Archive for the NFL History Category


The Song Remains The Same For The NFL

As another Sunday approaches for the NFL, one cannot help but recall certain themes that have transpired thus far. The days of parity appear to not be in play this season. With the Rams, Lions, Chiefs, Redskins, Browns, Raiders, Titans, and Buccaneers all struggling, as well as the Dolphins, Seahawks, and Panthers all with just two wins as well, it has become a case of the have and have-nots. The list of have-nots may be the deepest in recent memory for the league. Will things change after the new collective bargaining agreement on the horizon?  That is one tune waiting to be composed.

Was anyone really shocked to see Brett Favre fumble then throw away the game for the Vikings last week? It was about time if you ask me. We are talking about the NFL’s All-Time Turnover King. No player has thrown away the ball more in history than Favre, and he is just three fumbles away from tying Warren Moon for the record of most fumbles ever. With 313 interceptions and 158 fumbles, and counting, the Steelers decided to just let Brett be Brett last week. When you do that, you will win more than lose to him. Just be ready for the inevitable mistake. With a career average of 1.7 turnovers for every game he has played, it is a sound strategy.

Watching Larry Johnson bubble over with frustration, you have to wonder what is the biggest deal is. Is it his homophobic remarks, his rant on his new head coach, or his bemoaning the loss of cash? Johnson, some may say, had his mind destroyed along with his body with all those carries several years ago. Some may recall former Chiefs coach Dick Vermeil calling his character into question once. Johnson, a coaches son, realizes his career is coming to an end and that he will never again command the salary he current makes. He stands to lose $600,000 this week, not exactly chump change. Though his comments were not politically correct, this still is America. Freedom of speech and expression is a right. Taking his money hurts, but watching his career end has to gouge him deeper. If he does latch on with another team next year, he will be a part time back with a pay rate showing such a role.

On with the picks. I am now sporting an unimpressive 60-27 record after going 9-4 last week. Let us see if I can do better.


Denver Broncos @ Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens are approaching this game as a must win. They are at full health again with their offensive line, which will be critical in this match up. The Broncos have been, and is the surprise of the league so far with a perfect record. Both teams have had two weeks to prepare for this, so expect a hard hitting game.

Ravens
27   Broncos 21


Houston Texans @ Buffalo Bills

Houston is a team who appears to have found their groove on both sides of the ball, and could go on a winning streak if they are not sidetracked by injuries. Buffalo is a team still trying to find their identity.

Texans 34  Bills 17

Cleveland Browns @ Chicago Bears

Cleveland heads into the Windy City at a tumultuous time. Bears fans are unhappy with their teams inconsistent play on both sides of the line of scrimmage. Chicago expects a win over the lowly Browns, and Cleveland seems to have already packed it in for the season.

Bears 31  Browns 27

Seattle Seahawks @ Dallas Cowboys

Dallas came away with an impressive victory last week that was a much needed statement game as well. This game is critical in keeping the momentum going. Seattle is missing their best linebacker, and their best running back is dinged up. They will need to pass to win, which isn’t easy against the Cowboys cornerbacks.

Cowboys 38  Seahawks 27

Miami Dolphins @ New York Jets

Miami stopped the Jets winning ways just three weeks ago. After dropping another two games, the Jets won big last week. Miami came off their bye week by blowing a big lead to the Saints last week, Miami needs to run well to win, while the Jets are hurting in the middle of their defense especially. It should be another close game between these two rivals.

Jets 24  Miami 21

 

San Francisco 49ers @ Indianapolis Colts

The 49ers lost last week, but quarterback Alex Smith may have won the confidence of his teammates. The Colts are undefeated and getting healthy. Even if Smith repeats last week performance, it will be hard for the 49ers secondary to stop the Colts passing attack all game.

Colts 34  49ers 23

New York Giants @ Philadelphia Eagles

Though the Eagles won last week, they did not look much sharper than the team that lost to Oakland two weeks ago. The lack of running game has proven to be this teams Achilles heel for years, and it has been in the spotlight even more this year. The Giants realize they need to get back on track after two weeks of consecutive losses. Expect the Giants to pound the ball on the ground, while Philly tries to exploit a suspect Giants secondary.

Giants 23  Eagles 21


Saint Louis Rams @ Detroit Lions

It is too bad these teams cannot face each other more this season. They would win more if they did. Detroit appears ready to go with Culpepper at quarterback this week, and possibly the entire season. Though both teams have veteran quarterbacks, I expect this game to be won on the ground. Steven Jackson will carry the Rams to one of their few victories this week.

Rams 28  Lions 24


Oakland Raiders @ San Diego Chargers

The Raiders have been as inconsistent as their young quarterback JaMarcus Russell. After controlling the Eagles two weeks ago, they were pulverized by the Jets last week. The Chargers are as inconsistent, mostly due to an underachieving defense and banged up offensive line. If the Bolts do not get it going this week, they may never get anywhere this year.

