It’s Peyton’s Choice

Peyton Manning is a man. He can make his own decisions and no one else should be telling him otherwise. As much everyone thinks they know what is best for Peyton Manning, they don’t.

Manning is coming off reportedly 4 separate neck surgeries in the past 2 years according to Don Banks of SI.com. According to his birth certificate, Peyton will be 36 by the time the 2012 NFL season rolls around. He has played 13 seasons in the NFL according to his stats page on NFL.com.

A lot of people talk about legacy. Brett Favre apparently had his tarnished.

Apparently, Peyton Manning could end up doing the same thing.

Nonsense.

Peyton Manning can do what he wants.

The tarnishing of the infamous legacy is one of the most absurd concepts in professional sports. People illogically believe that it is in duty to protect an athlete’s so-called legacy. There is this idea that one should stop playing before the inevitable decline of father time or injuries take their toll on that person, making them unable to perform close to the level that fans are used to. Rumour has it that continuing to play past this point of substantial decline or even just the possibility of playing past that point is grounds for tarnishing of the legacy.

For some reason, it is engrained in sports culture that what you do late in your career can take away from the things that happened in the prime of your career. The thing is, this George Costanza idea of going out on a high note really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Last time I checked, you can’t erase what’s written in the history books. That stuff is down in permanent marker, you know, the TO kind of sharpie. But more importantly, the decision of whether or not to keep playing really shouldn’t come down to legacy at all.

Brett Favre still wanted to play. Peyton Manning wants to as well.

Who are we to try and tell these guys what to do? This isn’t our life. We aren’t their mothers.

They should be able to play as long as they want. If there is someone out there that is willing to pay them money to play the game that they love, then by all means they can choose to carry on with their careers. If playing is what the heart desires, the barrier stopping that from happening should be a Donovan McNabb situation. McNabb isn’t close to the level of Manning or Favre, but there came a time this past year when no was willing to pay McNabb to play football. Hey buddy, now it’s time to retire.

As weird as it was for fans to see Johnny Unitas in a Chargers uniform or Warren Moon in a Chiefs uniform, the far from fairy-tale endings to their careers have done next to nothing to skew the way they have been remembered.

Of course, not that it matters anyways.

Michael Jordan said that he wanted to go out on his own terms. He did that when he tried his hand at professional baseball. He did that when he played 2 seasons for the Washington Wizards. Michael Jordan did what he wanted to and has probably left the game happier because of it.

Regret is one of the worst feelings in life. I’m young. At 20 years old, I almost certainly don’t understand what real regret is. Nevertheless, it can’t be easy for a professional athlete to live the next 50 years of his life and know that he had more to give to the game. To walk away from the only identity and livelihood you have ever known is undoubtedly a scary thing. It’s scarier to think about when you know that there’s more left in the tank.

Brett Favre became one of the most repulsive athletes for his multiple pseudo-retirements. However, when you reflect back to his magical season at the age of 40 in Minnesota, you can’t help but think it was all worth it. Again, what I think doesn’t really matter. It’s what Brett thinks. I bet he would be the first to tell you that having one of the most improbable, unpredictable and captivating seasons in sports history made it all worth it.

If he had listened to what everyone was saying, we would never have seen what Brett Favre had in store for us that season.

Peyton Manning is barely a year removed from being on top of the NFL mountain. If he wishes to return to the NFL, most likely not in a Colts uniform, then he should do so. If not, he can walk away from the game as one of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history.

He has to do it on his terms though.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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Brett Favre is Still the Best Torso

Oh, how the green-eyed monster rears its ugly, ugly head.

Brett Favre, clearly jealous of the praise his successor Aaron Rodgers is receiving, came out recently and said that he was “really kind of surprised it took [Aaron Rodgers] so long” to win a Super Bowl. Understandably, Favre is getting a lot of backlash for this. He sounds like the big brother who can’t stand the newborn baby receiving all the attention.

Yesterday, FoxSports columnist Bill Reiter wrote an article explicitly telling Favre to “shut the hell up.” I think I can assume without making an ass out of myself that he isn’t the only one thinking that. I get it, you’re all tired of Favre’s “destructive need for attention and adulation,” as Mr. Reiter so callously puts it.

Yeah, that’s probably right. Favre is a publicity hogging, insecure, selfish, egomaniacal, son of a bitch in many ways.

What bothers me about Reiter’s story isn’t his hatred for Favre (although that does bother me a lot) so much as it is his absolute adoration for Aaron Rodgers. He says that “Right now, Rodgers is as fun a competitor to watch and cheer for as you can find in sports.” He kills two birds with one stone in that statement, implying that cheering for Rodgers is better than cheering for Favre.

Please. Stop.

Sure, Aaron Rodgers is a good dude. Sure, Aaron Rodgers is a first class, maybe even the best, quarterback in the NFL right now. Sure, Aaron Rodgers is a great competitor.

