Tag Archive | "Brett Favre"

NFL preseason injuries piling up

With the preseason kickoff literally days away, many NFL teams have been bitten by the injury bug during this year’s camp.  When the Dallas Cowboys and Cincinnati Bengals start things off on Sunday night, the ‘Boys will be doing it without an integral part of their future. 

The Cowboys were the first NFL team to begin training camp and they were also the first to suffer a significant injury when rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant went down with a high ankle sprain on July 30th. Bryant, an Oklahoma State product, was drafted twenty-fourth overall and has drawn comparisons to Terrell Owens who was signed by the Bengals as a free agent.

Bryant who drew criticism for not carrying veteran Roy Williams’ pads in the ongoing NFL rookie ritual, was awarded jersey No. 88 the day after he signed with the Cowboys.  That number carries a lot of responsibility in Dallas as it was the jersey worn by legend Drew Pearson and eventual Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Bryant is expected to remain on the sidelines for about six weeks, taking him out of preseason play and jeopardizing his ability to see action in the first game of the regular season. 

The Denver Broncos have been hit especially hard throughout camp including the injury of running back Knowshon Moreno.  Moreno was injured early and is expected to miss the rest of training camp and preseason play.

Joining Moreno is Elvis Dumervil who has been sidelined with an injured chest muscle.  Dumervil was the leader last season in sacks and was awarded for his efforts last month with a five year contract valued at just over $58 million dollars.  The contract is a record for his position as it offers just over $43 million in guarantees. 

Sources indicate that Dumervil may be out for five months, meaning it is likely he will miss the entire season.  Add to this dilemma the fact that Darrell Reid remains injured and has not yet participated in training camp and the Broncos are without a proven pass rusher as they enter preseason play.

There’s bad news for the Green Bay Packers too. Safety and four-year veteran Atari Bigby will need arthroscopic ankle surgery and will have the procedure on Friday.  Bigby is confident that he will not miss a significant amount of playing time but Packers Coach Mike McCarthy would not comment about a possible time table for a return. 

Staying in the NFC North, Detroit was riding high just days ago after the signing of second overall pick Ndamukong Suh.  With news that safety Louis Delmas has a lingering groin injury the celebration has become a bit more conservative as the severity of the injury remains a question mark to the Lions.

Delmas is a big piece of the puzzle for a Lions team that hopes to improve dramatically on the defensive side of the ball. Though Delmas admits that surgery has been discussed he is adamant that it is not the option he expects saying this on his Twitter account:

@LouisD_26 I am not having a season ending surgery dont believe everything you hear… click here to read more . . .

The Washington Redskins remain hopeful that Albert Haynesworth will be at full strength soon but he has not participated in training camp due to his inability to pass the required conditioning test.  The test was required for Haynesworth after he sat out on the mandatory mini-camp in June due to personal objections with new coach Mike Shanahan’s direction of the defense.

Haynesworth first failed the test on July 29th and 30th before sitting out the next two days and attempting it again on Monday before quitting due to knee stiffness.  Haynesworth has not attempted the test since Monday and an MRI was conducted that revealed no structural damage in his knee. 

Adding insult to injury is the fact that analyst Mike Golic passed the test with relative ease earlier this week on ESPN.  Golic is an NFL veteran who has been retired for sixteen years and currently works for ESPN. 

The Minnesota Vikings are on standby as they await the retirement decision of quarterback Brett Favre and the veteran says that decision is centered around his ankle injury.  Favre was rumored to have sent text messages to certain teammates and Vikings officials on Tuesday but was later found working out with the local high school team in Mississippi. 

However, on the same day as the rumors of retirement began, Vikings kicker and friend Ryan Longwell spoke to Favre and indicated retirement had never come up during discussion.  We have since learned that Favre will meet with Dr. James Andrews next week to discuss the success of his ankle surgery. 

While the actions of legendary quarterback Brett Favre would most likely be difficult for even the most skilled of gamblers to bet on, it seems clear from the statements of other Vikings players that Favre would be welcomed back to the locker room regardless of when the decision is made.

Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Don’t Drink the Favre Kool-Aid

Brett Favre has allegedly informed teammates that he intends on retiring.  This not so surprising development has fans of the purple and gold facing the reality of a season led by ….gulp, Tavaris Jackson.

If true, even a storybook season last year that ended one win shy of a trip to the Super Bowl, isn’t enough to convince the future first ballot Hall of Famer that he’s up for one more shot at the Lombardi Trophy.  But, it is Favre we are talking about, and it is a big “if”.

The same story has played itself out over and over again during the better part of the last decade.  First with the Packers; then with the Jets and now the Vikings. There have been tearful press conferences, secretive jet rides to Mississippi, and even confirmed reports from Chris Mortensen, only to have football’s version of the ironman lace them up again in September.

It’s become almost comical.  Favre again has sports fans everywhere wondering if it is April Fool’s Day or Groundhog Day.  One thing is for sure, Favre’s uncertainty has joined the Fourth of July as a rite of summer.

Personally, I refuse to drink the Kool-Aid. 

Brett may just be crying “Wilf”, Zygi Wilf, trying to get the owner to dig a little deeper into his deep pockets. Until I see Brett sporting a mustard yellow blazer in Canton, I fully expect him to show up throwing passes to local Hattiesburg high-schoolers and fueling talk of his impending return. 

Apparently, Brad Childress is not convinced either.  When asked about the possibility of having to find a replacement for Favre, Childress stated “I’ve got to hear it from the horse’s mouth”.  My question to Childress is what does John Elway know that even Mort doesn’t? 

Used with permission of the author.

 Pat Schueppert is a contributor to Sports Climax who grew up on the frozen tundra and bleeds Packer green and gold. The Wisconsin native, while staying loyal to his teams in his home state declares he has never worn a ‘cheesehead’ and “The Bears still suck!”

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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NFL camp news, Favre says he’ll retire

Across our nation, teams and media outlets are buzzing with what has turned out to be eventful NFL training camps thus far. The most recent news coming out of the camps was Brett Favre allegedly telling Chilly and Zygi he is retiring and not to expect him in camp but more on that later.    

The preseason will officially begin for the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys this Sunday night and follows shortly thereafter for the remaining 30 NFL teams.  Many are left wondering if the issues and problems in camps can be conquered prior to game time.

The main news out of the Cowboys camp surrounds first round pick Dez Bryant. The rookie signed quick, was the first to show on the field the first day of training, then refused to carry veteran Roy William’s pads. The following week, Jon Kitna threw a pass behind the wide receiver and after getting hit on the play, Bryant is expected out with an injury that occurred on the play. Is the Lions’ curse hitting the ‘Boys in Dallas?

For the Detroit Lions after revamping the roster with several trades and FA signings, the primary obstacle remains signing Ndamukong Suh.  As the second overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Suh is likely to request quite a payday.  Last season, the Lions were faced with a similar obstacle as they worked out a record contract with University of Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford but that was signed the evening before drafting the No. 1 overall pick. 

Presumably, Suh or his agents were waiting on Sam Bradford to sign with the St. Louis Rams in order to gauge and asking price.  With Bradford recently signing for $78 million – $50 million of which is guaranteed – it seems likely that the Lions will have to show Suh the money.  Much of the speculation has been that Suh will ask for more than Bradford.  Suh’s agents claim this is not the case but continue to pursue what they believe to be market value for what many still consider the best player to come out of the draft.

The training camp season has been one of injury struggles thus far for the Philadelphia Eagles.  As of Monday, six starters were on the shelf during training camp with the most notable being DeSean Jackson.  Jackson went down on Saturday with a lower back injury and was carted off the field.  As of Tuesday morning, Coach Andy Reid has commented that Jackson is steadily improving. 

For the Washington Redskins, the primary issue has been Albert Haynesworth.  Haynesworth has been unable to complete the team conditioning test satisfactorily.  After initially failing the test twice, Haynesworth sit out due to knee soreness on Saturday and Sunday.  Haynesworth began the test on Monday but was unable to continue due to the knee issue.