Chargers 48  Raiders 24


Jacksonville Jaguars @ Tennessee Titans

The Titans are still without a win, and owner Bud Adams has ordered coach Jeff Fisher to start Vince Young at quarterback over veteran Kerry Collins. Though Fisher realizes the problem isn’t just at quarterback, expect him to comply. The Jaguars handed the Titans a 20 point loss a month ago. They did it by pounding the ball down the Titan’s throats all game. Expect a similar strategy, but something tells me Fisher has a plan this time.

Titans 23  Jaguars 17

Minnesota Vikings @ Green Bay Packers

Game Of The Week

As I told you the first time these teams met a few weeks ago, this is the game to watch. Not only is it the return of a certain Hyckocrite to Lambeau Field for the first time as a visiting player, but both teams have developed their personalities more since the first meeting. The Packers have had trouble running the ball this year, even with Ryan Grant’s 148 yards versus Cleveland last week. The Vikings are excellent at stopping the run as well.

Expect the Packers to air it out against a depleted Vikings secondary, while the Vikings attack them with a balanced attack. Though the focus seems to be on quarterback in Minnesota, the main reason they win is by running the ball, controlling the clock and field position. This game will be a prime example of that, assuming their quarterback doesn’t cough up the ball and victory as he did last week.

Vikings 34   Packers 31

Carolina Panthers @ Arizona Cardinals

The Panthers have been a disappointment so far. Their passing attack is nearly non existent, and their running game is not at full strength with Jon Stewart battling injuries. The Cardinals are trying to find their running game still, but they realize how good their passing game is. If the Panthers do not get to Kurt Warner, the Cardinals may score often.

Cardinals 38  Panthers 17

Atlanta Falcons @ New Orleans Saints

The Falcons are just not running the ball as well this season as opposed to last year. This causes their defense to stay on the field longer that they would like, and for their secondary to be exploited. The Saints are also trying to get their running game more consistent so they do not have to rely on Drew Brees arm so much. This is a game Brees can air it out to multiple receivers, while Atlanta will need to control the clock to keep that from happening.

Saints 41  Falcons 30

NFL Power Rankings

1. New Orleans Saints

2. Indianapolis Colts

3. Minnesota Vikings

4. Denver Broncos

5. New England Patriots

6. New York Giants

7. Cincinnati Bengals

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

9. Baltimore Ravens

10. Atlanta Falcons

11. Philadelphia Eagles

12. Houston Texans

13. Green Bay Packers

14. Dallas Cowboys

15. San Diego Chargers

16. Chicago Bears

17. Miami Dolphins

18. New York Jets

19. Arizona Cardinals

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

21. San Francisco 49ers

22. Seattle Seahawks

23. Buffalo Bills

24. Oakland Raiders

25. Carolina Panthers

26. Detroit Lions

27. Kansas City Chiefs

28. Washington Redskins

29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

30. Cleveland Browns

31. Tennessee Titans

32. Saint Louis Rams

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The Brett Favre Record That Will Never Be Broken

Sorry, Brett Favre, but as much as I admire your game, this article is not about to boost your ego.

Don’t get me wrong, Favre and the Vikings look very good right now. They’re 6-0. He has 12 touchdowns to only two interceptions, and, quite honestly, I can’t remember a time when he played better.

But this isn’t a knock on Favre, anyway.

Favre just turned 40, and while we still will have to wait all the way until training camp next year to be sure, there’s a good chance that this truly is his last season in the NFL.

With that thought in mind, it gets me, a fan of stats and legends, thinking about his mark on the game.

He put defenses in constant fear over the year in Green Bay, racked up enough stats to make Fran Tarkenton wince, Dan Fouts start wetting his bed again, and Johnny Unitas to roll over in his grave.

I remember even joking to a friend one time, upon Favre breaking yet another one of Dan Marino’s all-time records, “Prepare the noose, Dan. Prepare the noose.”

We thought it was sadistically humorous to imply that Marino, who never won a Super Bowl, would have nothing left to live for if all of his records had been surpassed.

This may or may not hold up.

Regardless, even the great Brett Favre will live to see these same records that he now owns land in the books under someone else’s name.

And quite undoubtedly, that “someone else” is going to be Peyton Manning.

No other quarterback is even close in any of the major categories. Most of the passers who are even slightly involved in the topic of discussion would have to average over 35 scores and 5,000 yards a season until they were 40 to even sniff the records.

And you can even add to those averages if Manning increases the lead on those numbers before his career ends.

But there is one record, one that cannot be matched. One that very well could stand the test of time.

No, not the touchdowns. While Favre’s touchdown total (currently 476) could crack 500 if he played another season (and he just might), Manning is still only 131 scores behind the future Hall of Famer. If he averages 26 touchdowns for the next six years, he’d catch Favre’s current numbers, and if he played until he was 40, like Favre, he’d likely smash it.

So, no, unless Manning retires early, drops off big-time in talent, or sustains an injury, Favre’s touchdown record (as glorious as it is), won’t last but five or six years.

How about the remarkable consecutive start streak? Manning’s got some ground to cover, buy he can get that, too.

Manning is currently the only person threatening Favre’s heralded streak, as he hasn’t missed a single game since his rookie season in 1998, starting 181 straight games.

Favre has started 279 straight games at the time of this article, putting Manning a solid 98 games behind. However, if Manning keeps his ridiculous string of games up like Favre did for his entire career, he could catch Favre seven years from now, at 41.

