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Expert NFL Sports Picks: Week Four Predictions

This weekend will mark the quarter mark of the season for many teams and it seems like it has gone by extremely fast. While we’re learning a lot about some teams, the truth is we still have a long way to go.

Many of the teams that look good now will not look so good at the end of the year, and vice versa. Therefore, don’t underestimate an underdog at this point. You never know when an underdog is just starting to gel and start winning.

What should we expect from the Free NFL Sports Picks this week?


Oakland vs. Houston (Houston -9.5)

As long as the Raiders have JaMarcus Russell at quarterback, don’t expect them to do much in the way of offense. While they looked decent in the first half of Week One, they haven’t looked good since. Although they seemed like a good running team, they haven’t even been able to run much with the terrible play of JaMarcus Russell under center.

The Texans are looking good on offense, but it remains to be seen whether they can stop anyone.


Tennessee vs. Jacksonville (Tennessee -3)

The AFC South is one of the hardest divisions to play in in the league. Every week, there is some “knock-down, drag-out” matchup that comes down to the wire. Last week, it was Jacksonville and Houston, and this week should be about the same with this game.

Will Maurice Jones-Drew be able to continue his magic against the Titans defense? Chris Johnson should have a big game against the Jacksonville defense.


New England vs. Baltimore (New England -2)

The Patriots put up a good game last week against the Falcons, winning easily. However, their opponent this weekend will not go down without a fight. Many believe that the Ravens are the best team in football, and this should be a great game.

Can Tom Brady start to get in-sync with his receivers again? Or will Ray Lewis and the Baltimore defense seize the day?


Cincinnati vs. Cleveland (Cincinnati -5.5)

Will the Cleveland offense ever be able to move the ball? This week “ Man-Genius” will try get things going by starting Derrick Anderson. Will Anderson actually make a difference?

For the Bengals, Carson Palmer looks like he’s back at full strength and should be able to move the ball against Cleveland. Look for this division rivalry to be a close game.


New York Giants vs. Kansas City (New York -8.5)

The Chiefs looked terrible last week against the Eagles. However, just because they looked bad, don’t count them out against the Giants. How many times have you seen a team look completely awful and then come out the next week and look like world-beaters? It happens all the time in the NFL.

This might be another blowout, but don’t rule out a close game at Arrowhead.


Detroit vs. Chicago (Chicago -10)

Detroit got its first win in the last two seasons last week. This week they get a much better Chicago team that has already knocked off Pittsburgh. Matt Forte should have a great game against the Detroit defense and get the ball in the end zone.

Will Matt Stafford be able to keep his offense moving against the Bears?


Tampa Bay vs. Washington (Washington -7)

This could be the least attractive game on the schedule this week. Both of these teams look terrible and they’re actually going to play each other this week. Anytime you’re an underdog to a team that just lost to the Lions last week, things are not looking good. That is the position that Tampa finds itself in this week after benching Leftwich.


New York Jets vs. New Orleans (New Orleans -7)

This could be the best game of the week as two unbeaten teams match up. The Jets look to keep things going behind rookie quarterback Mark Sanchez. On the other side of the field, the Saints have the best quarterback in the league in Drew Brees.

Will the Jets defense be able to slow down the vaunted Saints offense? Look for an entertaining game in this one.


Buffalo vs. Miami (Buffalo -2)

Miami looks like they’re out to prove that last year was a fluke as they have stumbled out of the gate to an 0-3 start. The Bills haven’t exactly been lighting the world on fire, but they’ve looked better than Miami so far. Last week, T.O. was held without a catch for the first time in 13 years and he probably won’t be happy about it this week.

Look for him to start a new streak this week.


St. Louis vs. San Francisco (San Francisco -9.5)

The Rams look like they might challenge last year’s Detroit team for the worst in the league. They lost their quarterback and haven’t looked very good at any point this season. The Niners, on the other hand, have looked good for all but the last play of their third game.

On paper, this doesn’t look like a very even matchup, but anything can happen.