The team conditioning test mandates that certain running drills are completed within an allowed amount of time.  While Haynesworth has been unable to successfully complete the drills, 47-year-old Mike Golic 16 years retired out of the NFL completed the drill on the ESPN network Monday. 

The Redskins – Haynesworth drama began in early June when Haynesworth failed to show up for a mandatory mini-camp due to his objections of the new defensive scheme. He later pocketed a $21 million bonus and demanded a trade.

Though the New York Jets believe they are Super Bowl contenders with or without Darrelle Revis many would argue that Revis will significantly increase those chances.  Revis has yet to show up for the Jets training camp and though various reports exist on the reasons for the holdout many agree that the main issue is total compensation. 

With 54 tackles and 6 interceptions last year with perhaps the largest coming during the Wild Card game that lifted the team over the Bengals, Revis is said to want either a short term deal with a large signing bonus or a long-term deal believed to be in the range of $30 million.

The running back position is now the area of concern for the Denver Broncos as starter Knowshon Moreno was recently carted off the field with what wound up being diagnosed as a “slight tear” in his right hamstring.  The Broncos remain convinced that Moreno will be back in 2 – 3 weeks but that seems like a best case scenario.  The team remains hopeful that Moreno will not miss any carries as the talent behind Moreno on the depth chart is unproven.

In Chicago, the Bears are learning a new offensive system and are getting newly acquired pass rusher Julius Peppers accustomed to the defensive system.  At this point in time, hope is high but the Bears will need to execute in all areas in a division as competitive as the NFC North.  After a dismal 2009 season, Bears fans are hopeful that the Martz offensive system will work to Cutler’s strengths. 

In Minnesota, the Vikings have learned that Brett Favre will retire for a third time.  However, many inside the NFL and owner Zygi Wilf are convinced Favre will return before all is said and done.  Regardless, the Vikings will need to look at the possibility of moving forward with Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels and Joe Webb as signal callers.  Behind Favre, the quarterback position in Minnesota is still unproven and training camp play has given no firm indication of who might be the projected starter should Favre stay true to his word.

Expectations are higher than ever for the Houston Texans.  Coming off of their first winning season in franchise history, the Texans are looking to make their first playoff appearance in the history of the team.  Many around the NFL point to the possibility that they may do it in impressive fashion – clinching the AFC South ahead of the Indianapolis Colts.  If quarterback Matt Schaub can continue to pass as he did last year only bright things should be expected for this team as the young talent continues to gain experience.

Competition in Arizona has led to many on-field fights as the team begins to adjust to life without Kurt Warner.  The expectation in Arizona is that Matt Leinart will be the signal caller for the start of the season.  When the Cardinals drafted Leinart the expectations were that he would someday carry the weight of the organization on his shoulders.  In the NFL, he has had mixed results with moments of despair and flashes of brilliance.  In any event, the success of the team likely hinges on how the team adjusts without Kurt Warner.

When the preseason begins this Sunday night, teams will have four weeks to adjust their roster to the best possible.  If the past few seasons have shown us anything expect new faces in the playoffs and a high level of competition across the league.

MORE NFL: Is Roger Goodell Losing his Big Stick? – Sports Climax

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Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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NFL quarterbacks shattering records

Throughout the history of the National Football League the quarterback position has been one of great importance and in the minds of many NFL fans and the media the quarterback is usually the one to blame when things go awry.

While the game has traditionally focused on an even balanced attack consisting of passing, running and strong defense, recent statistics suggest this trend has shifted.

The passing game has exploded. 

During the 2009 season a total of ten quarterbacks passed for over 4,000 yards.  Matt Schaub of the Houston Texans compiled the most at 4,770 yards and nearly propelled his team into the NFL playoffs for the first time had it not been for several missed kicking opportunities earlier in the season. 

