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"Life in the UK"
• Sideline: Yes, Non–Conference Games DO Count
• NCAA Preview 2009
• Sideline: Time For The Talking To Stop
• Sideline: In Memory of Air McNair
• Sideline: Will Goodell Hand Out Hard Time?
• Sideline: Marshall's Not Joshing
• NFL Draft: No Rush To Judgment
• NFL Draft Analysis 2009 (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts (Part 2)
• Sideline: NFL Draft Thoughts
• Sideline: Will Play For Food
• Sideline: Wonderlic Scores
• Sideline: Manning and Sanchez
• Sideline: 2010 Leagues Sci–fi, or Fantasy? / March Madness
• Sideline: Break Out The Brackets
• Sideline: LaDainian Tomlinson On The Record
• Sideline: The Incredible Sulk Continues
• Sideline: Guildford Heat Fired Up
• Sideline: Super Bowl thoughts from the Valley of the Sun
• Sideline: I know I came in here for something
• Sideline: College Football National Signing Day
• Sideline: 27 Points — 27 Super Bowl thoughts
• Sideline: An Epic QB Matchup?
• Sideline: Appreciating Arizona for What They Were
• Sideline: NFL Divisional Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Bowl Season Hangover
• Sideline: Six weeks Later
• Sideline: Wildcard Weekend Preview
• Sideline: Santa's Sackings
• Sideline: A Weis Decision ...for Now
• Sideline: Eye on the Ticker
• Sideline: Lions — An Anagram of Losin
• Sideline: Ready for the Turkey
• Sideline: Making it to the Big Dance
• Sideline: Brighter Days Ahead for Chargers?
• Sideline: Unnecessary Hits To The Pocket / Upset: BYU
• Sideline: Romo's Pause / Seattle Seahawks
• Sideline: Weekend Prep: Red River and More
• Sideline: College Football's 'Crossroads' Weekend
• Sideline: Gramatical Error
• Sideline: Turning The Page
• Sideline: So Cal 'Quizzed
• Sideline: 3rd Tuesday Panic / Forté Yard Dash
• Sideline: Two and Oh; Oh and Two
• Sideline: No More NCAAffeine
• Sideline: Week 1 College Football
• Sideline: How To Spell Heisman / Chad Ocho Cinco
• Sideline: A Second Slice
• Sideline: The Favre story STILL won't go away
• Sideline: Olympic Notes / Ricky's Still Relevant
• Sideline: Committee Meetings
• Sideline: Let the QB Battles Begin
• Sideline: Slinging The Slinger — More Favre
• Interview: Clint Dempsey
• Sideline: Welcome to the 2008 season
• Sideline: Plus One
• 2008 NFL Draft Review
• Sideline: Draft: The Morning After
• Sideline: Draft: Thinking the Unthinkable
• Sideline: Draft: Ready For The Long Haul
• Sideline: Sofa–bound Sport
• Sideline: Post–Winter Wonderland
• Sideline: Six Impossible Things
• Sideline: Brady's Misdirection Play
• Sideline: Colorful Language
• Sideline: Let the Romo–bashing begin
• Sideline: Bowl Bites: The Wrap
• Sideline: All About The Coaches
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 3
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 2
• Sideline: Bowl Bites 1
• Sideline: Coach Situations Vacant
• Sideline: For Some, The Playoffs Are Now
• Sideline: A Certain Lack Of Welcome
• Sideline: Unrelated Notes
• Sideline: Two Thanksgiving thoughts
• Sideline: Halftime: NFC
• Sideline: Halftime: AFC
• Sideline: London / A Tale of Two Chads / Intimidation
• Sideline: Damp Squib / Other London Notes
• Sideline: Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em / Dolphins – The Aftermath
• Sideline: The Dolphins Did What?
• Sideline: Notes on the Defenses
• Sideline: Habits to be Broken
• Sideline: Overtime
• Sideline: This Week's Starters
• Sideline: USF: Covering The Spread / Fantastic Football
• Sideline: Grossman: The Final Act? / McNabb, the Epilogue
• Sideline: Eagles QB in Slight Controversy
• Sideline: Leftwich's Parting Gift / Boos cruise
• Sideline: Notre Dame M.I.A.
• Sideline: Looking Beyond NFL Wk. 1
• Sideline: Best Hope For Heisman
• Sideline: Coaching Hot Seats / AP Poll Feeling ’Appy
• Sideline: The NFL’s Prime Cuts
• Sideline: Michigan Falls to Killer Apps
• Sideline: Look Out Couch / The Taint's On You, Bud
Observations, Opinion & Occasional Silliness by Richard L Gale
Why the Favre story STILL won't go away
If the Brett Favre epic hadn't already driven you to muffle your ears with cushions every sports bulletin, don't expect it to be over now. It will continue to be the overarching theme of the season. Here are five teams where quarterback situations will spark a recap and update of the Favre story every time the commentators get a chance. Until some team goes 8–0 and begins the first 'unbeaten' story of the year, maybe we could turn it into a challenge game, guessing how many minutes it'll take before his trade is referenced.