So, while Manning will need a lot of luck, he can still get there. Of course, this is assuming both players finished all 16 games this season, Favre doesn’t play again next year, and Manning actually plays into his 40s.

How about the yards, the completions, the attempts? At the rate Manning goes, he should easily pass these marks if he plays until he’s 40 and keeps up his current production.

But, of course, there are no guarantees. There is no certainty that this is Brett Favre’s final season, that Manning will play until he’s 40, keep up his insane production, or never get hurt over the next possible five to six seasons. After all, Manning isn’t quietly climbing the record trail behind Favre as a nimble 27-year-old. He’s 33, and he’ll be 34 this coming March.

Still, the point is that obtaining these records, at least for Manning, is possible.

But there is still one record that Favre can be rest assured will be his to keep, possibly for the rest of his life, and even likely for as long as the NFL exists.

His interception total.

He’s only thrown two this season (kudos, Brett), but he still has 10 games (at the minimum) to add to his growing legend of 312 picks, and if he plays another season, that numbers only grows.

Don’t think it’s unbreakable?

George Blanda is second in the career interception rankings with 277. And it took 32 years for it to be broken.

The next 26 quarterbacks in line who are even remotely close to approaching this infamous record are retired and/or too old to come back to add to their forgettable stat.

The next closest guy, Kerry Collins, has just 187, and at 36 years old, is likely finished as a starter after this season, anyways.

In other words, if there’s someone who is ever going to have the opportunity to throw that many reckless, gunslinger passes and toss 300-plus interceptions, he either just started his career, is in college, or hasn’t been born yet.

But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. George Blanda even said, after Favre broke his record, that the high amount of interceptions meant you were a risk-taker, and the fact that you team still wanted you to play despite the turnovers was a testament to just how important you were to their success.

Touché, Mr. Blanda.

That does make sense. However, it’s very difficult to believe any future GM or coach will sit through a career of interceptions like Favre’s unless they can produce the wins, touchdowns, and yardage Favre did.

They better have some personality, too.

With teams like the Buffalo Bills, Oakland Raiders, and Cleveland Browns getting down on young quarterbacks or constantly thinking about “starting over” at the position, it just isn’t realistic to think a young quarterback could start his career off with enough interception juice and actually last long enough as a starter to even sniff this record.

Just ask Mark Sanchez. Ten picks in, and the city of New York is already calling for his head.

Perhaps, while Favre’s interceptions have him viewed as careless, reckless, and overrated by many, that stat is the most telling number of all of his accomplishments.

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What Is It Going to Take To Beat Favre’s Records?

Brett Favre has all the big quarterback records in the NFL. If he were to quit today, which isn’t going to happen, what would it take for the other quarterbacks to surpass these milestones?  Which quarterbacks have the best chance of bumping Favre down to No. 2 in the record books? Let’s explore the possibilities.

The Records:

As of October 20, 2009, the 40 year old Brett Favre has the following records:

Passing Attempts 9,458

Passing Completions 5,844

Yards Thrown 66,474

Touchdowns 476

Interceptions 312

Winning Games 175

Consecutive Starts 275

The Competition

Here is what the competition would have to average every year until the age of 38 if Brett Favre were to retire today. Of course, Favre is still playing and every week passes with ground gained and/or lost during the course of the season.

I picked five popular QB’s around the league and left out the ones (Kerry Collins, Donovan McNabb) who appear unlikely to have much gas left in the tank to make a run for the big records. Numbers are rounded.  

Quarterback Seasons Until Age 38 Attempts Completions Yards TD INT Wins
Peyton Manning 5 663 374 3,840 26 29 11
Tom Brady 6 927 565 6,384 45 37 14
Drew Brees 8 706 567 4,852 38 26 14
Eli Manning 10 701 447 5,046 37 24 13
Aaron Rodgers 13 669 412 4,665 34 23 13

 

Why did I make this list?

I compiled this list to educate anyone making claims about X or Y quarterback potentially taking Favre’s all-time records away. Some claims are legitimate while others are far reaching. It doesn’t mean all of these quarterbacks have obtained amazing feats on their own as Tom Brady has championship rings and Super Bowl MVP awards for most to be jealous of.

Other QB’s on the list are early in their career and have a long way to go, and people (I’m looking at you, GB PACKERS FANS) need to be informed how difficult it will be to obtain Favre-like numbers.

Who can knock out Favre?

One man: Peyton Manning. These numbers assume all players retire at age 38. Peyton Manning probably has the ability to play for longer if he stays healthy. At his current pace, Manning will likely be passing up Favre’s records 4-5 years after the man finally takes a final knee.

With 275 consecutive games under his belt, that record will be the most difficult to obtain.  When Favre retires, Manning will have to play five seasons and an additional 14 games to steal that one away.  This means Manning must play injury-free until he’s 39!

Unfortunately for Favre, it looks like the person who may beat his interception record may not even be born yet.

Statistically, Favre and Manning will be No. 1 and No. 2 on lists for many years to come. Be glad that you are witnessing these living legends take the field.