Also included in that elite list was Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings.  Though Favre had struggled with his decision on retirement earlier in the year, he led the Vikings to within one game of a Super Bowl appearance – a large part of which hinged on his arm. 

Among the other starters that exceeded 4,000 yards in 2009 are both Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints and Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts.  Not surprisingly, the Saints and Colts collided in the Super Bowl with Brees’ performance earning him the Super Bowl MVP. 

Interestingly enough, the leading rusher for the Super Bowl Champion Saints last season was running back Pierre Thomas with a total of only 793 yards.  A year earlier the Pittsburgh Steelers became Super Bowl Champ with another leading rusher with less than 1,000 yards in Willie Parker with only 791. 

The trend of recent NFL drafts supports this change in style of offense on the field.  In the 2009 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions drafted Matthew Stafford No. 1 overall with their first pick of the draft.  Placing the bank on the arm of their new quarterback, the Lions signed Stafford to $78 million, $41.7 million of that guaranteed, an NFL record. 

Later in the same draft, the New York Jets moved up with a trade and selected Mark Sanchez No. 5 overall.  Sanchez later signed a deal worth $50 million.  As the largest contract the Jets had offered in the history of the organization, the deal included $28 million in guarantees.  Sanchez became only the fourth rookie quarterback in NFL history to win his first playoff game. 

In the 2010 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams passed up the opportunity to take college defensive star Ndamukong Suh in favor of selecting Sam Bradford.  Although Bradford has yet to agree to a deal it is expected that the Rams will offer a deal that will likely surpass the record received by Stafford a year earlier.

Although teams are more likely than ever to place a premium on a young quarterback during the draft, it doesn’t always work as expected.  In 2007, the Oakland Raiders selected JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 overall pick of the draft after Russell had displayed a substantial amount of talent throughout his days at LSU and was highly coveted following the NFL Combine. 

After a long holdout, Russell and the Raiders agreed to a contract worth $61 million with $32 million guaranteed.  As a starter for the Raiders, Russell would finish a dismal 7-18 before being released in May 2010.     

What does this mean in terms of the growing popularity of the sport?  The NFL leads the way among all professional sports organizations in television ratings and will receive a combined total of $20.4 billion from FOX, CBS, NBC and ESPN.  The current terms of the deal are until 2011 for FOX, CBS and NBC with ESPN maintaining rights through 2013.  Between the four, the contract of ESPN is the most valuable at $8.8 billion.  For the first time ever, the 2010 Draft was aired in prime-time and reported a 30 percent hike in ratings.

In 2003, the league launched the NFL Network.  Many argue that the network is among the most successful of the networks devoted to the four major professional sports.  In 2010, the network began airing Canadian Football League games and will air the Grey Cup.  Some criticize that the league is airing CFL games in order to stir further interest in a full-time team in Canada. 

Despite whatever motive may exist, the league has shown an interest in international exposure evidenced by playing a regular season game annually in both Toronto and London.  Closer to home, the league often makes its presence felt in San Antonio. 

While the success of all four sports leagues is apparent, only the NFL could move forward in operations without a marketing department.  When such a successful product explodes on the field boosting television ratings to levels previously not imagined the surge in viewers and in the cash flow destined to come from networks can only be expected to inflate further. 

 As long as the pigskin is being tossed for a record number of yards the NFL can continue to expect the popularity to follow.  And in this economy, it is nice to have advertisers that are looking for you!

 Used with permission of the author.

Cade Caldwell is an Atlanta-based sportswriter and contributor to Sports Climax.

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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Brett Favre and “The Indecision”

It’s that time of year again for NFL fans to climb aboard the Brett Favre roller coaster, buckle in and take a ride while we wait for “The Decision”. Question is, will ESPN have a prime-time special with Favre announcing his decision like they did with LeBron James? 

Artwork: Gener De Vera

With Favre it could be called “The Indecision”.

Favre, sitting across from host Jim Gray as the highest rated audience in cable history sits glued to their seats: “I’ve decided to do it again in Minnesota this season . . . maybe; if my health is okay.”