Dallas vs. Denver (Dallas -3)

The Cowboys have looked like a juggernaut at times and awful at others. A lot of it depends on how Tony Romo is playing in each game. If he can keep from throwing picks, look out for the Cowboys. This should be a good test to see if Denver’s defense is for real or just a mirage of bad scheduling.


San Diego vs. Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh -6.5)

Pittsburgh comes into this game as the favorite even though they are 1-2 on the season. Usually the oddsmakers give you the benefit of the doubt when you just won the Super Bowl. This should be a pretty even game as the Chargers are a talented football team. Look for a game that goes right down to the wire here.


Green Bay vs. Minnesota (Minnesota -3.5)

This game is all about the Brett Favre saga, but it should actually be a pretty good game between two teams. This one will be talked about all week, leading up to the game.


Make sure you check out Vernon Croy’s Expert NFL Sports Picks for Week Four of the NFL season.

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Vikings’ Favre Will Divide, Packers Will Conquer

It has started already.

The rumblings out of Minnesota. A team divided. A “schism” it’s being called.

In the words of one NFL source, Favre has “little support” in the locker room.

Ah, it’s music to my ears.

Like Napoleon Bonaparte, the self-proclaimed emperor of France that didn’t know when to stop, has Brett Favre gone too far and agitated his own Minnesota minions?

There are many players in the Viking locker room that don’t want Favre there. Some resent his riding in on his white horse to seemingly “rescue” the Vikings. “We didn’t need rescuing” is the sentiment.

Some resent the special treatment he has received from the Vikings organization and Brad Childress.

What self-respecting NFL coach drives to the airport to pick up a player? None. Except for Brad Childress.

Some are just buddies of Tarvaris Jackson and are incensed at the raw deal he has received. All T-Jack wanted was a fair fight between him and Sage Rosenfels. That scenario is officially dead.

And some are in Rosenfels’ corner. They felt he could bring the consistency that T-Jack lacks.

After all, the Vikings did pretty well when unspectacular, but steady Gus Frerotte was at the helm last year. Why not give Sage a chance? That possibility is also dead.

As Abe Lincoln said (borrowed from the new testament, I believe), “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

Will Favre turn the Minnesota Vikings into “Team Turmoil?” It really only depends on one thing—how well he plays. If he is able to play at a high level and lead the Vikings to some wins, most likely all will be forgotten.

I happen to be one Packer fan that still believes he can play and if healthy, he will help the Vikings. But I  don’t regret the Packers’ decision to go with Aaron Rodgers. That decision is looking better every day.

But if Favre playing well doesn’t come to pass, resentment will linger, the “schism” will get larger, and the Vikings divided “house” and season will come tumbling down.

Like the egomaniacal emperor Napoleon, Brett Favre has recorded many victories and conquered many hardships. But will going to Minnesota be his Waterloo and mark the end of his reign as emperor of the NFL?

If so, then perhaps the Packers will conquer the NFC North. As a Packer fan, it’s what I have to hope for.


You can find more of Jersey Al Bracco’s articles on several sports websites: Jersey Al’s Blog, Packer Chatters , Packers Lounge, NFL Touchdown and of course,  Bleacher Report.

You can also follow Jersey Al on twitter.


The Difficulties Of The Vikings Faithful…

It’s that time of year again. 

Once again the Viking faithful have had their team talked up for a deep playoff, and possible championship, run. 

Is this the year we finally shake off years of disappointment and reach our expectations, or will we once again be let down by the greatest tease in all of professional sports?

With all the talk about Brett Favre joining the Vikings, many other stories about this year’s squad have been overlooked. After a strong showing last year the team has improved in every questionable area. 

The defense, which ranked 6th overall and 1st against the run, will be getting E.J. Henderson back. Before getting injured last year, E.J. was playing very well and his return should give the defense a boost. 

Last year’s acquisition of Jared Allen added strength to an already solid defensive line, adding 14 sacks. Chad Greenway also had a great year, leading the team with 115 tackles. 