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NFL HOF Injustice: Joey Browner Is Not in Canton

Former Minnesota Viking Great Joey Browner is once again on the ballot for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, OH.

Joey Browner, Minnesota Vikings 1982-1991, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992. Five time Hall of Fame Nominee, six time Pro Bowl Player. Starter on ALL TIME 1980’s defensive team NFL. One of the hardest hitting defenders to EVER play the game. 

Just ask any of his peers about whether Browner should be inducted and they will ALL tell you it is LONG overdue!

The fact that he has not been enshrined yet is a terrible injustice to football and to Joey Browner’s football career.

Log on to www.profootballhof.com, www.fanchoice.com, or www.lvsportsandentertainment.com.

Click on the button that says vote now. Search by team, click on Minnesota Vikings, click on “BROWNER”.

You can let your voice be heard and tell the voters that Joey Browner should be FINALLY voted in to the Hall of Fame.

You can compare his stats to those on the ballot as well as those who have already been voted in.

Joey Browner, Minnesota Vikings 1982-1991, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1992. Five time Hall of Fame Nominee, six time Pro Bowl Player. Starter on All time 1980’s defensive team NFL.

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Tuesday Morning Runnng Back Week Four: Brett Favre Sparkles in MNF Spotlight

It was an image we’d thought we thought we’d never see in our lifetimes.

The man that is considered by many from Kenosa to Green Bay as the man who returned football to prominence in Cheeseland, was now playing against them.

Better yet, he was under center for a hated rival.

Hence, the drama was understood, and the atmosphere electric, as Brett Favre went out went out to prove he still has it to both the world and his former team.

He did just that.

It was as if he stepped into a time machine, his passes were on target, his arm was strong, and he trusted the speed of his receivers to go get the ball.

When it was over, the Vikings had a 30-23 win, and Favre threw three touchdown passes and no interceptions, with a passer rating of 135.3 that would make Drew Brees blush.

Favre’s almost perfect night on a national stage even managed to steal some limelight away from his own teammate. Jared Allen recorded 4.5 sacks, the most ever by a defensive player on Monday Night Football.

But it was clearly No. 4’s night, as he proved you can teach an old dog new tricks.

How does he do it?

It must be the Wranglers.

Elsewhere in week four action:

  • I always love to see players who get the message when they’re benched that there is no margin for error. Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall turned his punishment into a positive as he rushed for 165 yards and two touchdown in their win over San Diego.
  • Ravens WR Mark Clayton is the clear goat of the week as he dropped a easy touchdown that allowed the Patriots to get away with a win. 
  • Mark Sanchez finally got his welcome to the NFL moment as he was sacked four times and the offensive turned the ball over four times in a sloppy game for the Jets.
  • It’s amazing that Drew Brees has not thrown a touchdown pass in two weeks but yet the Saints are still 4-0 for the first time since 1993.
  • Memo to Tony Romo, with the game on the line and one second left, it isn’t a good idea to throw the ball in Champ Bailey’s direction.
  • I know their secondary is depleted, but any good defensive team that allows themselves to be picked apart by an average QB like David Garrard deserves to lose. It’s a shame the Titans can’t find any answers.
  • Maybe Chad Henne will be the Matt Cassell of 2009, but then again he was sacked six times and helped out by his running game.
  • The Bills have now lost eight consecutive games in their division, and have also been outscored 65-17. It’s time to bring out the paper bags Bills fans.
  • It was nice to see that the Redskins rebounded for a victory after a putrid start in which they allowed two sacks and lost a fumble.
  • The slow exhaling you hear is that of every Giants fan after they learned Eli Manning was only going to be out day-to-day.
  • So much for the Lions carrying any momentum into week four as they allowed 48 points to the Bears.
  • If you have a 4th-and-11 in overtime with a minute and four seconds left at your opponents’ 41, why wouldn’t you go for it? Thankfully, Marvin Lewis came to his senses and it all worked out for the better.
  • The Texans only gave up 165 yards of total offense on Sunday, the lowest total in their history. But then again, it was the Raiders,.
  • You saw a vintage Peyton Manning on Sunday as he led the Colts to touchdowns on their first five drives, and tied Fran Tarkenton for third on the all time TD passing list in a win over the Seahawks.
  • Mike Singletary’s positive approach and motivational pep talks have certainly inspired the 49er’s, as they now occupy first place in the NFC West.
  • I’ll leave you with this parting thought, The Saints and Broncos are both 4-0 and the Bengals and 49er’s are both 3-1. Are we living in a bizarre world or what?

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Kenechi Udeze: A Warrior in Every Sense of the Word

To anyone who has ever played on a football field, they consider it equivalent to a battle zone. Once you reach the pros, the sport becomes more like war.

To one man, a war is nothing compared to what he has had to face during the past year and a half. I’m talking about Kenechi Udeze, a former defensive end of the Minnesota Vikings.

For those of you not familiar with Udeze, he was a 6’3″, 281-pound monster during his playing days. Currently, he is just 26 years old.

When he played, he was a member of one of the NFL’s premier run defenses, and was a top performer on the defensive unit. Why is he no longer playing?

On February 11, 2008, Udeze was diagnosed with leukemia, a form of cancer which causes white blood cells to grow at rapid rates inside of bone marrow.