“So I’m signing next week for sure unless I decide to call coach Chilly in the middle of the night on Wednesday to let him know I’ve reconsidered and to move on without me. But again, I’m retired for sure–100% sure– so it’s going to be fun beating New Orleans that first week.”

Welcome to Favre 2010, the 3rd annual roller coaster ride. Like an irresolute teenager deciding on a prom dress, Favre again is weighing in on going fishing or donning purple for another season in Minnesota. Speaking of proms, Favre has been zipping a few spirals to high school kids like he did last year.

This comes AFTER he explained his ankle needed to be rehabbed before he makes any decision and that came a week AFTER he announced how fun it would be to “beat New Orleans that first week”.

Over the past several years, Favre has owned the media this time of year. In fact as this keyboard clicks away, “Brett Favre” is the trending topic this morning on Yahoo! Search and Google trends and it’s only July 17. Wait until that roller coaster gets over the first hill and speeds closer to preseason.

Last year after announcing he was signing, he backed out just two days before camp, leaving the Vikings scrambling to decide what QB would be taking the snaps. Then a few weeks into preseason, Favre reconsidered and showed up to play ball, the rest is history.

Favre, who turned 40 years old during the season, had one of the greatest years in his entire career, tossing 33 touchdown passes and only 7 interceptions for a career-best QB rating of 107.2. Besides racking up impressive personal stats, the aging slinger led the Vikes to the NFC Championship game.

Favre’s numbers were staggering, especially for a guy known throughout his career of hitting the numbers of the wrong colored jersey. The year prior while playing for the Jets, he led the NFL with 22 INTs.

Favre has always been a warrior, taking vicious hits throughout his 19-year career, always able to get back on his feet. He holds the NFL record for consecutive starts at 285 games. You would MAYBE expect a kicker or punter to be able to pull that string off, not a quarterback getting blind-sided several times a week by 300-plus pound linemen running full speed.

Coming off this record-breaking season with his Iron Man streak still alive, Favre is expected to play another season but as we sit strapped in our seats awaiting “The Indecision” there are sure to be more hills ahead.

MORE: Full-size “The Indecision” caricature

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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ESPY Awards rock the Nokia Theater in L.A.

The ESPY Awards kicked off on time at the Nokia Theater in downtown Los Angeles. Host Seth Meyers treated the audience to an opening monologue that could have been written for “Saturday Night Live”.

It was edgy, filled with plenty of references to Tiger Woods, who wasn’t there and there were many jokes at the expense of ESPN, the network that produces and broadcasts the show. All of them related to “The Decision”.

Steve Carrell and Paul Rudd appeared in a taped piece that parodied the awkward interview of LeBron James by Jim Gray. Others who were teased by Meyers were Brett Favre, yes he showed up, Olympic snow boarder Shaun White and even race car driver, Danica Patrick.

The first award of the evening was presented to Tennessee Titan’s running back, Chris Johnson. His category was Best Breakthrough Athlete. Johnson is going through a very public contract dispute with his employer but it didn’t keep voters from acknowledging him as one of the few 2000+ yard runners in NFL history.

The award for the Best Record-Breaking Performance was given to John Isner and Nicolas Mahut for the mind boggling first round match at this year’s Wimbledon Championships.  Their match took more than 11 hours to complete, stretched over three days. It ended with the score of 70-68 in the fifth set.

The Best Sports Moment of the Year was given to Landon Donovan for his game winning goal against Algeria. Donovan connected in the 91st minute of the match and sent the U.S. team to the second round of the World Cup tournament. Most of the team went up on stage to accept the award.

The ESPY Awards are fun and meant to award achievements in and around sports. However, there are loftier goals that are noted by the ESPY’s. The Arthur Ashe Courage Award and the Jimmy V Comeback Award are given to people who personify the traits of the men for whom the awards are named.

This year’s Ashe Award recipients are the family of Ed Thomas, the Iowa high school football coach who took a town on his back after an unthinkable tragedy. He ultimately was the victim of another.

