This Blog Features Green Shrek Filling. Yum!

Topics I didn’t get to earlier in the week . . .

The Favre thing. What I’ve been hearing a lot of in the past week since Brett Favre made public his frustration with Packer management for not landing Randy Moss is that Favre’s a crybaby. A whiner. Someone who only thinks about himself. Someone who should suck it up and concentrate on doing his job as quarterback and let management run the team.

I couldn’t disagree more with any of these characterizations of Favre.

I have never heard Favre make more sense than when he spoke last week of why he was in favor of acquiring Moss. He wasn’t whining; he was arguing intelligently for why Moss would have been a welcome addition to the Packer offense. His arguments — that since the running back position is in doubt (thanks to missteps by Packer management), a three wide-out package of Donald Driver, Greg Jennings, and Randy Moss would have been the most “intimidating” offensive option for the team — were spot-on. Favre’s arguments were certainly more persuasive than Ted Thompson’s arguments for why the team didn’t get Moss — because Thompson didn’t make any arguments for why the team didn’t get Moss. Because Thompson knows he botched the deal and he doesn’t want to have to admit it.

Look, Favre’s frustrations should not be interpreted as being selfish. He knows that the Packers had the money for Moss. In the skewed world of the NFL, Moss would have come cheap and the Packers are far below the salary cap. So acquiring Moss wouldn’t have met mortgaging the future of the team, a future which Favre will not be part of.

And I’m sure Favre would like nothing more than to not have to worry about what management is doing and just concentrate on playing quarterback. But he’s smart enough and self-aware enough to know that he can’t perform as quarterback anymore without some offensive options. And management is simply not providing him with acceptable options. Favre doesn’t want to have to put the team on his back anymore because he knows the Packers can’t win like that. And he wants to win. Not just for himself or for his own glories (although that’s part of it for any athlete) but for the team that he’s been so loyal to for what seems now like forever. So Favre is putting the team first with his recent comments. And although some would argue that Favre is putting himself in the position of being able to say “I told you so” if the Packers do struggle on offense — which they almost certainly will — I don’t consider that to be a motivating factor behind his complaints. I think he’d rather win and be proven wrong.

Having said all that, do I believe that Moss was the Packers’ ticket to a Super Bowl? Of course not. He hasn’t been a scary player for years. But he was worth the very small risk to acquire. I have a hunch the Patriots, not to mention the Packers’ NFC North opponents, are going to be very happy that Ted Thompson didn’t land Moss.

(And let’s not let Thompson off the hook so easily for failing to acquire San Diego backup running back Michael Turner. I realize that the Chargers elected to keep Turner, so Thompson didn’t botch the trade, but he certainly seemed to make moves (or not make moves) in the off season as if landing Turner was a foregone conclusion.)

The Brewer thing. Despite winning Thursday, the Brewers have had a tough week. They’ve lost five of the first seven games in a stretch where they play sixteen of nineteen on the road. I wasn’t surprised they lost two of three to the Mets, but I was stunned they lost three of four to Philadelphia, a chronically underachieving team that was without its best player, Ryan Howard. Also troubling is the continuing meltdown of Derrick Turnbow and the Brewers’ increasingly obvious inability to score anyway other than the long ball; in the last five games, the Brewers have scored fifteen runs, a remarkable eleven of which have come off of home runs. Teams can have worse problems than middle relief and an over reliance on dingers, but championship teams don’t have those issues.

I originally said that Milwaukee would finish the next stretch at worst at 9-10. They are trying to prove me wrong by starting 2-5, meaning they have to win 7 of 12 from Minnesota, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta. I’m frankly worried about this weekend’s series against Minnesota, which as of this writing has yet to start. Milwaukee is catching the Twins at precisely the wrong time — the Twins are a talented team that has lost seven of eight. They are as happy to get out of playing games against their wickedly tough AL Central opponents as Milwaukee is sorry to get out of playing games against their soft NL Central opponents. I hate to sound wishy-washy here, but under the circumstances, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Twins take 2 of 3 or even sweep.

Fans shouldn’t give up hope that the Brewers can win their division. But they shouldn’t hold out hope that they can do more than that. But come on, a division win and playoff berth after 25 years of nothing? I think Brewer fans will take that.

The Spurs/Suns thing. The NBA has done a fine job attempting to screw up what will undoubtedly be the best series this postseason. Let’s hope for a game seven.

The NHL thing. What, hockey is still going on?


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