These new cells are harmful by themselves, but also damage and kill the original, healthy cells.

Kenechi’s specific type of the disease is acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

This caused him to miss the entire 2008 NFL season, but he vowed to be back, saying, “You know what? I’ll be back next year.” For a while, it looked like he would be.

When Udeze completed his rigorous chemotherapy treatment, he trained and practiced with the team, giving all that he had to continue his career.

It turns out that the side effects of both the cancer and the chemo were preventing him from performing at his highest level, which forced him to retire.

He still made a remarkable recovery, and his cancer is currently dormant. His progress was aided by his brother, Thomas Barnes, who served as the donor in Udeze’s bone marrow transplant.

Kenechi Udeze was born on March 5, 1983 in Los Angeles, CA. He would live there all his life, and attended Vernum Dei High School which is located in L.A.

He was a force on the football team, among other sports, and was named a Super Prep All-American, Super Prep All-Farwest, Prep Star All-Western, and Tom Lemming All-West as a senior in 1999, when he played the line on both sides of the ball.

Other awards and distinctions that he earned that year were Long Beach Press-Telegram Best in the West Honorable Mention, Orange County Register Fab 15 Honorable Mention, Tacoma News Tribune Western 100, Las Vegas Sun Super 11 Honorable Mention, Cal-Hi Sports All-State Small Schools First Team, All-CIF Division XI First Team, Los Angeles Times All-Central City First Team, and All-Camino Real League Defensive MVP.

Obviously, Udeze was heavily recruited coming out of high school. Ultimately, he chose to stay nearby to home, accepting the offer from Southern California.

In his first year at USC, Kenechi was redshirted.

In 2001, as a freshman, he was named a starter right off the bat, earning spots on the Sporting News Freshman All-Pac-10 and All-American Teams.

Udeze was an instrumental part of a dominant Trojans’ defense in 2002, having an excellent season en route to an appearance on the Second Team All-Pac-10 lineup.

In 2003, he was a member and leader of USC’s split-national championship team, when they were named the AP National Champions after a decisive victory over Michigan in the Rose Bowl. The LSU Tigers were crowned the BCS Champs after a win over Oklahoma.

That year, BKU (an acronym for his nickname, “Big Kenechi Udeze”) was selected as First Team All-Pac-10, and even a Consensus All-American.

He was also a Ted Hendricks Award finalist, which is a prize given to the nation’s top defensive end each year.

His junior year in college would be his last. He finished his collegiate career with 135 tackles, 28 sacks (which remain a school best), 5 passes defensed, 1 interception, 14 forced fumbles, and 3 recoveries to go with it. He also blocked 2 kicks.

While at USC, head coach Pete Carroll and defensive coordinator Nick Holt would impact him greatly. Steve Sarkisian, who at the time was the team’s quarterbacks coach and later offensive coordinator, would one day become an important person in Kenechi’s life.

Udeze would go on to enter the 2004 NFL Draft, and was selected in the first round, 20th overall, by the Minnesota Vikings.

Kenechi wasted no time making a name for himself. In his rookie year of 2004, he had 36 tackles, 5 sacks, a pass defensed, one fumble forced and another recovered.

In 2005, Udeze was only able to play in the first three games due to damage to the cartilage in his knee that caused him to be placed on injured reserve. He had five tackles and a sack in the three games he played.

2006 was a better year for Udeze though, as he was able to play in all 16 games and start 15 of them. He had 29 tackles and a fumble recovery on the year.

In 2007, Kenechi’s fourth and final year, he had what was probably his best season.

He posted 47 tackles, 5 sacks, 1 pass broken up, a fumble forced, and another recovered.

Udeze finished his career with 117 tackles, 11 sacks, 2 passes defensed, a pair of forced fumbles, and 3 fumble recoveries.

After missing all of 2008 and training and practicing in the spring and summer of ’09, Udeze finally called it quits.

On July 29, 2009, the day that the Vikings announced his retirement, head coach Brad Childress revealed that his chemotherapy and the effects of the leukemia caused pain and weakness in his feet, causing him to lose balance, which is key in football.

Although Kenechi may one day overcome this problem, chances of his returning to the football are slim to none.

Coach Childress was quoted saying, “He hates to let it go. And I hate for him to let it go, but it’s really best for him.”

For the Vikes, No. 95 was one of their finest players, as he contributed to one of the most successful defenses in the league while he played.

While it is certain that Udeze was very good as a pro and made his mark on the league, I think that he had the potential to be a Pro Bowl type player and one of the best at his position, making it just that much more unfortunate that his career had to be cut short.

Although Kenechi can no longer help his team by sacking the opposing quarterbacks and tackling the other teams star running back for a big loss, he has still found a way to assist other players in doing this. As of this season, Udeze has been named the University of Washington’s assistant strength and conditioning coach for all football players.

Huskies’ head coach Steve Sarkisian, who I mentioned earlier, was the one who offered him the job. Udeze will now be able to prepare the Washington players for the difficulties and training that await them in the NFL.