The only real loss on defense was Darren Sharper. While being an excellent leader, he only had one interception and, being 33, the team decided not to resign the veteran; starting duties will go to 2nd year man Tyrell Johnson. 

The offense last year again relied on the strong running of rushing leader Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, finishing 5th in the league for team rushing, but also showed signs of things to come in the passing game. 

Bernard Berrian led the league in yards-per-catch and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe finally overcame a case of the dropsies, ending up with seven touchdowns.

The only major loss on offense was the departure of center Matt Birk, an intelligent leader for the offensive line. Birk’s duties are projected to be taken over by rookie John Sullivan and it will be interesting to see how the newcomer handles the pro game. 

Also new to the offensive line is massive rookie tackle Phil Loadholt who is expected to start opposite gigantic Bryant McKinnie, giving Favre a wall of muscle for protection. 

First round draft pick Percy Harvin is expected to be a versatile weapon both on offense as a wide receiver and possible “wildcat” option, and special teams as a return man. His speed will add more firepower to the already explosive skill position players.

The special teams, which struggled last year, also received a few changes by promoting assistant coach Brian Murphy. How he will change up the poor coverage teams has yet to be seen but the resigning of ace Heath Farwell will make his job easier. 

Chris Kluwe finished 6th among punters by averaging 47.6 yards a punt. If Murphy can straighten up the coverage problems, this unit can be solid.

I have talked about many areas of this year’s squad, saying very little about the one most interesting element; what about Brett Favre?

His addition should make the Vikings passing attack worthy of some defensive attention, opening up opportunities for the dangerous Peterson. If Favre can get opposing defenses to not stack the line with eight players keying in on the run, his acquisition will be worth the drama. 

But bringing in Favre also adds another, less talked about story to the squad. Which quarterbacks will secure spots on the roster?

Tavaris Jackson was expected to compete for the starting job with newly acquired Sage Rosenfels while the Favre drama played out. Now there are four quarterbacks gunning for three roster spots. 

Rosenfels looked composed in the preseason opener, while Jackson struggled, leaving the back up position up in the air. Also, what to do with 2nd year man John David Booty. 

Favre adds hall of fame experience and knowledge which could be used to mentor a young gunslinger, but who is the team going to stick with? Will it carry Jackson, and his contract, or groom in the young Booty? 

Seeking outside help from Favre shows the organizations doubt about Jackson being the future of the team and I think he may end up being the odd man out, being potential trade bait.

Once again, I sit brimming with excitement over the potential of this year’s squad, hoping against hope that they can bring it all together. Will our expectations be let down once again? 

We can only watch and see how it turns out, sitting on our couches with family and friends, appetizers and refreshing drinks by our side.  Doesn’t sound too bad to me.


With Favre on Board, Who Will Be the Odd Man Out?

After setting up the battle of the …err… Titans for the starting quarterback job, Brad Childress abruptly ended the battle by bringing in Brett Favre on Tuesday. With the starting quarterback job now taken, the Vikings now have a different decision to make… who stays and who goes?

After Favre, the Vikings are left with Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, and John David Booty. They can only keep two. At first glance, the quarterback with the expiring contract, who has been given every opportunity to earn the starting role and who has proven to be inconsistent, at best, would make the most sense to be sent packing. 

As such, speculation is running rampant that the Vikings are shopping Tarvaris Jackson and that he is the most likely candidate to be cut come September. When you take a closer look, it may not be the wisest decision.

First, I am going to assume that in giving up a 4th round pick to acquire Sage Rosenfels and subsequently signing him to a contract extension that the Vikings will be keeping him. It would be bad business not to.

Next, I’m going to make one thing clear… this team is ready to win NOW! With aging veterans and Peterson arguably in his prime, the window for a Super Bowl is very slim for this team. 

Additionally, despite his impossible run of consecutive starts, Brett Favre is turning 40 this year and the risk of injury is amplified that much more and his backup, Rosenfels, has never played a full NFL season. 

