Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pack Prez Murphy tells it like it is

Packers President Mark Murphy spoke to Packers' shareholders about a number of things at the team's annual meeting: Brett Favre (shocking that that name would come up, I know), the team's record last season, the economy's impact on team finances, and other topics.

One of the best summaries of the remarks is in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. You can read it here.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Favre to stay retired

According to the latest reports, Ol' #4 is not going to wear the funky ViQueen purple afterall.

You can read more for yourself here.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Fans get creative with Favre the ViQueen

It's really quite interesting to see how fans vent as the day draws closer -- perhaps as early as tomorrow -- for Ol' #4 to don that funky purple. You know what I'm talkin' about. Brett finally says for certain that he's playing for the ViQueens this next season. You can almost hear him say, "Reputation and legacy be damned! I want to stick it to Ted Thompson no matter what!"

OK. Well, judging by radio call-in shows and even some national pundits and Hall of Fame QBs, Brett has already done a good deal of damage to himself. Yes, there are those who also say that if he wants to play, can play, and finds a team willing to let him play, more power to him. Always two sides.

But fans need a way to express their feelings about this, regardless of which side they come down on. And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is offering fans a way to use their creative abilities to submit images to a gallery showing Favre as a ViQueen. The range is from the rather vitriolic (look it up) to the favorable, although most tend to skew to the less-than-positive, shall we say.

But don't take my word for it. Check out the gallery here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Jolly jolly again...for now

The felony drug charge against Packers DT Johnny Jolly was dismissed today by prosecutors in Harris County, TX. As noted in a post earlier this week here at and in reports elsewhere, Jolly was driving a car in Houston last July in which a variety of not-so-good things were found, including evidence of codeine -- felony amounts, that is. Whether that was Jolly's or that of the friends he happened to be keeping that night is, apparently, one of the issues to be resolved.

And the prosecutors have let it be known that this will be resolved. Because while they have dismissed these charges, they also intend to refile them in a couple months. Huh? What? Why the dismiss/refile routine? The explanation of that maneuver is probably best left to attorneys, but one report cites Donna Hawkins, spokeswoman for the Harris County district attorney's office, as saying that the Houston Police Department recently acquired a new piece of equipment that measures the amount of codeine in a liquid. She indicated that after police technicians are trained on the device and accredited on testifying about its use and results the prosecutor's office intends to refile the second-degree felony charge against Jolly.

So, paraphrasing whoever it was...this one ain't over 'till the fat man walks.

You can read more about the Jolly case here.

Sportspyder Headline Snafus Continue
As noted here a few days ago, the Sportspyder bot that automatically updates the "Latest Headlines" in the righthand column is still occasionally pulling in some headlines for stories that appeared...well, a loooooong time ago. Somehow, it sees these as being posted by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel now. I have no clue as to what is causing it, nor is there anything I can do about it. So, as I said the other day, if you see a few odd looking headlines -- such as referring to games from 1995 and players who retired 10 years ago as if they are still playing -- and care to take a stroll down memory lane, check 'em out. Otherwise, never mind.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The view from the Driver's seat

Yes, Packer fans, it's time for the dean of the Packers' receiving corps, Donald Driver, to opine on a few topics. That would include Da Bearz, his buddy, Ol' #4, and by virtue of the latter, the ViQueens. Driver was being interviewed Tuesday on Sirius NFL Radio.

The SportsDay column by Bob Wolfley in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports bits of the interview. For example, Driver said that while Da Bearz might now have a QB in Jay Cutler, and other good pieces, they don't have a receiving corp that can go deep. That's what several pundits also said at the time of Cutler's acquisition. I recall one, in particular, who said basically that it was great that Da Bearz improved their quarterback situation, but asked who was Cutler going to throw to. Well said.

Driver also said he talks with Brett Favre on occasion but they haven't discussed how his going to the ViQueens will affect his Green Bay legacy. They mainly talk about how his arm is feeling, how the family is...that kind of thing.

Anyway, for more specifics of Driver's comments, check out the article here.

Speaking of Favre...
As you've no doubt already heard -- it was like "Breaking News!" -- Brett said yesterday that he would make a decision about wearing that funky ViQueens purple by July 30.

Do you really think he's not going to return? Let's see a show of hands...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Maybe not so Jolly

That's going to be a question both short and long-term for the Packers: will their fourth-year defensive end, Johnny Jolly, be available to them in the future? Maybe not. Maybe not so Jolly after all.

This is one of those stories you hate to report as a Packer fan. It's about a young man with a world of potential who made it from a not-so-great environment in his hometown of Houston to the NFL. That's the good part of the story. The negative side is that, as with most of us, old habits die hard...especially when you go home and hang with the ol' buds. When you're a young man with cash in your pocket and friends willing to help you spend it...things can sometimes go awry. Even if it's just a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people.

That last statement is basically what Jolly's attorneys will be arguing as Jolly goes on trial this week, charged with possession of a controlled substance (codeine...lots of it), which is a second-degree felony that carries a sentence from two to 20 years if he's convicted. (By the way, apparently Houston has had an especially nasty problem with codeine abuse since the 1990s.)