Udeze has also promoted a “Marrowthon,” in which soccer teams located in the twin cities were given the opportunity to run in a race to raise money for the National Marrow Donor Program Organization.

His story, although unfortunate, is one of inspiration and hope. He told Brad Childress that he treated his illness as a mere “common cold” and that it would not get in the way of his goals.

While this did end up being his downfall in the end, Udeze never gave up fighting and never lost hope. He tried to make it back to the NFL, but was unsuccessful. And yet, what he has managed to accomplish is so much more than anything he could have done in with football.

The courage, strength, and valiance that Kenechi Udeze has exhibited since being diagnosed with leukemia is absolutely incredible and should never be forgotten. In my opinion, he is a warrior, in every sense of the word.

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Jared Allen, Riding On Favre’s Coattails [Satire]

Repudiating an Tarkenton-esque existence of shameful embarrassment, Jared Allen today renounced his former bad attitude and finally acknowledged the fact that the Minnesota Vikings are, in fact, for real.

“I’m the angriest DE in the League. But I was, totally like, ‘Favre has got to show himself.’ Now I know, I have some catching-up to do,” Allen said, after nearly breaking down in tears, following a berating by Twin Cities reporters, all of whom questioned the venerable psycho’s almost complete lack of accumulated statistics, three weeks into the 2009 National Football League season.

“It’s almost…the dude got a lucky sack,” reported an unnamed third-year linebacker. “It’s like Randy Moss, all over again. What a tool,” Ben Leber did not say. Out loud.

Minnesota Vikings’ fans have cause to wonder.

Jared Allen was brought to Minnesota after Brad Childress made the now controversial decision that neither Dennis Green, the most loved coach in the history of the franchise, nor Michael Tice, perhaps the finest head coach in the NFL to get fired for not knowing anything about his job, knew anything about running a defense.

Thus, the Jared Allen Era had begun. And now that Brett Favre is in the fold? It would seem that this one-time, obvious, future Hall-of-Famer has decided that, with so many offensive weapons at Minnesota’s disposal, Captain Sack-Happy can chill and let the Bob Schnelker Effect take control.

“Third and 15? Draw play up the middle, right?” Said Allen, shortly after having several drinks with former Vikings’ receiver, Chris Carter, well known for not being a clown.

So, a guy gets tripple-teamed and that’s his excuse? No way, Mr. Allen. You have clearly copped-out. That’s what this reporter has to say. Where’s Duane Clemons when you need him?

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Comeback Kid: Brett Favre’s Ten Best Moments

Brett Favre is back, for good or ill.

Once again, Favre’s late game heroics have propelled him to the forefront of the NFL – maybe not as a fantasy option, maybe not as a statistics darling – but as the gutsy, gritty game-winner we’ve known him as for the past 17 years (and counting).

On the heels of another fourth quarter comeback, let’s take a look at ten of the best moments in Brett Favre’s career.

Begin Slideshow

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A Look at Minnesota’s Football Ownership and Its Dedication To Success

The NFL’s 14th franchise, the Minnesota Vikings first had its roots in the AFL. The three businessmen’s attempts (Boyer, Winter and Skoglund) at bringing back professional football to the area since the Minneapolis Red Jackets were in town started with the trio being awarded a team in the upstart American Football League.

They forfeited that award 5 months later to take membership in the NFL. In turn they gave Ole Haugsrud a 10% share of the franchise to fulfill a promise the NFL made when he sold the Duluth Eskimoes back to the league in the 1920’s.

It was this ownership foundation that built the formidable defense “The Purple People Eaters”, which included Allen Page, Jim Marshall, and Carl Eller. The Viking’s front office rode this defensive line into the late 1970’s and appeared in 4 Superbowls.

The 1980’s saw Max Winter step down as team president, and pass the torch to Wheelock Whitney. The Board of Directors expanded to include Jaye Dyer (a close, personal friend of mine), Irwin Jacobs, Carl Pohlad, John Skoglund, Jack Steele, Mike Lynn, Sheldon Kaplan, and in 1989 Gerald Schwalbach replaced Max Winter.

It were these 9 board members that made the fateful decision to trade for Herschel Walker. Quite possibly the worst trade in professional sports in retrospect, it must be mentioned because it was a faithful attempt at the time. The Vikings were seen as being one great player away from contending for another Super Bowl berth, and they  handed over the future of the organization’s next 3 years of draft picks.

In 1991, the Board would see another shake up and expand its membership to 10. Roger Headrick became team president, and Dennis Green from Stanford was hired as head coach.

It was said that Denny Green spent all his money on offense, and wasted the rest on defense in his 10 seasons with Minnesota.

With pressure from the NFL to have a majority owner, the Board of Directors sold their shares to San Antonio’s used car dealer Red McCombs.

McCombs is viewed in Minnesota as stripping the coaching staff to the bare minimum, and scrimping on his franchise to save money, even refusing to maintain the Viking’s ship outside Winter Park.

In his early tenure however, Red paid Randy Moss the highest contract offered to a wide receiver, and made Daunte Culpepper the richest QB in the game at that time. 1998 was the most dynamic Vikings offense to take the field in franchise history with Cunningham, rookie Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Robert Smith and Jake Reed. That offense was responsible for scoring a then record 556 points in the regular season.

