Déjŕ Vu All Over Again
The Fairly Detached Observers
Here we go again. Brett Favre has told the New York Jets heâs retired, just as he told the Packers a year ago. It didnât stick then, and the Observers have their doubts now.
was pretty obvious of Favre, to re-retire the day after the Observersâ
weekly deadline. As though that would keep us from sending a few fairly
detached jibes his way.
Artie: Iâve figured out his real plan. A dream scenario!
Frank: Let âer rip.
Heâs not going to have surgery for the biceps injury that helped wreck
the Jetsâ season. Thatâll take time to heal, so he wonât do any
throwing, but heâll stay in shape.
Frank: And pretty soon itâs summer.
Artie: And maybe he gets itchy again, like an old bird dog as fall approaches.
Frank: There is a precedent.
Artie: Now we come to, say, the end of October. And Aaron Rodgers pulls a Ben Sheetsâout for the season. And the Packers decide that neither of the backups is ready to take over.
Frank: So they remember this guy in Mississippi.
Artie: But Ted Thompson canât talk to Favre because Favre hates him. So the Packers get Ron Wolf to call Brett. Wolf tells him, âI made your career by bringing you to Green Bay. You can return the favor and come back to finish out the season.â
Frank: Hey, fairâs fair.
Brett says, âYeah, I can play and make my amends to the fans for all
the trouble last year.â So he returns, leads the Pack to the Super Bowl
and on the last play... Well, I donât want to go that far yet.
Frank: What a saga!
could happen. The Jets have salary-cap trouble, so if Favre decided to
re-un-retire they might have no choice financially except to release
him. Then he could go to any team he wanted.
Frank: Last week Brett told ESPN, âNo way I could ever ask for a release... Itâs over.â But weâre ju-u-st a bit skeptical. A release is exactly what he wanted last year, but the Packers infuriated him by saying, âWe donât want you signing with the Vikings, who happen to be in our own division.â
Artie: So the Pack traded him to the Jets. Or in Brettâs most recent words, âThey were shipping me off to Siberia.â Ted Thompson as Joseph Stalin!
Frank: And Brett in the Gulagâ Alexander Solzhenitsyn in pads.
Artie: In a few months, Brett can win his own Nobel Prize by re-leading the Pack to glory.
Frank: Except that heâs still bitter toward Thompson, and if he could get the freedom in 2009 that he wanted in 2008, and if the Vikings are worse off at quarterback than the Packers, which they are...
Frank: Favreâs dream scenario might match yours except for one detailâhis might be titled âThe Color Purple.â
Soft Spots, Blind Spots
you were on âJeopardyâ and asked to name the sporting equivalent of the
NCAA Basketball Finals and the Super Bowl combined, youâd have to
answer, âWhat is NASCARâs February Daytona 500?â ainâa? And how âbout
Sundayâs spectacle when Wisconsinâs own Matt Kenseth won the trophy in
the rain-shortened Daytona 380? As a Detroit Lionsâ fan would like to
be able to say someday, âHey, a winâs a win.â
Frank: As usual, I didnât watch a lap. But as usual, Iâm fascinated by your admission that youâre a gearhead.
Artie: Iâll put NASCAR on the TV on a nice Sunday afternoon, have it in the background whilst I engage in light housecleaning and enjoy a nice cocktail. And natchâ, I don my Larry the Cable Guy sleeveless shirt and Pennzoil cap, what the fock.
racing is just one of my blind spots, in terms of TV viewing. But I
should add that I appreciate a lot more about motor sports than I used
Artie: Sounds like an oxymoron, and believe me I know about moronic things.
Frank: In my years at the Journal Sentinel I got to know Dave Kallmann, whoâs the best motor sports writer in the country. I love reading his stuff, but the telecasts take way too long.
Artie: I sure donât watch every second of a race because who could? But I like NASCAR because itâs like the political party of my choiceâalways steers to the left.
Frank: Even if a few of the fans donât. Now, the kind of racing I really dig involves both two- and four-legged athletes.
Artie: The Sport of Kings?
Frank: You betcha. I just love to watch horse racing. No trotters, thoughâthere has to be someone on the horseâs back.
Artie: Me, I watch the Triple Crown races and thatâs it.
love going to the track, too. When Iâm back East I always try to hit
Belmont Park on Long Island or Monmouth Park in New Jersey. The horses
are beautiful and the jockeys may be the toughest, bravest athletes of
Artie: Iâve got my sweat-stained Pennzoil cap and youâve got your houndâs-tooth fedora and fat olâ stogie.
A genuine tout! You know, 70 or 80 years ago horse racing was one of the three most popular sports in America. There was baseball, of course, and one of my favoritesâboxing.
Frank: The Sweet Science. Howâd it ever get that name?
Artie: The phrase was popularized by a master American journalistâjust like usâhe being A.J. Liebling of The New Yorker. âScienceâ?
You bet. Geometry, physics and the human biology of unconsciousness.
âSweetâ? I donât know, unless itâs a hot date with the bikini-clad ring
girl after the match.
is too brutal for me. But hereâs something that knocks me out: soccer.
But only at a certain level: World Cup-level or the English Premier
Man, I was all over that USA-Mexico match last week!
Artie: As always, I have to say: not enough scoring. Why watch something that reminds me of my personal life?
Frank: I like the English broadcasters. You hear the greatest adjectivesââWhat an exquisite goal! An impeccable display of football!â
Artie: Or in American, âBooyah!â
agree that a little more scoring would be nice. But one great thing
about soccer is that the clock doesnât stop. Most games donât allow for
overtime, so if you DVR it for two hours itâll jolly well be done in
two hours. You canât do that for football or basketball.
Artie: Or golf. Mankind has yet to invent the DVD disc that can record an entire round of 18. Iâll watch the major tournaments, but thatâs it. I enjoy the drama of the majors, and waiting for some monumental collapse.
Frank: Greg Norman, as we featured in a column last year.
Artie: Ah, the Shark goes belly up, again!
Frank: Iâm like you. Iâll watch the majors, but usually only the last few holes on Sunday.
Artie: And tennis? Not on my radar screen.
Frank: Again, only the majors, and only the finals. Tennis players are the biggest babies in sports, always whining and raging.
Artie: Divas, even the guys.
all that noise while theyâre playing. The media call it âgrunting,â but
itâs really shrieking. Just shut up and hit the dang ball!
watch bowling, but thereâs hardly any left on TV. One thing I would
watch: pro dodgeball. Iâll work on how to juice that up for TV.
Frank: Hereâs one indoor sport I enjoy watching: pool. However, this applies only when women are doing the cueing.
Artie: I agree. Rack âem up, ladies.
where I draw the line, though: poker. I donât know who decided that it
qualifies as a televised âsport.â As a viewer, I wonât ante up.
Artie: Me eitherâitâs too depressing to see even bigger lowlifes than me strike it rich.