Thursday Thoughts

(shame on all of you who didn’t think i’d resurrect that title this week)

SOMETHING IS ROTTEN IN THE STATE OF MINNESOTA – By now we’ve all heard about the “power struggle” going on with the Vikings between Brett Favre and coach Brad Childress (or as Brett so lovingly called him back in August, “Chilly”).  Apparently, Childress has been annoyed with Brett on multiple occasions for calling audibles at the line of scrimmage and has even attempted (though quite feebly) to bench Favre on more than occasion.  Nobody would have known about this except for the fact that Brett felt the need to announce it to the world in his post game press conference Sunday night.  Unless you’re a Vikings fan, this is hilarious, ridiculous, and was inevitable.  On the one hand, Favre was getting SLAUGHTERED by Julius Peppers that night – so much so that they BENCHED HIS STARTING LEFT TACKLE!!  They signed Favre to win playoff games and so Childress was naturally concerned about keeping Favre healthy.  But, Brad…YOU WERE WINNING THE GAME!!!  You should not be trying to remove your starting quarterback when you’re in the lead.  If you’re worried about him getting hurt, here’s a novel idea: HAND THE BALL TO ADRIAN PETERSON!! (I hear he’s pretty good). 

But I wish people would stop calling it a “power struggle.” That term implies that one party will try to wrest control of things from the other party with the loser never being heard from again.  In this case, there’s no struggle.  Favre runs that offense.  Period.  And Childress isn’t going anywhere.  They’re stuck with each other.  What really bothers me is that most of the media is using LeRoy Butler as a character reference for Favre (do these guys even talk anymore? and LeRoy, dude, taking shots at former teammates is just lame).  Still, there is some truth to what he said.  Brad, YOU went out and begged Favre to join the team.  YOU picked him up from the airport.  Do you think Belichick or Parcells would’ve done that?   Um, no.  As the head coach, you have to make it clear that ALL players (star or scrub) must listen to you at all times.  I don’t care what Favre told you then…he was never gonna just come in and be your puppet.  The man knows more about the West Coast Offense than just about anyone in the league.  I sincerely hope you didn’t think he’d give up his “gunslinger” mentality just because he joined the Vikings.

All I know is that we haven’t heard the last of this (but does anyone else wish we didn’t have to keep hearing about Favre and all the drama that surrounds him?). 

CHRISTMAS JUST CAME EARLY FOR THE EAGLES – Why is that? See above.  Thanks to the Vikings suddenly fragile locker room, the Eagles have a serious shot at the #2 seed in the NFC playoffs.  All the Eagles have to do is win their final 2 games and hope that the Vikes drop one.  Looking at the Vikings’ remaining games, that’s a legitimate possibility.  This Sunday night Favre has to go to Chicago and try and win a game outdoors in under 30 degree weather. Know the last time he won a road in those conditions? 2002.  7. Years. Ago.  I like those odds even against Interception King Jay Cutler.  Should they squeak by the Bears, they’ll have to deal with the Giants in Week 17 and the Giants will absolutely have to win that game to qualify for the playoffs.  Again, I like the Eagles’ chances. 

WESTBROOK’S RETURN: GOOD OR BAD? – One more quick Eagles blurb.  Brian Westbrook will make his long awaited return to the field this week against the Broncos.  I have to admit I have extreme reservations.  The offense has really been clicking lately in his absence and I worry that with him coming back it will alter their offensive game plan.  According to head coach Andy Reid, LeSean McCoy and “The Weave” will continue to get the bulk of the work while they try to ease Westbrook back into action.  So long as Andy sticks to this, I’m okay with it.  At this stage of his career (and with his new injury concerns), I really don’t see Westbrook as more than a 3rd down back.  He should have a small package and that’s it.  Even if his plays are very successful, I hope Reid and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg resist the urge to begin overusing him.  The offense is working beautifully right now. PLEASE DON’T MESS WITH IT JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN!!!

FLYERS 5, LIGHTNING 2 – Good win for the Flyers last night.  2 goals from Mike Richards and Blair Betts coupled with some pretty decent goaltending by fresh-from-Carolina’s-scrap-heap Michael Leighton got them a much needed win.  Maybe, hopefully, possibly, they’re beginning to turn the corner?  They played a great 1st period and jumped out to an early lead.  Of course they gave it right back and were abysmal in the 2nd.  But they righted the ship, came out firing in the 3rd and won the game.  With 6 straight road games (including the WINTER CLASSIC at Fenway Park on January 1st!!!!), maybe some time away from home will be what brings the team closer together and finally allow them to start playing the way they should. 

That’ll do it for today.  MERRY CHRISTMAS to everyone.  I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday!!!


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