But there is no way that Aaron Rodgers is as fun a competitor to watch and cheer for in sports at this point in time. Aaron Rodgers is boring. He isn’t and will never be close to the legend that Brett Favre was.

Aaron Rodgers plays the game. That’s it.

He isn’t an exciting guy. That’s the bottom line. He’s a relaxed guy and that’s why he wasn’t bothered by the whole Brett Favre saga in Green Bay. He has that surfer, “chill out dude” kind of attitude. It’s why he, predictably, took the high road to Brett Favre’s most recent jealousy induced comments. He doesn’t rub people the wrong way, largely because he doesn’t have a big personality.

Brett Favre was worshipped by most everyone up until Ted Thompson began to screw him over. In hindsight, it’s clear that Ted Thompson made the right decision to start building around Aaron Rodgers when he did. However, it’s also clear with hindsight that he wasn’t fair to Brett Favre. Brett Favre wanted to play but Ted Thompson wanted to make him a backup. He should have just let him go play elsewhere. Instead, Favre becomes the bad guy.

Unbelievably, I’m reading the comments section of Mr. Reiter’s article and people are questioning if Brett Favre should go into the Hall of Fame as a Packer?

Does America have the memory of a 4th grade classroom’s gerbil?

Simply because a man wants to keep playing doesn’t mean that he doesn’t care for your franchise anymore.

Brett Favre’s insecure, egomaniacal, and selfish personality may have transformed him into one of the most loathed sports figures in all of North America but it also made him one of the most loved sports figures in North America.

Brett Favre’s infectious child-like passion for the game, gun-slinging carelessness and Hollywood charisma would not be possible without those other less attractive characteristics.

His ego allowed him to take risks that no other human being could fathom. His immaturity allowed him to play like a 12-year-old. His selfish nature allowed him to insist on giving us those extra years of greatness.

Who else could make fun of himself the way Favre did in this Hyundai commercial?

Aaron Rodgers, on the other hand, has about as much character as the keys on my laptop computer. Aaron Rodgers may be liked by most everyone except Brett Favre, but he will never be adored for more than his playing ability contrary to what Mr. Reiter seems to so naively believe.

I just wish Favre would stop giving everyone a reason to hate on him because he doesn’t deserve the degree of hatred that he receives every instance his name seeps its way into the headlines. I mean, it’s not fair, that’s my favourite quarterback.

When it is all said and done, Aaron Rodgers may end up being the better quarterback but he will never be able to measure up to the magnificence that is Brett Favre.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Also, follow me on twitter @paintstheblack and I will happily return the favour.

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Moss to the Vikings? Say it ain’t so!

Randy Moss could be returning to his first NFL home

By: Chris Ross

In his first 6 seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, Randy Moss did not have a season under 1233 yards receiving. For a time, Moss and quarterback Daunte Culpepper formed a dynamic duo as good as any. 6 years after his controversial exit from Minnesota, rumours are swirling that Moss could once again be back where it all started.

After a disappointing 1-2 start the Vikings are desperately seeking a number one receiver with Favre’s pet receiver Sidney Rice on the shelf until at least the mid-way point of the season. The Vikings attempted to land disgruntled Chargers receiver Vincent Jackson but failed, which was probably the best thing for the franchise. However, the Vikings front office is doing their darn best to hurt their team and the future of their franchise by going after another unhappy diva wide-receiver.

There have already been a lot of issues surrounding Randy Moss and his inability to land a contract extension with the New England Patriots, which has led to him being irritated and feeling “unwanted.” The Vikings are trading for a receiver who has had attitude problems in the past, present and subsequently would be bringing a poor mind-set to Minnesota.

At 33, Moss is looking for another big contract, which as most NFL fans know, the Patriots are unwilling to give and with good reason.

If a team is going to give Randy Moss a contract extension during the season, what would he have to play for? Does Randy Moss have the burning desire for a Super Bowl ring?

Moss isn’t the type of guy who will play hard no matter the circumstances and without a new contract to play for; there is no guarantee that you are going to get maximum effort from him. Can you get a better situation than playing for a championship coach, and catching balls from a championship quarterback? Randy Moss obviously doesn’t care about the ring, he wants the money and the recognition, which has ultimately led to his poor effort and the Patriots putting his butt on the trading block.

In reality, contract or not, there is no situation that can assure you full effort on the part of Moss.

It has been rumoured that the trade is pending on Moss receiving a contract extension from the Vikings. As I mentioned, a contract extension is not the best idea and not just because you can’t guarantee a maximum effort from him. At 33 years of age there is also the question of the inevitable decline of an athlete.

A constant comparison that is made is Randy Moss to Terrell Owens, who has shown that at 36, he can still put up numbers (222 yards this past Sunday). Despite some quality numbers, it is evident that TO has lost a step or two over the past couple of years which, combined with his attitude problems, caused him to be cut from Dallas, sign with Buffalo, where he had a very pedestrian season, and then having to sign a 1 year $2 million deal this year with the Bengals. The Punch line? Terrell Owens has not been the same receiver for the past couple years with a big part of that being his age in all likelihood.

