Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favre is back - Palin won't leave

Back on 9/29/08 I wrote the following piece on this blog. At the time I was close to being equally wired about what was going on in the worlds of sports and politics. In the former, my beloved Jets had just enjoyed a history making victory over Arizona Cardinals with then quarterback Brett Favre throwing six touchdowns. Ironically it was the Jets who would fall apart after a 8 – 3 start and end up missing the playoffs while the Cardinals found themselves in the Super Bowl with a fourth quarter lead before eventually going down. None of this was foreseeable as I sat down to write last September. When it came to football, all was right with the world. Brett Favre seemed poised to deliver precisely what Jets Nation desperately hoped for, a return to respectability and perhaps dare we even think it, to greatness. Super Bowl III happened a long long long time ago. Could it be that the hired gun / NFL legend we convinced to change the shades of green on his uniform would turn back the clock and pull off the improbable if not downright impossible? Apparently not. Brett’s throwing arm betrayed him (specifically the bicep) and then he betrayed the Jets by retiring when I suspect he knew all along that he longed to still play. Perhaps betrayal is the wrong word though, for I also suspect that both parties knew all along he would be a 1-year rental. Even had the Jets won the Super Bowl with Favre I still wouldn’t be shocked if he subsequently retired only to unretire and join the Minnesota Vikings. Winning a Super Bowl with the Jets would not have been sufficient vengeance against the Green Bay Packers. Only winning as the shining star of their arch enemy Minnesota Vikings would accomplish that. If Favre cared only about continuing to play in the NFL and not so much about spite, he’d still be playing for the Jets. The Packers pissed him off by setting up provisions in his trade to the Jets that made it impractical for New York to turn around and trade him to Minnesota where he wanted to be all along. Green Bay made it inevitable that his attempt at revenge would have to wait at least one year. That year has come and gone as quickly as they all do. Brett’s a Viking now, about to start at QB in their second preseason game. The Jets did their part (preplanned?) to move his plan along by relinquishing their rights to him after trading up in the draft to obtain Mark Sanchez as their quarterback of the future. If anyone seems destined to be the reincarnation of the hope and success Joe Namath brought to the franchise way back when, Sanchez appears to be that guy. As for Brett Favre, he is simply following up on what he has wanted to do since the day Green Bay told him that Aaron Rodgers was the guy they planned to go forward with. His desire for payback and to scream out “I TOLD YOU SO” is the worst kept secret in the NFL. He played amazingly in his final season as a member of the Packers and had the Jets poised on the brink of greatness after 11 games last season. So I don’t doubt what he's capable of and wish him well on his quest, somewhat juvenile though it may be. He wants to play and the Vikings want him to play for them, so nobody has been harmed by his annual pre-season song and dance other than Green Bay fans who can only see him from the perspective of a devoted cheesehead, which is also understandable. The chips will fall where they may as they always do. When the Jets landed Favre last year it seemed almost too good to be true, and in the end that’s pretty much what it was. Like their 8 – 3 start, Favre’s tenure with the team was basically a mirage. The present and future in Jetsville belong to Mark Sanchez and company. As usual, the goal for the upcoming season is greatness or bust.

I don’t have nearly as much to say in follow-up to the second half of my 9/29/08 posting where I discussed Sarah Palin and her then upcoming debate against Joe Biden. Whereas Super Bowl winners only get bragging rights for one year, winners of presidential elections have them for no less than four years. Team Obama-Biden won in a rout and now have their hands full presiding over a nation. If any man is up to that task it is Barack Obama, or at least that’s what I hope for a variety of reasons. Former President Bush and former presidential candidate John McCain have been respectful of the current administration primarily through silence, leaving the noise making to former Vice President Dick Cheney and former VP hopeful, Sarah Palin. Cheney has picked on his old boss nearly as much as he’s complained about President Obama, but Palin is only looking forward to four years from now so doesn’t bother criticizing McCain or Bush or anyone else from the past. This isn’t to say that she hasn’t been looking at the past, particularly Obama’s, choosing to align herself with silly conservatives (aka birthers) who question the President’s U.S. citizenship. Her other post election day accomplishment of note is quitting her job as governor of Alaska, apparently to spend more time on Facebook and Twitter. Guess she figures that the internet worked wonders for Obama’s presidential bid, so why not for her own future one. As they frequently say on Twitter – SMH – an acronym I once had to look up to learn that it means “Shaking My head”.

By Roy L. Pickering Jr. (author of Patches of Grey)

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