With both of these factors in mind, who would you feel more comfortable guiding your team into the playoffs if the unthinkable were to happen and both were to go down?

Is it the guy with all of the physical tools, who has been in the system for 3 years and has proven to be at least capable of handling this team? 

Or the guy, who has never taken a regular season snap in the NFL, with serious arm strength concerns that probably not have been drafted if he wasn’t leading a certain school in Southern California? 

I think the answer is clear.

What about next year? Jackson will be a free agent and will almost certainly look for employment elsewhere, which would leave Sage Rosenfels as the only QB left on the roster, assuming Brett retires. 

This isn’t as bad as it sounds. 

With a year in the system, I think Sage will be capable of running the offense and leading this team. However, he is not the long term answer. By cutting JD Booty now, the front office leaves the door wide open to draft the proverbial “QB of the future” in the early rounds of the 2010 draft.  

Whereas, if they were to keep Booty, they may be more hesitant to grab a top prospect early. The other roster spot could easily be filled with a veteran capable of stepping in if necessary. 

Upon further review, I think the Vikings need to really consider who the third quarterback of this team should be and, despite the media grumblings of the contrary, Tarvaris Jackson is the right man for the job, regardless of the 7th round pick they might get in return.



Retire The Notion: Vikings Better Off With Favre

I’m going to take my shots at Brett Favre, and they might be a little unfair, but you’ll get over it. I’m going to give the “old man” a little opinionated analysis on how he’ll fit in with the Minnesota Vikings.

I’ll be the first to say, I’m a jilted Packers fan and that he instantly makes the Vikings better (in theory).

So, I wanted to take a day to digest what happened, and make sure I still wasn’t shocked by it at all; and I can honestly say there was no doubt that the No. 4 on the Vikings roster was an ass, not a Booty.

At his last stop in New York, I still claim that Favre lost the team in the waning portion of the season. I fear (for his sake) that the same could happen in Minnesota.

The difference?

Adrian Peterson is already the leader.

Favre doesn’t have to step in and take over an NFL roster. He doesn’t have to command the attention of an offensive corps or create all the spark with the ball. The spark will be supplied by his arm. Throw in the fact, that Percy Harvin and Bernard Berrian are two receivers with speed to burn. That had to be enticing.

Now, one of the greatest QB’s of all time is set up to run all his favorite plays. Pitch-n-catch, streak, and maybe a button hook here and there. This team is actually near perfect for the Mississippi (drama) queen.

The quarterback needs to have some control over the huddle, and Favre will not be given quite the “General” status he had in New York; but that does not mean he will be exempt from leading the team with 2:00 minutes left in the 4th quarter.

Regardless of how little he will command the team’s respect or where he showers, he’ll still have the ability to put the ball down field more accurately than Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels.

That makes the Vikings better and NFC North favorites.

I like how the move really hurts Minnesota in the broad scheme of things; since this is a one year solution; but it scares me as a Packers fan how much the move really helps them this year.

The Vikings may have a trophy case devoid of any Lombardi Trophies, and that might remain the case after this season. But the fact remains that they’ve got the ammo for No. 4.

The fireworks are in place for Favre in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean this is just one big dud of a finale.



Brett Favre Signs With Vikings; Star Players Get Preferential Treatment

Remember that kid on your high school basketball team who would miss practice but still start in the next game?

Brett Favre is that kid.

And Brad Childress is the coach who allowed it.

The double standard for perceived star players is sickening. The reason I write perceived stars is because Favre is no longer an elite player.

But that’s besides the point.

The Minnesota Vikings have set a terrible example by signing Favre.


Find out by reading more about Brett Favre at my new blog, The Sports Journalists.


Sage Rosenfels is the Wrench in Brad Childress’s Quarterback Plan

The Preseason is here! Time for position battles and the glorious return of football! An exciting thought for most people, unless your name is Brad Childress. After Brett (aka: washed up, worthless quarterback) Favre gave old Chilly the shove-off, he was forced with only two options at quarterback: Sage Rosenfels and Tavaris Jackson.