So then why would anyone want to give a big contract extension to an aging wide-receiver with attitude problems?

I guess obviously the Minnesota Vikings, but it is for all the wrong reasons.

If they do indeed bring in Moss and sign him to an extension they will be stuck with him for at least a couple of post-Favre years. I understand that you can release him if he isn’t doing what he is supposed to do, but you are potentially wasting money and cap space on one of the NFL’s true enigmas.

Also, what are you giving to get him?

Obviously it is going to be some sort of draft pick that could be used to assist in the “pain” of the post-Favre era. The Patriots love draft picks and utilize their picks so well, which is part of what makes them such a successful franchise.

Moreover, Brett Favre is already having chemistry issues with his current roster. It is no doubt going to make it more difficult for Favre to get accustomed to his receivers with Moss entering the picutre. Also, once Sidney Rice returns will Moss be happy playing second fiddle?

So then how does potentially harming the future of your franchise for one faint chance at glory and a possible bust make sense?

I am honestly not sure.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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Brett Favre return

Oh no, not another Brett Favre story right? I realize that most people are tired of hearing about whether or not Brett Favre is going to come back for another season. Well, I’m not.

It looks as though Favre is going to decide to play one more season. Over the last few years Favre has gotten a lot of grief over his inability to make a decision on his decision to return to football. The reason I want to write about this today is that I was listening to Steven A. Smith on the radio talk about how disgusting he thinks Brett Favre is. He thinks it’s disgusting that Favre leaves his team hanging, that he decides to have ankle surgery in May rather than in January, and that this allows him not to report to training camp. He also referred to Favre as a “media whore”, and many other people believe this to be true as well. I, on the other hand, am not one of those people. Over the past number of years I have been a huge Favre fan. I feel that Favre’s constant indecision throughout the last portion of his career as well as many other of his questionable decisions are justified.

Here’s why.

First off, give me a good reason to tell me why Brett Favre should have to go to training camp. The media is constantly on Favre about avoiding training camp and why this is not good for his team. This was especially apparent last year when I kept hearing that him not going to training camp would not allow Farve to develop a good relationship and chemistry with his future teammates in Minnesota. Yeah good call guys. If everyone hasn’t noticed Favre is getting a little old.  The fact that Favre avoids training camp most likely allows him to be fresher for the season ahead. This may have some small implications at the start of the season, such as Favre not having his timing down, but as the season goes on it is crucial that Favre’s body does not wear down and not going to training camp gives him a bit of an edge in this regard. Also, no one likes training camp, and if teams are willing to let Brett Favre avoid training camp then why shouldn’t he. Are teams telling Brett Favre that he has to go to training camp in order to play for their team? No they aren’t. They are accommodating him as best they can because he still is one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL. If teams are going to allow him to avoid training camp, I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Media whore? Steven A. Smith called Brett Favre a media whore multiple times during a span of 7 or 8 minutes today and I’m sure it isn’t the first time he has called him that. Sorry members of the media, but Brett Favre is not a media whore. Brett Favre’s inability to make a decision stems from one thing, and one thing only. That is Brett Favre’s inability to make a decision. Favre is not out for publicity nor is he calling for the public to remind him of how much they want him back for another season. He is just unable to come to a conclusion about his playing future. I think this happens for a couple of reasons. First, after another grueling NFL season, Favre is bruised, battered, and exhausted. As the season draws to a close Favre has the idea in his head that he can’t take another year of the pain and tiredness of the NFL. However, as the off-season moves along he starts to feel healthier and eventually feeling pretty much 100% healthy. He starts to think to himself…hey, maybe I can play another season. Then the true indecision begins. Going back to the media whore referral. Favre is only a media whore because the media covers him so much. If the media didn’t give so much attention to the Favre controversy then there would barely be any controversy. I am almost certain that even if the media didn’t give this attention to Favre he would still have the same difficulties with regards to his decision, but the decision would just be much more private. One thing I wanna throw out there is that I also think that the much of the media is jealous of all the publicity Favre gets, and this skews their perception of him.

Brett Favre has had one of the most storied and successful careers in NFL history. He holds many NFL records including: most career touchdown passes, most career passing yards, and most consecutive starts.  And as I said earlier he loves the game, maybe more than anyone that has ever played the game. Hasn’t Brett Favre earned the right to decide when and if he still wants to play, and make that decision the way he wants to make it. The Green Bay Packers sure didn’t think so, and with the exceptional play of Aaron Rodgers I sure don’t blame them. But the fact that they didn’t give Favre’s release when he asked for one was not a fair thing to do for someone who had given so much for the franchise. The same goes for everyone else. Brett Favre has given so  much to the NFL, I think it’s time that we recognize this and give him the credit that he deserves. 

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions feel free to comment below or e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. Check out our videos as well at http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAlphabetBoyz

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