1. Green Bay. Estimated time until mentioned: opening possession of the season.
Between the Bart Starr and Brett Favre eras, the Packers were a punctuation mark in their division, a team of historical significance only, an undesirable football destination keeping themselves from the basement of the NFC Central only when Tampa Bay owner Hugh Culverhouse got the better of the Buccaneers. It's understandable then, that there's a quiver of fear when Packers fans consider life without Brett. Heck, even the Buccaneers aren't in their division anymore. There's every chance that Aaron Rodgers will be just fine as their new starting quarterback, but Rodgers isn't an icon, isn't a passer who can defy the odds. After last year, it would be understandable for Packers fans to think it's all downhill from here, regardless of the fact that RB Ryan Grant is locked into a multi–year contract. The shadow of Favre will fall many places this year, but it will fall heaviest and darkest on Rodgers. Never mind that Favre has thrown an NFL record 288 interceptions, Rodgers won't be allowed one without crowd and commentators invoking the F–word.
2. Minnesota. Estimated time until mentioned: anytime Tarvaris Jackson struggles.
Tarvaris Jackson stayed calm throughout the unretirement saga, listening to pundits and columnists declaring that, with Brett Favre as quarterback, the Vikings could be Superbowl bound. There seems little doubt that Favre would have liked to lead the Vikings, who have the line, defense and running game to make a charge at Roman numerals. Green Bay were so scared of the idea of Favre in purple that the eventual trade of Brett to the New York Jets reportedly included a clause demanding three No.1 picks if the Jets traded him on to the Vikings.The weak link, people seemed to be suggesting, was Jackson. Tarvaris enters his third season after a 2007 campaign in which he managed just 9 scores to 12 interceptions. But there were flashes of why Minnesota spent a late 2nd round pick on him in the 2006 draft, including a 41–17 regular season upset of eventual champion New York Giants. The consensus is that QB aside, the Vikings are equal rivals to the Packers in the NFC North. But if the Vikings don't go deep into the playoffs, don't win the division, or don't even make the playoffs, Vikings fans will be saying 'what if...?'.
3. Tampa Bay. Estimated time until mentioned: as soon as Jeff Garcia gets hurt.
According to some, Tampa Bay were practically gazumped by the Jets, though the Buccaneers haven't confirmed what stage they got to in discussions about Brett Favre, but Bucs coach Jon Gruden certainly likes collecting quarterbacks, with Jeff Garcia, Brian Griese, Luke McCown, Chris Simms and Josh Johnson presently on the roster. He also isn't too loyal when if comes to QBs keeping their starting jobs, Brad Johnson was replaced by Simms while injured, Simms rupturing his spleen during a 2006 game only to have Garcia adopt the starting job in his absence, and the 38–year old Garcia watching over his shoulder for Griese. Simms is the only one who would have been glad for Favre appearing on the roster, as he's been eyeing a ticket to some new job for a while. Buccaneers QBs were sacked a moderate 36 times last season, so if a Garcia–Griese transition becomes necessary, somebody's soon going to compare Griese's inglorious 2007 Bears campiagn to Favre's 2007 Green Bay swansong.
4. Miami. Estimated time until mentioned: when Chad Pennington puts on his helmet.
Chad Pennington's ride on the NFL carousel probably isn't over yet, but for a couple of years at least, he's a Miami Dolphin. It's a nice acquisition for Miami, whose deliberations between rookie Chad Henne, near–rookie John Beck and non–rookie Josh McCown seemed set to keep the 'Phins in the mire for the whole of 2008. With Pennington aboard, they at least have a justification for keeping all three away from the starting job, gaining an experienced arm to feed the ball to an unproven receiving corps and hand off to a probably–good running game. Still, the Dolphins backfield hasn't been an inpenetrable haven for QBs in recent years (42 sacks conceded in 2007), and Pennington has a history of getting dinged along the way. So, expect to hear the Favre tale twice: once to explain why the ex–Jet is now a Dolphin, and, when Pennington illustrates by way of civilian clothes, why this Dolphin is no longer a Jet.
5. New York Jets. Estimated time until mentioned: not so often, unless Favre gets hurt.
Okay, so Brett Favre is now a New York Jet. I think this story has been covered sufficiently by a few media outlets, and the New York press is still reporting every move of the fabled arm. It's hard to believe that there will be anything — any moment, any rumour, any anecdote, anything — left to report once the season starts for real. Second behind Aaron Rodgers in my sympathies has to be Kellen Clemens, however. People may say that Broadway Brett replaced Pennington, but last time the Jets took the field, Clemens was the starter, and he was in a fight to be the starter against Pennington. Then Favre showed up, and now Clemens is back to holding a clipboard. Spare a thought for Clemens when the next offseason Favre–athon comes around, with the annual will–he–won't–he–and–if–he–does–will–he–stay–retired shenanigans. Of course, Chad Pennington managed to stay fit behind the Jets line just once in the past six seasons, so who's to say Clemens won't see the field after all?
And yes, Favre IS on the cover of Madden — one place you can still see him in a Packers uniform.