Welcome back to News and Views, the blog creation of convenience when there’s really no subject at 11 a.m. on a Friday that’s worth more than a couple of paragraphs. Wait. That didn’t come out quite the way I intended. . .
♦ News: Several NFL experts pound Brett Favre for his Hamlet act but claim all that really matters is this signing makes the Minnesota Vikings a better team.
♦ Initial reaction: Huh?
♦ Views: Look, I’m well aware of Favre’s resume: He has won one more Super Bowl and three more MVP awards and been to 10 more Pro Bowls than Tarvaris Jackson. But why is everybody so certain this makes the Vikings better? They did go 10-6 and make the playoffs last season without Favre. Logic dictates that Jackson would only get better this season. If Minnesota is doing this largely to take the next step, why roll the dice on a beat-up quarterback who: 1) is going to turn 40 in October; 2) had his right arm dangling like linguine for the last five weeks of the season; 3) is coming off surgery for a torn biceps; 4) still has a tear in his rotator cuff? Finally, there is the chemistry factor. Favre hasn’t gone through off-season workouts, OTAs or most of training camp with the Vikings.
That kind of thing generally doesn’t play well in the locker room, particularly for a quarterback, the perceived leader. I understand the potential upside with Favre. But everybody is ignoring the obvious downside.
♦ News: M. Vick goes back to jail.
♦ Quick follow-up: Marcus, not Michael.
♦ Views: People forget because his more famous/infamous brother has dominated news cycles. But there was a time when Marcus Vick – yet another fine Virginia Tech product – showed nearly as much potential on the football field as Michael. The difference? He threw it away before he ever really got started. I’ll let Wikipedia give you the background. But here’s something new: Marcus Vick was sentenced to 20 days in jail Thursday for violating his probation stemming from a DUI and eluding police last October. He received a 12-month suspended sentence on the condition that he pays fines, goes to rehab and stays drug and alcohol free. What did he do? He never paid the fines, never completed an alcohol program, missed appointments with counselors and tested positive for marijuana. I have a question: Can Tony Dungy be talked into family plans or does he just do individuals?
(Old) News: Philadelphia trades for Cleveland pitcher Cliff Lee after countless attempts to acquire Roy Halladay from Toronto fall through.
Views: Wow. Count the non-Halladay deal among the best moves never made. Lee has four starts with the Phillies. He’s 4-0 with a 0.82 ERA (three earned runs in 33 innings) with 34 strikeouts and six walks. Halladay? Relatively speaking, he has tanked. He’s 2-3 with a 3.41 ERA in his last five starts. He was 11-3 with a 2.62 ERA prior to the Lee deal. Dime store psychology conclusion: Despite his claims to the contrary, Halladay wanted out of Toronto before the trade deadline.