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Minnesota Vikings exact sweet revenge

Monday, January 18th, 2010

YUCAIPA, CA – Take that Cowboys. How sweet the taste of victory. And even sweeter the taste of revenge.

Minnesota Vikings fans are celebrating – no we’re actually ecstatic about the 34-3 thrashing the Vikings dealt the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday in the NFC playoffs.

It’s been a long time coming. Remember the “Hail Mary,” pass?

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I’m sitting high on the Favre bandwagon

Monday, October 12th, 2009

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Brett Favre and Vikings success has fans daring to think Super Bowl.

YUCAIPA, CA – When Brett Favre began his flirtatious song and dance-like signing routine with the Vikings, “I’m available, no I’m not, yes I am” I admit that I wanted the former Packers great to stay retired.

I reasoned: At age 40, he’s too old and worn out to take the beatings quarterbacks in the NFL must endure.

But I admit, I’m now sitting high on the Favre bandwagon. I proudly wear my Vikings hat everywhere. And I’m giddy over Favre’s and the Vikings success. With a 5-0 record including a savory 30-23 victory over the Green Bay Packers, what’s not to feel giddy about?

Here’s how I have undergone a complete Favre metamorphosis week-by-week, win-by-win:

Week 1: Vikings 34, Cleveland Browns 20.

“OK, 110 yards passing is a decent start, but you’re going to wear out your old arm if you keep slinging the ball that hard. And can’t you run a little faster to avoid those sacks. Gee, you run like an old man. Oops.”

Week 2: Vikings 27, Detroit Lions 13.

“Brett, congratulations for getting the Vikings off to a 2-0 start. But after all these are the Lions, and beating them isn’t such a big deal. So you’re going to have to do better. Maybe you could ask coach (Brad) Childress for Monday’s and Tuesday’s off, so you can rest your tired old bones.”

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Ageless inspiration

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

YUCAIPA, CA – Some men in their 50s, 60s, 70s, and even 90s, still play the sports they grew up with as little boys with the same passion now as then. For these athletes, age is but a state of mind.

The brilliant left-handed fastpitch softball pitcher Bobby Moore of Wisconsin with the great rise ball and change up comes to mind. In the mid-1990s, I saw the silver haired Moore pitch in an ASA Masters (fastpitch) tournament in Las Vegas.

Moore showed the same determination, the same gusto, the same burning desire to win as I saw when he led his Shenanigan’s team to the championship in the Mankato Happy Chef tournament over 20 years earlier.

On a hot, humid July Sunday, Moore pitched four or five games to bring his team back from the depths of the loser’s bracket to claim the championship. On Monday the Manakato Free Press sports page read something like, “Too much Moore on Sunday.”

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The un-retiring Favre signs with Vikings

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

EDEN PRAIRIE, MINN – Imagine Brett Favre at the kitchen table.

Mrs. Favre: “Brett, honey, what would you like for breakfast?”

“Ham and cheese omelet.”

“No, on second thought, make that a Spanish omelet.”

“No, no wait dear, I think I’ll have bacon and eggs, over easy please.”

“Ah, honey, I’ve changed my mind. I’m not hungry after all.”

Mrs. Favre: “Dag namit, Brett! Would you make up your mind!

Exactly.

Here we go again with the never-ending saga of Brett Favre and his off again, on again, waffling, “I’m retired – no I ain’t,” career in the National Football League.

Don’t get me wrong. I love the guy. He’s a competitor and a proven winner ranking with the best NFL quarterbacks to ever play the game. His fourth quarter, game-winning drives with the Packers are legendary.

As is his waffling.

On Tuesday, Favre did an about face and agreed to a two-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Lured out of retirement by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and coach Brad Childress

As a Vikings fan, I hope it works out and Favre has a great year and leads the Purple People Eaters to the Super Bowl. But I’m skeptical.

When is a 39-year-old quarterback with a suspect throwing arm as a result of playing with a torn rotator cuff the past few years (granted, repaired in May with arthroscopic surgery) simply too old to take the pounding over a 16-game NFL schedule?

Not quite yet according to Wilf and Childress.

And apparently, the Vikings top brass think an old Favre is better than a young Tarvaris Jackson. By signing Favre, Childress has basically said, we don’t think we can win with Jackson. But if Favre gets injured, Jackson will be called upon to step in.

Confidence is everything for an NFL quarterback. Those with it win. Those without it –regardless of physical gifts – lose, or have so-so careers. And by signing Favre, the Vikings are certainly toying with Jackson’s self-assurance.

When Jackson learned of Favre coming into training camp, he was quoted as saying, “It’s not a good feeling.”

Most football purists want to see their Sunday afternoon warriors leave on a high note. At the top of their careers.

Favre’s a sure lock for the NFL Hall of Fame. He’s got a Super Bowl title, league MVP awards, Pro Bowl appearances and All-Pro team awards. What more can he accomplish?

Or better put: What more can he accomplish without risking tarnishing his image? Keep in mind that as sports fans we tend to remember that which we have last seen. And the image of an aging athlete limping off the field after getting thrashed by younger, stronger, faster athletes isn’t a pretty sight.

Time, age, and ravages to the body, especially in football, eventually end all athletic careers – including the hard to convince Favre.

But it seems Wilf and Childress are gambling and hoping the old QB has one more good year left in his aging body to lead a talented team to the golden football waiting at the end of the Super Bowl rainbow.

I hope so too, but I have my doubts.