As much as I would love to say John David Booty is in the competition for the starting job, I really just can’t see him making a push until at least next year. Childress went into training camp telling the fans and media that the starting quarterback job was up for grabs.

Lie! We all know Childress is partial to his pet project that is Tavaris Jackson.

Then a wrench got thrown into his plan. Sage Rosenfels performed well against tough competition. Childress said that he would give each quarterback two preseason starts. Lets take a deeper look into that thought.

Sage Rosenfels started against the Indianapolis Colts. They are not a powder puff team or defense by any stretch. His next start would be against the rising Houston Texans. 

Jackson, on the other hand, would be starting against the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys. Neither of the two previously mentioned teams are really known for their defense. In fact, they are pretty much non-existent.

The plan looks obvious to me. Start Rosenfels against the tougher teams so he can struggle and start Jackson against the easier defenses so he can shine and Chilly can look justified in a decision to start the season with Jackson.

There is only one problem: Rosenfels performed extremely well running the offense against a tough Colts defense in his first game as a Viking.

I said it in an article I wrote when the Vikings made the trade for Sage and I will say it again: HE IS UNDERRATED!!! In case you have an inclination to see where I am drawing that conclusion from take a look at the article; it has all the numbers you should need. It’s called: Sage Rosenfels: Underrated?

I said it then and I will say it now, Tavaris Jackson is a professional backup at best. He is a bust for a draft pick. We now have Sage Rosenfels and all he needs is a chance to show what he can do with some talented wide receivers and a great running game to boot. That’s all he ever needed and something he never got.

Does anyone remember what happened when Tom Brady went down with an injury? A back up by the name of Matt Casell came in and did a heck of a job. Just like Rosenfels, all he needed was a chance to showcase what he can do. Makes you wonder, doesn’t it?

I think Sage Rosenfels will force Brad Childress into a “foot in mouth” situation. The situation being that he may force the hand of the Vikings head coach into realizing his blunder in picking Jackson. He may force Childress to see the truth and that truth is the Vikings starting quarterback should be Sage Rosenfels. The job should be his to lose, not to earn.


The Minnesota Vikings 2009 Season: A Shaky QB Competiton Will Decide It All

When quarterback Sage Rosenfels took to the field for the first time as a Minnesota Viking at training camp in Mankato, he was guaranteed one sure thing: He would get a shot at the starting QB position. An area that has plagued a Vikings offense already loaded with talent.

With roster names such as Adrian Peterson, Bernard Berrian, Steve Hutchinson, and Percy Harvin, there is no reason to think the Vikings offense can’t be explosive. So what’s the biggest issue stopping the Minnesota Vikings from making a serious Super Bowl run?

The answer is simple: Consistency from the quarterback. It has long been the road block for the Vikings and any hopes of winning a franchise first Super Bowl title. Four trips to the big game in the 70’s and yet the purple have nothing to show for it.

Since the departure of now Detroit Lion QB and division rival Daunte Culpepper, the Vikings have lacked leadership, poise, and of course consistency.

The likes of Brad Johnson, Gus Frerotte, and Tavaris Jackson have all graced a purple and gold jersey through the years. The only remaining on the team is fourth year QB Jackson who has had a mediocre first three years as a Viking.

Jackson has shown at times brilliance in the passing game including his final four games in the 2008 season as he finished with nine TDs to two INTs.

However that won’t do in a rough and tough division such as the NFC North that features the Vikings’ rivals the Green Bay Packers, the Chicago Bears, and the Detroit Lions.

The Minnesota Vikings surprised many NFL experts when they won the NFC North title and reached the playoffs, only to be ousted at home against the Philadelphia Eagles. In that game, Jackson was rushed and forced to make mistakes and be too early or too late on his untimely throws to receivers.