After several unsuccesful attempts at having a stadium built for him by the Minnesota voters, it was then that Red started stripping the team of its coaching staff and failing to maintain franchise structures.

While Dennis Green was busy paying for an abortion and writing a book about a hostile take over, Red would show up at training camp wearing a purple ten gallon hat and proclaim “Purple Pride”.

This was all while the fan base was being held hostage with repeated threats of moving the team to its owner’s home town, San Antonio.

The fanbase and perhaps the team’s players had grown tired of Dennis Green, and his contract was bought out. In almost a slap in the fan’s faces, Red appointed the team’s tight ends coach Mike Tice as the next headcoach. Mike was given the lowest head coaching salary in the league. Red would keep the Vikings perennially $30 million under the salary cap in his waning ownership years.

Thankfully for Minnesota and followers of the franchise, Red mercifully sold the Vikings to a group headed by Zygmunt Wilf. It was immediately clear to all, Zygi and his brother Mark would make any financial investment for the team to be competitive on the field. Mark and Zygi fired Mike Tice immediately after the 2005 season and expanded the coaching staff to a modern day professional level.

Many hurdles needed to be overcome, mainly stemming from the previous regime’s draft day and trade blunders. Before Zygi could take control, Red stuck it to the state one last time by trading Randy Moss to Oakland for three used jock straps.

The team downgraded those jocks in the 2005 draft into the form of Troy Williamson, Erasmus James, Dustin Fox, and Marcus Johnson.

Staying true to his word, Mr. Wilf unleashed his pocketbook on the NFL’s free agent market, hiding the team’s inability to draft competently prior to his formation of the “Triangle of Authority”. The TOA included Brad Childress, Rick Spielman, and Fran Foley (who would later be unceremoniously replaced by Rob Brzezinski).

One of these free agents backfired on the team when Fred Smoot funded the “Love Boat” scandal. Overall however, the Vikings aggressive free agent signings have always focused on high profile players coming into their first year unrestricted free agent eligibility. The Vikings have rivaled the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles in off-season spending since 2005.

Below is a list of current players on the Viking’s roster that were acquired via free agency. Oh and by the way, They’ve also done much better in the drafting department. Since hiring Childress and Spielman, draft picks include starters Chad Greenway, Cedric Griffin, Adrian Peterson, Sidney Rice, Tyrell Johnson, John Sullivan, Percy Harvin and Phil Loadholt.

Husain Abdullah 2008 Rookie FA
Jared Allen 2008 trade from K.C., 6 years $73 mil
Bernard Berrian 2008 FA from Bears 6 years $43 mil
Heath Farwell, 2005 Rookie FA, contract ext 2009 3 year $7.5 mil
Brett Favre, 2 year $24 mil
Eric Frampton signed off waivers from Detroit 2006
Erin Henderson rookie FA 2008
Anthony Herrera 2004 Rookie FA, contract extension 2007 5 years $13.75 mil
Artis Hicks traded from Philadelphia 2006
Steve Hutchinson signed the “poison pill” contract where the Vikings stole away the unquestioned NFL’s best OLG for a then record 7 year $43 million
Jimmy Kennedy resigned 2009
Chris Kluwe claimed off waivers from Seattle, signed to a 7 year $8.3 extension in 2007
Ben Leber signed a 5 year $20 million contract
Greg Lweis UFA (Patriots) 1 year contract undisclosed
Kory Lichtensteiger claimed off waivers 2009
Cullen Loeffler Rookie FA 2004
Ryan Longwell 5 years $10 mil from Green Bay
Jayme Mitchell Rookie FA 2006
Kenny Onatolu signed FA from CFL 2008
Karl Paymah 1 year $1.15, 2009 from the Broncos
Darius Reynaud Rookie FA 2008
Sage Rosenfels 3 year $9 mil 2009
Bennie Sapp FA from Chiefs 2007
Visanthe Shiancoe 5 year $18.7 million in 2007 UFA from Giants
Naufahu Tahi claimed off waviers from Bengals 2006
Chester Taylor 4 year $14 million 2006 from Baltimore
Madieu Williams 6 year $33 million 2008 from Bengals
Pat Williams signed from Buffalo in 2005 for $13 million and has since re-signed at a bargain rate $22 million through 2010
Antoine Winfield 5 year $36 mil in 2009, extending his original 6 year $34.6 mil where they sniped him from the Jets just before he signed his contract with him
Albert Young Rookie FA 2008

Zygmunt and Mark Wilf should be given their stadium in Minnesota based on their financial commitment to get a championship. There has been no other owner(s) in franchise history that has given so much to the state, in so little time.

The Wilf’s indeed should be the true heroes in Minnesota. When and if the Lombardi trophy gets hoisted in the air by Adrian Peterson, he should pass it to his employers and let them take share in the honors, because no one has made a bigger difference to the state of Minnesota and its love affair with professional football.

Read more Minnesota Vikings news on BleacherReport.com

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Brett Favre on Brett Favre: The Minnesota Viking in His Own Words

Everyone is throwing in their two cents about this whole Brett Favre saga. Whether you love him, hate him, or don’t care, everyone has their own opinion, view, and bias about his soap opera-like drama.

