My brother asked me if, in the wake of the Favre deal, I'm suddenly going to start rooting for the Jets. You bet I will! The way the trade is structured, if the Jets make the Super Bowl and Favre gets 80 percent of the snaps, the Packers' draft pick they got in return bumps up to a first-rounder from a fourth-rounder. If Favre gets 70 percent and the Jets simply make the playoffs, the Pack gets a second-rounder, and they get a third-rounder if Favre simply takes 50 percent of the snaps for New York next season. So, it's looking like a third-rounder at a minimum for Green Bay, but hopefully New York makes the Super Bowl.....and then Favre is torn in half by a high-low sack from Aaron Kampman and KGB on the first play of the game. Favre crawls off the field as shamefully as Dougie Gilmour did in his last game as a Maple Leaf, and then Green Bay goes on to beat the Jets in the Super Bowl by a score of, oh, let's say 89-3.
I'm fine with the trade. The way I see it, the Packers were prepared to play this season without Favre anyway, so the fact that they were able to get something for an exterior factor can only be seen as a positive. A positive that came at the expense of a month-long media circus and possible untold damage to the team's psyche, but.....wait.....
Poor Aaron Rodgers. Though this whole situation has undoubtedly soured Packers fans on Favre to some extent, you just know that chants of 'We Want Brett' will start up if Rodgers has a bad game. I wonder if perhaps Ted Thompson knew Favre might try a comeback and thus drafted Brian Brohm in case Rodgers ended up as damaged goods from being in the crossfire of this Favre-Packers pissing contest. Hopefully Rodgers ends up playing well and, while he wouldn't have Favre's spectacular highs, he can avoid Favre's spectacular back-breaking interceptions and the Packers can continue with business as usual. Hell, right now, among the quarterbacks in the NFC North, who would you rather have --- Rodgers, or one of Tarvaris Jackson, Kyle Orton, Rex 'Sex Cannon' Grossman or Jon 'Ten Wins' Kitna? Exactly. I'd still consider the Packers to be the favourites in the NFC North. People are talking up the Vikings, but you know how every offseason there's one team who everyone takes as a trendy pick, and then said team falls flat on their asses in the regular season? That's my prediction for Minnesota. Plus, they're the Vikings. They'll find some way to screw this up. Watch this, AP will blow out his ACL in the first game of the year and the Vikes end up 4-12.
This is pretty cool.....a baseball ethics test from the Hardball Times. It's a nice counterpoint to Cracked's list of the biggest a-holes in baseball history. One major omission from that list --- Cap Anson. Judge Landis is highlighted for keeping the colour line in place through his commissionership, but it was Anson who led the charge to institute the ban on black players in the first place. Plus, he brought eternal shame upon the otherwise cool nickname of 'Cap.' Captain America should go back in time and kick his ass.
UFC 87 preview!
* Demian Maia over Jason Macdonald, R2, submission via armbar. This will be a real battle of submissions between two Jiu-Jitsu specialists. This might be a dark-horse for fight of the night since I personally love a fast-paced submission battle, and you can pretty much guarantee the submission of the night coming from this one. I think Maia is the next big star in the middleweight division and you'll see him face off against Anderson Silva sometime next year. Macdonald is no joke, however, and I'm secretly rooting for him because he's a fellow Canuck. The one thing I don't like about Macdonald is his nickname of 'The Athlete,' which might be the worst nickname in all of MMA. That's like being nicknamed 'The Mixed Martial Artist,' or 'The Guy In Good Shape.'
* Manny Gamburyan over Rob Emerson, R2, submission via choke. I like how they're slowly building the Manvel up through the lightweight division. His latest test is Emerson, who you may remember as losing not one, but two fights on Ultimate Fighter 5. Then he fought Gray Maynard on the finale in a fight that had one of the oddest finishes in MMA history. Maynard dominated the match and had Emerson up for a big slam. On the slam, however, Maynard spiked his head into the ground and knocked himself out. Emerson, however, tapped out almost immediately upon hitting the ground since his ribs were so badly hurt during the fight. The match was ruled a no-contest, which I found kind of bullshit since Emerson tapped before it was noticed by the ref that Maynard was out cold. Ah well, it's water under the bridge considering that Maynard is a rising star in the division and Emerson is pretty much a jobber to be smashed at Manvel's hands.
* Heath Herring over Brock Lesnar, R2, knockout. While Manny is being slowly moved along by the UFC, their infinitely bigger-ticket signing of Brock Lesnar is being thrown to the proverbial wolves. His first UFC bout (and only his third pro fight overall) was against former champ Frank Mir, who withstood a furious opening volley from Lesnar and caught Brock in a leglock for a submission. Then Lesnar was booked against Mark Coleman in what would likely have been an easy win for Brock against the Hall-of-Famer but over the hill Coleman. But, oops, Coleman got hurt, so UFC booked Lesnar against....Heath Herring, one of the top 20 heavyweights in the world. There is a very good chance that Herring puts Lesnar down, which would suddenly make Lesnar 0-2 and looking like something of a bust. I'd predict Lesnar gets Coleman in the fall regardless of the outcome of this bout, in either a 'keep the momentum going' fight or a 'geez, we have to give Brock a win over SOMEONE' fight. Anyway, the question is whether or not Herring can withstand Lesnar's apparently strong g'n'p fury, and Herring doesn't have the submission skills that Mir does. Yet Herring is a tough guy, so I can see him lasting long enough to eventually hand Lesnar his first knockout loss since his WWE days. And even then, I think Eddie Guerrero might have knocked him out with the title belt. Cheat 2 win!
* Kenny Florian over Roger Huerta, decision. Florian is the Minnesota Twins of the UFC --- he isn't really an expert in any kind of fighting discipline and you don't know how he keeps winning, but he just does it. Since this PPV is in Minneapolis, perhaps it's fitting that Florian gets the win here. Huerta will give a great effort but ultimately come up short. If Huerta won, however, it would lead to an interesting scenario since it would make him the de facto #1 lightweight contender, and with one fight left on his contract and given Huerta's recent comments bashing UFC's pay and contract structure, one would wonder if we could see a redux of the Arlovski situation. As in, if Huerta wins, we'll next see him on the undercard of a PPV in, say, July 2009 against Glass Joe. Wait, not Glass Joe....maybe Soda Popinski. His alcohol-centric taunts might get under Huerta's skin.
* Georges St. Pierre over Jon Fitch, R2, TKO. Like I was going to pick against GSP. Fitch is good, but I really don't see what he brings to the table that GSP hasn't already beaten in the past. The rumour mill is buzzing about a possible St. Pierre /BJ Penn fight in December, which would make sense. Penn nearly beat St. Pierre in their first encounter two years ago and there isn't any other contender on the immediate horizon in the WW division. Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez are scheduled to fight in October, and the winner of that will likely get the next shot at the GSP/Penn victor. The real losers in this situation are the lightweights, who once again find themselves chasing an absentee champion. Maybe the Florian/Huerta winner should insult Penn's mother after their fight in order to anger BJ into actually giving a crap about his title's division.
Jon Jones over Andre Gusmao
Ryan Thomas over Ben Saunders
Chris Wilson over Steve Bruno
Cheick Kongo over Dan Evensen
Luke Cummo over Tamdan McCrory