The Eagles defense led by Defensive Coordinator, the great Jim Johnson, proved to be too much for young Jackson in his first playoff game. Their relentless blitzing and confusing defensive packages caused havoc for Jackson that included a pass that ended up in the hands of Eagle Cornerback Asante Samuel for a touchdown.

This offseason, the Minnesota Vikings’ staff made attempts at solving the QB dilemma with a short stint of pursuing Jay Cutler, then after that fell short, rumors popped up that Brett Favre was interested in playing with the Vikings.

The Vikings did, however, make a trade with the Houston Texans day one of the free agency dealing a 2009 Fourth Round Draft Pick for Sage Rosenfels. A move that had many Viking fans questioning the mind set of the Vikings coaches.

After a continuous summer long saga with future Hall of Fame QB Brett Favre and another “No”, the Vikings are supposedly satisfied with the QB’s they have on the roster.

The roster of Sage Rosenfels, Tavaris Jackson, and second year QB John David Booty from USC.

The Minnesota Vikings enter their final week of training camp hoping to get a brighter picture on a already shaky QB competition. Rosenfels has been progressing with the Vikings playbook and has really made some chemistry with Vikings’ deep threat WR Bernard Berrian, throwing nice deep passes to him.

Jackson on the other hand, has had an up and down camp session spraining an MCL in his leg in the first full week of camp, only to re-aggravate it during a seven on seven Friday night drill. Although he says his knee is “fine”, the Vikings have cause for concern after a similar injury limited Jackson in last years preseason games.

As for Booty, the third QB and youngest of the three, well he is progressing as quick as a second year guy can in the NFL. The Vikings Offensive Coordinator Darrel Bevell also likes the way Booty has progressed, and with Jackson sitting out three days at camp, Booty got more throwing reps with the Vikings offense, a rarity for a third string QB, and a golden opportunity to get better.

So with all three QBs getting as many reps as possible, the Vikings are headed in the right direction, but where does it lead?

The Minnesota Vikings have to face the facts, they need a leader and consistency game after game from their quarterback. Something they haven’t seen for years, except for a few Tavaris Jackson positives in 2008.

No matter who wins the Vikings quarterback competition, Jackson or Rosenfels must step up to the plate and lead the explosive offense lead by the NFL’s best running back in Adrian Peterson and one of the best offensive lines in the league.

As good as Peterson is, the biggest leadership must come from the QB position. Especially in this case for a team that many consider Super Bowl ready now, with the only thing stopping them is of course the quarterback position.

Can Sage or Jackson lead a talented Vikings team deep into the playoffs?

Only time will tell, as the Minnesota Vikings preseason gets set to kick off. The biggest factor will come in those four preseason games, where the real work will be made for the two competitors.

They will have to prove themselves the better competitor from their opponent, and whether or not they can lead their team. The Vikings’ season depends on a successful passer if they want to reach their goal of a Super Bowl title.

When this QB competition comes to an end, you can still expect many to oppose the QB, whom ever it may be. But in the end, the Vikings’ season and their playoff fate will ultimately rest upon the shoulders of the Viking starter.

If this competition proves un-successful, the Vikings may lose even more precious time towards a Super Bowl run.

Time is ticking, and it’s not on the Vikings side.


Vikes Quarterbacks Likely Won’t Pay Off, Hoping Brad Childress Kept His Receipt

First and foremost, regardless of any “No chance” quotes coming from Brad Childress, let’s all agree that this whole “Favre thing” isn’t quite dead yet.

There have been tiny birds chirping from tall trees about a possible Favre signing mid-way through August, rather than mid-season.

But biting on hearsay, a coach’s words that you can never trust, or even the word of the great one (Favre) is nothing short of letting yourself get knee deep in a wild goose chase.

No, instead, let’s drop the drama off at the pool, let it sit a while, and get back to what we know.

What is absolutely for certain in Minnesota, is that Childress and co. have one hell of a running back, a solid offensive line, an active special teams unit, and an aggressive defense.

But, again, we knew that.