Thomas’ town of Pakersburg, Iowa was leveled by an EF-5 tornado in the summer of 2008. He lost his home and the high school at which he taught and coached looked like it wouldn’t host another game, never mind be ready for the first game of the 2008 season.

Slideshow of ESPY Red Carpet attendees

He worked tirelessly to keep the town’s 2000 citizens focused and together. On cue, the football team took the field and didn’t just play the season, they went 11-1. It gave solace and solidarity to the town.

But one year later, he was shot to death by a former student who suffered from a mental illness. Thomas’ sons and wife not only consoled each other but made certain to reach out to the parents of the boy who had taken Ed’s life

They never even considered vilifying the troubled young man or his parents. It’s a small town, you see and the word “neighbors” means something special in Parkersburg.

The Thomas family led the town’s grieving as well as healing process and gave new meaning to “turn the other cheek”.

This year’s Jimmy V Comeback Award was given to Denver Nuggets’ head coach, George Karl. He was stricken with cancer for the second time within a few years and it kicked his butt.

He had to bow out of leading his team through the end of the season as well as the 2010 playoffs. The Nuggets struggled without him and were bounced in the first round.

Karl had already beaten prostate cancer and lived through his son Coby’s two surgeries for thyroid cancer. But the throat and neck cancer he contracted tested him like nothing else.

Forty rounds of radiation burned through his skin, took his voice and he thought the cure would kill him before the disease.

He appeared on stage in the shadow of the Jimmy V banners and talked of the support he has had as well as his hopes for how to find and fund a cure for the dread disease.

It’s clear he’s ready to return to the rat race that is the NBA season but he will forever be changed.

Used with permission of the author.

Paula Duffy is a national sports columnist for Examiner.com and the Huffington Post and regularly comments on sports/legal matters for radio affiliates of ESPN and Fox Sports. She founded the sports information site, Incidental Contact, is the author of a line of audio books designed for sports novices and in her spare time practices law in Los Angeles. 

Copyright ©2010 Sports Climax, LLC

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NFC North Gap Narrowed After Bears and Lions Free Agency Moves

While NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers were forced to sit idle during the free agencyKyle Vanden Bosch bidding wars, the Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions were the most aggressive teams on day one.

Lovie Smith and Da’ Bears snatched the biggest prize of the day when they signed defensive end Julius Peppers to a six-year contract worth a maximum $91.5 million. The five-time Pro Bowl player will receive a record $42 million guaranteed.

In addition to Peppers, Da’ Bears also snatched running back Chester Taylor from the Vikings signing the rusher to a four-year deal worth $12.5 million with $7 million guaranteed.

Knowing the importance of granting quarterback Jay Cutler more time to throw, they also added blocking tight end Brandon Manumaleuna from the San Diego Chargers.

Not to be outdone, the Detroit Lions made a few quick moves of their own, signing three sure starters when they inked deals with two defensive linemen and a No. 2 wide receiver.

Wanting to shore up a defense that was last in the NFL in points allowed and total yards, Lions head coach Jim Schwartz personally visited Tennessee Titans defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch at 12:01 AM on day one of free agency and convinced the Pro Bowler to sign with the team.

While Vanden Bosch and his agent were working out the details of a four-year, $26 million deal, the Lions also inked a $25 million contract with Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Burleson played in 13 games for the Seahawks last year, catching 63 for 812 yards and three touchdowns and is expected to free up Calvin Johnson from the double and triple coverage he sees on a weekly basis.

Joining Vanden Bosch on the Lions’ defensive line will be Cleveland Browns Corey Williams, another proven starter who was obtained by a trade.

With the Lions adding these proven veteran linemen to their defense and with the team expected to use their No. 2 overall selection in the upcoming 2010 NFL Draft to select defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh or Gerald McCoy, you can throw last year’s dismal defensive stats out the window.

These aggressive moves by the Bears and Lions are certain to make the NFC North more competitive.

