonya Harding on Favre's knee, well, the Whitless Wonder will probably have been writing to you again in 3 to 5 years because Favre on the brain made him go crazy.

It's time for a sports Ritalin.

Gather around, and let me tell you about a time before Chris Mortenson, NFL Live, ESPN News, PTI, Around The Horn, 3,000 sports talk radio shows, and instant video of events ranging from political assassinations to a quarterback driving his car.

Let me tell you about a time before short attention spans and the need to justify everything before it has a chance to play out, a time when a really good quarterback got traded, in the twilight of his career, because his team thought it was better without him.

Let's jump into the WayBack Machine (patent pending). In 1991, Joe Montana, who had led his San Francisco 49er teams to three Super Bowl wins, misses the 1991 season and most of 1992 with assorted injuries. By then, Steve Young has entrenched himself as the 49er quarterback, leaving the 49ers to trade Montana to the Kansas City Chiefs, where Montana led the Chiefs to the 1993 AFC Championship game and a playoff appearance in 1994 before calling it a career.

I remember watching Montana lead Kansas City to a win over Denver in which Montana looked very much like the Joe Cool who won all those Super Bowls, outplaying John Elway down the stretch to pull out the win.

I don't remember TV stations camped outside Montana's house, film footage of Montana driving to the airport to fly to Kansas City, or even the relentless phone messages (there was no text messaging in those days) between a teary Montana and a sympathetic ESPN broadcaster. There was no Montana castigating the 49ers for trading him instead of Steve Young. The process wasn't public -- it just sort of happened.

When it was all over, there was no debate over Montana's legacy, whether or not he should have kept playing, if the 49ers would let him retire as a 49er. Nobody cared about jersey sales or personal endorsement contracts.

Joe Montana was a two-year stopgap for the Kansas City Chiefs. Brett Favre is a two-year stopgap for the New York Jets. They're each Hall of Fame quarterbacks who finished their career on a team other than the one where they were made famous.

The moral of the story, for all you kids reading this, is that no matter what ESPN or your favorite sports talk show tells you, chances are the once-in-a-lifetime situation they're screaming about has happened before.

Now, back to Pardon the Interruption.


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