All this comes as Jolly goes into the last year of his contract with the Pack. If convicted, his contract situation will obviously take care of itself. If not, based upon apparently long-held reservations the Packers have had about him, he could be traded or released unless he gets his act together.

And that's what you really hope. You want to root for the underdog, the kid who made it good, to get his act together in all aspects of his life. It's bigger than football (did I say that?). It's life.

If you want to read more about the details of Jolly's current situation and the circumstances surrounding his arrest about a year ago, check out this article from the Milwaukee Journal- Sentinel. If you're curious to know more about the codeine abuse problem in Houston, then check here for more information.

Latest Headlines snafu
Normally, the "Latest Headlines" area in the righthand column behaves, well, normally. However, if you happen to see a few "recent" story headlines referencing Thigpen and Titletown, and click on the links, you'll see stories supposedly posted to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel yesterday, July 13. However, they are really reports of a Packers game -- albeit an important one -- from 1995! Not sure what's up with this, folks. I don't control that particular's a "bot" type thing. The only thing I can think of is that perhaps someone on the Journal-Sentinel staff was archiving or doing something with these stories which seemed -- to the all-knowing bot -- to be new because of the time of posting...regardless of the date of the original article. But if you want to take an unscheduled walk down memory lane, give it a go.

Hmmm...very weird. Anyway, didn't want you to think it was a mistake on this end. Blame it on the bot!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

What the Favre? Part 17

The Minneapolis Star Tribune is today reporting that, "Vikings trainer Eric Sugarman was in Hattiesburg, Miss., on Wednesday to check on the physical condition of quarterback Brett Favre, another indication the veteran NFL quarterback is headed for the Vikings."

The article goes on to state that, "A Vikings source who has been in contact with Favre recently reported that the surgery seven weeks ago was a complete success" and that "Unless Favre changes his mind or there is a problem agreeing on a contract, there seems little doubt Favre will be in uniform when Vikings training camp opens in Mankato on July 31."

Apparently, the contract might already be agreed to and while light on guarantees is heavy with incentives.

You can read more here.

It used to be -- OK, still is -- that if the Packers won only two games each year it should be versus Da Bearz. Minnesota got added to that list a while ago now. This year, with Ol' #4 still trying to prove a point to Ted Thompson, we have to once again emphasize the latter.

Brett wants the two games with the Pack so bad he can taste it. So bad he went under the knife to repair his arm. So bad that he's willing to do permanent damage to his reputation. So bad that he's willing to wear that funky purple. The Packers need to allow Brett to vent in those games. Because his need for vengeance will make him overreach and overplay. And we all know what happens when that happens. The Packers can darn near put those two games versus the ViQueens in the "W" column right now.

How's that taste, Brett?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

This is what Packer fans will do

If you are a Packer fan -- and I'm assuming are (or wish you were) -- you already know that you are part of the best fans in all of sports. We are a hardcore lot. Especially when it comes to getting or keeping tickets...unlike, as I mentioned in my earlier Favre post of the day, ViQueens fans who can't even sell out a playoff game for cripes sake. And, of course, who also now have to plumb the depths of discarded and twice-retired Green Bay players in an effort to boost their ticket sales.

But enough about the fickle fans in the funky purple. Back to some real fans...

On 620WTMJ radio's Sports Central with Bill Michaels tonight, he was doing a segment on the impact the economy is having on sports franchises and fans. He invited listeners to call in to say how things are affecting them. The first caller said that his family, beginning with his father, had 124 season Packers tickets. One hundred twenty-four! He told Michaels that he owned a couple rental apartment buildings and he sold one just so he could still afford to keep all those tickets. The second caller said he had 24 season tickets and owned two businesses. Said the one business needed the tickets as part of entertaining clients. The other business didn't. Said he actually closed down the second business so he could put all the resources into maintaining the full set of tickets.

As Michaels said after listening to these two callers, when he had the chance to move to Milwaukee's WTMJ from his previous gig in Cincinnati he jumped on it because he knew how hardcore the Packers fans were.


It's good to be a Packer fan!

What the Favre? Part 16

In our continuing series...yeah, I know...I'm getting sick of this too... is reporting today that the announcement about Ol' #4's signing with the ViQueens will occur sometime the week of July 6. Why then? According to the report, 'Queens head coach Brad Childress is back from his Alaska fishing trip. Okaaaaaay.

What else? Oh...the 'Queens -- get this -- begin selling single game tix later that week. Single game tickets! (Insert horse laugh here.) Have you ever heard of such a thing? Not in Packerland, kiddies. There haven't been single game ticket sales for a Packer game since the frozen tundra last thawed. So...apparently the 'Queens need a little help in that department. Heck, any team that struggled to sell out several games last season -- including the first home playoff game in eight years -- needs some sort of help, I guess. Enter Brett Favre.

But here's a tip, 'Queens fans: not even Ol' #4 can make that funky purple look good.

Check out the report here.