Minnesota lost a huge piece of their offense when Taylor left and while Brett Favre sits on the fence in Minnesota still contemplating a return, The Green Bay Packers lost Pro Bowl defensive lineman Aaron Kampman to free agency as well.

© 2010 – Sports ClimaxTM

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Saints’ Defense Batters Favre, Earns Trip to Miami

NEW ORLEANS – Who Dat in the Super Bowl? It’s Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints but it took overtime to get Photo: REUTERS/Sean Gardnerthere.

After being frustrated by a swarming Vikings defense most of the game, Drew Brees lead his offense down the field on his team’s first possession in overtime to set up a 40-yard game-winning kick by New Orleans kicker Garrett Hartley and claim the NFC Championship.

The 31-28 victory didn’t come easy for the Saints. Brees and the Saints offense lead the NFL with over 500 yards per game in the regular season but were swarmed by the Vikings defense from the start, struggling to finish with just 257 yards for the game, including overtime.

Some will say the game was won by a Saints’ blitz-heavy defense who pressured Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre from the start. Favre wasn’t officially sacked in the game but found himself flat on the turf on several occasions, taking several shots throughout the game including a few vicious hits early in the game.

Favre is a warrior and there’s a reason the 40-year-old slinger has a current record starting streak of over 300 games. Battered, he got back on his feet and lead the Vikings to touchdown drives on their first two possessions for a 14-7 lead.

Minnesota finished with 475 total yards but their demise was the turnovers. In all the Vikings fumbled the ball 6 times, losing 3 of them and Favre was intercepted twice including on a drive-ending play with 12 seconds left in regulation that took away an opportunity for Ryan Longwell to ice the win in regulation.

In what was expected to be a battle of the slingers, Favre finished the game 28-of-46 for 310 yards, 1 TD and 2INT while Brees was 17-of-31 for 197 yards, 3 TD and 0 INT. Favre who took a relentless physical beating compliments of  the aggressive Saints defense had to be helped off the field later in the game but returned with a limp after the Vikings’ medical staff evaluated the injury and wrapped his ankle.

Adrian Peterson who has taken the back seat to Favre’s passing game much of the season had a solid game with 25 carries for 122 yards and 3TD’s. He was responsible for 2 of the Vikings fumbles but both of those were recovered by purple jerseys.

The Saints will be making their first trip to the Super Bowl where they will face the Indianapolis Colts in Miami on February 7th.

Can the journey continue for Brees and his Saints? We’ll have to wait and see if the country will be saying “Who Dat with the Super Bowl crown!”

Related Articles:

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Copyright © 2010 – Sports Climax

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Vikings late TD against the Cowboys was no insult in today’s pro sports scene

When Brett Favre threw his fourth touchdown on Sunday in the Vikings 34-3 win, the Dallas Cowboys erupted inPhoto: Dallas News anger at the lack of respect and classless act.

Really? That’s what you’ve chosen as the line that shouldn’t be crossed?

The unwritten rules of etiquette, sports-style, have been dwindling for years. As players and teams ignore conventional wisdom about what is out of line there are few acts that most agree are beyond the pale.

In the NFL, taunting and excessive touchdown celebrations are off limits now but only by league rule. Players get aggravated when their happiness at getting over on an opponent is messed with. And if it takes a few shoves or punches to get it to stop, well that’s just men being men.

Baseball players routinely admire their work as they realize they have hit home runs. The slightest celebration at the expense of a pitcher used to be dealt with swiftly as a batter would routinely be leveled by a pitch at the body or under the chin.

That practice was addressed by MLB but many a player doesn’t like the warning rules meant to deal with it all since their pitcher might be prevented from retaliating against the team’s whose pitcher got in the first lick.

What seems to rankle players both in baseball and football to this day is the act of rubbing their nose in a loss. When a baseball player steals a base with his team up a fair amount of runs its gets the hair follicles to stand up on players’ necks.

When Favre threw that pass on fourth down that had as much chance of failing as a run play in the situation, you’d think someone pulled his pants down and mooned the friends and families box of the opposing team.