I am cutting out the fan bias and just telling the story in chronological order with Favre quotes, or quotes and summaries from those involved in the last three years of media madness.

In simplest terms, here it goes:

 

Jan. 1, 2007

Favre talking after what many believe is his final game against the Chicago Bears:

“If this is my last game, I want to remember it,” Favre said, his voice cracking and tears streaming from his eyes. “It’s tough, I love these guys. I love this game. What a great way to go out against a great football team. I couldn’t ask for a better way to get out.”

 

Feb. 3, 2007

Ted Thompson announces Favre will return for his 17th NFL season. “I’m excited about coming back,” Favre said. “We have a good nucleus of young players. We were 8-8 last year, and that’s encouraging.”

 

March 4, 2008

Jay Glazer of Fox News breaks story Favre will retire.

 

March 6, 2008

“I don’t think I’ve got anything else left to give. I know I can play, but I don’t think I want to.”

 

Late March, 2008

Reports from the Packers indicate Favre was ready to announce he would come back to play but backs out two days later. Favre disputes the Packers account.

 

April 4, 2008

A report in the Los Angeles Times, citing anonymous sources, reports a Favre representative has inquired about other teams’ interest in trading for him. Favre’s agent Bus Cook says his client is, “retired, period, point blank.”

 

April 24, 2008

Favre tells David Letterman that as training camp approaches, “something’s bound to happen.”

 

June 20-July 2, 2008

Various reports speculate Favre has contacted the Packers about un-retiring and reporting to camp on July 28, but Favre is supposedly rebuffed by Mike McCarthy and the Packers.

 

July 2, 2008

Favre responds to his hometown newspaper, The Sun Herald, about recent reports in an ESPN story that he is coming back, saying, “it’s all rumor.” The paper reported Favre sent them a text message saying there’s “no reason” for a media frenzy.

 

July 11, 2008

The Packers receive a letter from Favre and Cook asking for Favre’s release.

 

July 12, 2008

In an interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren, Favre says, “One of the things that people, from what I understand, are saying is that Brett retired because of the Packers or Ted Thompson didn’t ask, ask me back. That’s totally untrue. They wanted an answer before free agency and the draft.

“Can’t envision being with anyone else, or haven’t envisioned being with anyone else.”

 

July 16, 2008

The Packers file tampering charges against the Vikings for alleged inappropriate contact with Favre.

 

July 27, 2008

Favre does not show up to Packers training camps, as he once stated he would.

 

Aug. 1, 2008

ESPN’s Ed Werder reports Favre is leaning toward taking a $20 million “buyout” offered by the Packers.

 

Aug. 3, 2008

Favre is reinstated into the NFL by Roger Goodell and arrives in Green Bay.

 

Aug. 6, 2008

Favre is traded to the New York Jets.

 

Jan 3, 2009

Peter King reports Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum asked Favre, “to give his decision [to return next season] sometime.” Favre responded, “I’ll take some time, but it may be time to look in a different direction.”

 

Feb 11, 2009

Favre retires from Jets. Cites his shoulder injury as the primary reason, but he didn’t want to have surgery on it. Favre says, “I’m 39. I had a couple of options. One, to get…(surgery) and go ahead and relieve the rest of the tendon that was attached…At 39, it was something I was not willing to risk.”

On choosing to retire so quickly after the season, Favre said, “As I thought about it once again, I felt like for my sake and my family and for the Jets organization, the sooner the better, especially based on what’s happened in the past…In fairness to Rex Ryan, this is the direction we’re going to go in. That’s why I tried to expedite is as quickly as possible.

“Its time for them to move on. Even though they didn’t ask for an answer, in fairness to them, I wanted to let them pursue what they wanted to do.”

 

May 5, 2009

Trent Dilfer of ESPN sends a text message for Favre asking if there was any chance he would consider playing in 2009. Favre responded in a return text with the word, “NO.”

 

June 8, 2009

ESPN reports Favre underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair his injured passing shoulder in an attempt to play in the 2009 season.

 

June 16, 2009

On Joe Buck Live, Favre says, “It makes perfect sense as far as coming back because it’s an offense I ran for 16 years. I can teach the offense.

“If (the arm) is not up to par when the time comes, I can’t play,” he said. “I went through it last year. I gutted it out, but it affected me and it affected our team. I won’t go through that again.”

Favre also compares his situation with former Packer coach Vince Lombardi going to the Washington Redskins.

 

June-July 2009

Speculation rises that Favre will return to play for the Minnesota Vikings.

 

July 28, 2009

Favre tells Vikings he will remain retired: “I didn’t feel like physically I could play at a level that was acceptable.”

 

Aug 18, 2009

Favre agrees to a two-year contract with the Minnesota Vikings, and informs them he also has a partially torn rotator cuff.

“I felt like if they were willing to take that chance, I was too.”

“I don’t have to prove anything to anybody because what I’ve done—it’s down in the books…I’m in it for the right reasons, and if people can’t understand that, I’m sorry.”

 

There it is. As simple as I could make it without turning it into a novel. Take what you will from it.

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