Thursday, August 07, 2008


Wow. I mean, wow. Brett Favre a New York Jet. Needless to say, this city is electric this morning.

It's like this. As many of you know, I'm a Philadelphia fan through and through. In all the sports. Yep, that's right. Phillies. Eagles. Sixers and Flyers. The whole shebang of local franchises where I grew up and where my family still is today. So let's just say that I know what it's like to be a fan of loser teams and the butt of every joke a city across. As my few fellow haters bloggers from Philadelphia are all too keenly aware, it means a special something to be a real hardened Philly fan. You grow up with a certain feeling -- call it pessimism, call it inevitability, fate, whatever -- but you basically know how mostly every season is going to end before it even begins. And it really affects you, inside and outside the world of sports, in ways that only a true fan of Philadelphia could ever understand.

The New York Jets are one of the very closest things to these Philadelphia teams, another team that hasn't won a superbowl in basically two generations. A team that always seems to find a way to lose, to trade the better players for the worse, and the one who always seems to come out on the losing end of every transaction and just every occurrence in which they are involved as a franchise. Get the first pick in the draft? The guy blows his knee out in training camp. Picked to finish first in the division for the first time in over 20 years? Quarterback shreds his Achilles tendon early in Game 2 and the team ends up 4-12. Trade for the coach who just won one of the toughest divisions in football? Guy ends up being the literal worst coach in any sport in the history of time and is gone after two abysmal seasons. It's just like that when you're a fan of the Jets, and again it's eerily similar for me to what my own sports fandom has been in my nearly 30 years of being an avid fan of all the Philly teams.

So Brett Favre struts into town with the truly shocking news in this area that he has been traded for what, a 4th round draft pick. And you know what? I have absolutely no doubt that Favre is going to make some real waves here in this city. I mean, many people just aren't cut out to play and live in New York City. For some it's too busy, for some it's too loud, for some it's too big, and for many it's just too much of a microscope, and they end up cracking under the pressure, performing poorly and/or just flipping out. I remember Randy Johnson in his first week as a New York Yankee literally punching out a camera man who was asking too many questions up in Johnson's face. Guys like that, and there are many of them, just aren't cut out for the big city like this. Scores of other players just find out they could never handle the media scrutiny, the constant criticism, the millions of fans writing, talking, calling into sports radio, etc. all picking apart every little thing their star athletes say or do. It's a rough life, and it takes a special kind of player with a special kind of focus, including an uncanny ability to tune out all the noise that comes along with being in New York, to really survive here and to thrive here.

But Brett Favre is just such a guy. Even though he's from the back woods of Mississippi and has spent basically his entire life there and then in the local-community environment of Green Bay, the guy still has that certain je ne sais quoi about him. More than anything else, it's a presence. Favre is going to step foot off the plan at LaGuardia in a day or two, and I'm telling you, he is instantly going to be the king. If there is any quarterback in the NFL that is just plain cool, it's Favre.

And don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say this is the greatest thing to happen to the NFL since Joe Namath's improbable victory in I think the third superbowl ever back in the late 60's. Personally, I think one of the big losers in this ends up being Brett Favre. Sure, he gets to keep playing football, and obviously with the shit qb's the Jets have going on right now, he will be the obvious started right from the get-go for his new team. And yes, he gets to continue his already-record streak of consecutive starts at quarterback in the NFL. But there are two big downsides to this move. The less significant downside in my mind is that Brett is now playing for the hapless Jets, and I don't think he is even close to good enough to overcome the loser mentality that afflicts that franchise as bad as any of the Philadelphia teams. So Brett is in my mind jumping out of his current situation and into another where he is highly unlikely to have any huge success, and I don't think even the Favre-enabled Jets are anywhere near good enough to make the superbowl, or even possibly to make the playoffs in what is sure to be another stacked AFC.

But the worst part of this whole thing is that I always cringe a little whenever one of these franchise guys who spends more or less his entire career playing for one team in one city and building a bond with the fans and really the entire community, suddenly up and leaves for a new team, new city, etc. I mean, did it feel good to you watching Joe Montana end his career as a Kansas City Chief? Now Favre is in some ways throwing away everything he built up over the previous 16 seasons in Green Bay. There is just something magical to me about these all-time greats at their sport, starting and ending their careers with the same team and going down in history as an icon for the city in which they always played. The Robin Yount / George Brett type of athletes. Now Favre has removed himself from this venerable group, and personally I never find that history reflects quite so well on such players once they leave the friendly confines of the city, the field and the fans where they became famous. I suppose only time will tell if Favre lives to regret the decision to venture away from his home away from home in Green Bay and to the media center that is New York, where the fans are crazed but the team has basically been a comedy of errors and a comedy of failures over the past many, many years.

What's that? Oh this is supposed to be a poker blog? Well eff poker. I am tilted beyond tilt these days. It's so bad that on Wednesday night I went and unregistered from a couple of FTOPS tournaments I had previously been all set to play later this week and weekend, and I'm not sure when the next time will be that I'll be up to putting up hundreds of dollars of my very hard-earned cash on the line when I can't beat players who bet at me on 6th street with three of a kind or two high pairs showing in razz (both true stories!) and I haven't flopped a set in probably four months. Eff poker, did I mention that already?

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Blogger PokahDave said...

The Jets are Ghey...and now so is Favre.

3:17 AM  
Blogger Chad C said...

Brett Favre is perhaps the most overrated QB in the NFL right now. He is an old man who for two seasons prior to last year threw more INTs than TDs. The guy also holds the career INT record in NFL history! Last year his numbers were OK only because GB found a running game and OL. Look at his average per completion lifetime! You take screen passes out of the equation his numbers are pathetic. Everyone calls him the SB winning QB, last time I checked GB won the SB because Desmond Freaking Howard returned two kicks for TDs in the same SB. I am surprised people don't find a way to say Favre is responsible for his kick returns somehow....

He is only so popular because he is a redneck, and he is white, yeah I said it...... The majority of NFL fans are white red necks, so naturally they love them some Brett Favre.

I hope he blows his knee out Week 1, or throws 6 INTs in a game like he did vs STL in a playoff game, also an NFL record.

2:48 PM  

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