What it indicates to me is sore losers are alive and well. Rather than admit they failed and are powerless to stop the onslaught players pout and blame the winners.

If NFL players were truly concerned about class and sportsmanship they’d stop the ridiculous practice of celebrating individual achievements that indicate nothing other than a personal triumph. Like a sack in the first few minutes of a scoreless game or at the end of a game that like the Vikes-Cowboys contest.

You mean to tell me that if the Cowboys had sacked Favre prior to that touchdown pass someone wouldn’t have been hooting and hollering about it with a teammate or two joining in stroking his ego? Same score, same hopeless situation for the Cowboys but it wouldn’t have kept some hot dog from using it to make himself feel good.

You live with the triumphs and you die with them. It’s just it doesn’t feel as good when the good times are being celebrated on the other side of the field.

Cowboys linebacker Keith Brooking was the most vocal when Favre threw the fourth TD pass and he approached the Vikings sideline.

Vikings player Pat Williams summed it up for the media later. “We don’t care what Keith Brooking says,” Williams said. “He was about to get his ass whupped on our sideline over there. It don’t matter. Nobody said anything when [the Cowboys] blew out the Eagles [the past two weeks]”. 

Tired of the same old sports page? Then check out Paula Duffy’s insightful (and often humorous) take on the sports day at her Examiner.com page! The popular co-host for Sports Journey Radio is also a contributor to the Huffington Post and founder of the sports learning site Incidental Contact. In her spare time, Duffy practices law in Los Angeles. But don’t hold that against her.

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Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week – Childress & the Vikes

This week’s Slap-of-the-Week is a slam dunk and it goes to Brad Childress and his Minnesota Vikings for running up thePhoto: Tom Olmscheid Reuters score in a lopsided NFL playoff game against the Dallas Cowboys.  Brett Favre gets an open-handed backhand thrown his way as well just for good measure.

With the Vikings dominating the scoreboard 27-3 with 1:55 to go it was fourth-and-3. Favre and the offense were in perfect position to hand off the ball and continue to run out the clock.

Instead, Favre dropped back to pass and connected with Visanthe Shiancoe on an 11-yard strike, extending the lead to 31 points.

That’s right. The Vikings had just embarrassed the Cowboys on national television but a 24-point win wasn’t enough for Favre and his Vikings. This cheesy move was right out of the playbook of Steve Spurrier when he was at University of Florida and his Gators were notorious for running it up.

Announcers Joe Buck and Troy Aikman commented on how throwing in that situation was ‘rubbing salt in the wound’ and how unusual it was to throw in that situation. See video on NFL.com here.

Cowboys’ linebacker Keith Brooking took offense to the classless move. “I just thought what happened at the end of the game was disrespectful, and it was classless,” Brooking said, according to the team’s official blog. “All the things that are in that category, I’ll throw out to the Vikings organization and whoever is over there calling the plays. It just wasn’t the right thing to do at that time, period.”

Childress did a really poor job at explaining and defending the move during the postgame news conference.
“Just staying aggressive with it, if you will,” Childress said. SLAP! There Brad, we’re staying aggressive too and throwing another bitch-slap right off the top of that head!

“Lou Holtz used to say, ‘It’s our job to score points. It’s their job to stop us from scoring points.’ That happens. It wasn’t rubbing it in. It’s just taking care of business and being aggressive at the end of the game.” Childress added.

SLAP! Have another backhander. It’s not your job to throw on fourth-and-3 in a game that’s clearly going to end in a blowout.

Many believe Favre was padding his stats at the expense of his opponent. When asked about running up the score Favre said, “I didn’t see that.” Bull! You were running up the score.

We all know not to take Favre’s comment to heart. There’s a huge possibility he will change his mind in the near future, then probably change it again, and again, and again.

Vikings coaching staff, you lacked class with that move and embarrassed your organization. For that you get the Sports Climax Bitch-Slap-of-the-Week.

Copyright © 2010 Sports Climax

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