That’s why they were dipping their fingers in the Brett Favre dip all off-season. Not necessarily because it tasted so good that they had to keep on dipping, but because the alternative, was, well, not so tasty.

But here the Vikings are, ready to go in training camp today, with Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels duking it out. Oh, and let’s not forget that not-so-coveted former USC quarterback, John David Booty.

He might just get to keep that number four jersey, after all.

But since we’re back to square one, are we honestly going to allow ourselves to believe that this is going to be a fair fight?

Let’s face it, people, Rosenfels was brought in for a reason.

No, he’s not overly athletic (or athletic at all), and probably isn’t the long-term answer (make that a definitely), but he’s a proven pocket passer with a good arm and has shown he can put up solid numbers.

Jackson, on the other hand, finally showed spurts of decent play late last season, but then made everyone forget about his blissful play against the Detroit Lions, as he stunk it up in a playoff loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

There are two doors Brad Childress can choose to open, and quite sadly, neither will lead to that possible Super Bowl run that Brett Favre was tempting the entire state of Minnesota with.

With Rosenfels, you have a guy who will make some plays and can manage games, but can also go all “helicopter” on you, and blow games at the last second.

Jackson, on the other hand, offers to versatility, athleticism, and potential.

But 2009 isn’t about potential. Or helicopters.

It’s about getting someone behind center who is competent enough to manage games, and good enough to win a few when called upon.

Call me crazy, but Childress had his guy last year, and he went by the name of Gus Frerotte.

But like Jackson before him, Childress gave up on Frerotte, went back to Jackson, and well, the rest is history.

So what does the crystal ball have in store for the Jackson vs. Rosenfels match-up?

It could very well be a tight race, and either winner could easily emerge as a serviceable quarterback that simply does what he needs to to help the Vikings win games, i.e., a Trent Dilfer.

That, or Childress could suck up his pride and turn to door number three.

Yes, friends, there is always a door number three.

He could take back his “no chance” remarks, give ol’ Brett another call in eight weeks (or less), and ride that 40-year old arm as far as it gets him.

After all, at this point, what does he really have to lose?


Danged If You Do: Managing Personnel in The NFL

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

It’s July, and there’s some question as to whether or not quarterback Brett Favre will be returning to play football this season.

Familiar, right?

Of course, Favre’s decision this summer was whether or not to join the Minnesota Vikings, not the Green Bay Packers.  The most recent news on the Favre front is that he’s still retired.  No condominiums in Minneapolis.  No family booking hotels in Green Bay during Vikings week.

With that news, Brad Childress and the Vikings are getting slammed by the press and the blogs for not being more strict with Favre.

Jim Souhan, a columnist from the Twin Cities’ Star Tribune wrote that Childress “should have imposed a strict deadline on Favre” so that he could come out looking like a “clear-eyed decision-maker” who “wasn’t willing to sell his soul” for a Hall of Fame quarterback.

But wait a minute.  What happened when management in Green Bay made the kind of decisive move last summer that Souhan said the Vikings should have made this summer?

If you can’t remember, I’ll refresh your memory.

Green Bay’s general manager, Ted Thompson, quickly became one of the most reviled people in not only Wisconsin, but wherever else Packer fans gather.  

Thompson knew his choice: give Favre what he wanted and alienate the heir-apparent at quarterback, or be firm and tell Favre, who had already retired, that he missed the boat.

Thompson went with the latter and the fans hated him for it.

Childress went with the former, and if the Vikings have any quarterback trouble this season (which is likely), the fans will hate him for it.

This all goes to show that none of us are as smart as we think we are when it comes to what our favorite teams should do.  

We as fans have no idea what the general managers of professional sports teams have to weigh when they make their decisions.  And, most importantly, most of us have no clue what it’s like to be hated by tens of thousands of people no matter what we decide to do concerning any one player.

So the next time you don’t like something your favorite team’s general manager did for the team, keep in mind that they’re just doing the same thing you do every day at your job; the best they can.

And you thought this was going to be another Brett Favre article, didn’t you?