I've been actively following football for twenty-five years. I like to think I've seen quite a bit from the game in that time. But, to be honest with you, I don't think I've seen a season get ramped up with this much goofiness since the players were walking in off the street in 1987.
First, it's Michael Vick the Eagle. Supposedly, it's all Donovan McNabb's idea, giving the offense another weapon to play with. Fair enough. If Vick's half the player he was when he went inside, he's dangerous. And not just to your pitbulls.
Then, we have McNabb being his usual candid self and saying it'd be great to have a target like Plaxico "O,MFL!" Burress. On one hand, it seems like the usually character-driven Eagles are in danger of being turned into Raiders East, the new halfway house of the NFL. On the other hand, it seems like McNabb's more interested in lobbying for sainthood than polishing his resume for the Hall of Fame. St. Donovan, the patron saint of NFL lost causes. If anyone asks Donovan about Pacman Jones, Philly fans need to run for the hills.
Speaking of the Raiders, they can always be counted on to be some kind of goofy, even boiling down to players fighting in camp. See Williams, Marcus and Romanowski, Bill (the fellas to the left...guess who won the fight).
Now, we have assistant coach Randy Hanson allegedly playing Glass Joe to Tom Cable's Little Mac...even though Cable bears more resemblance to King Hippo, honestly. I love Cable's answers to questions about the incident.
"Sure, I can address it. It's an internal issue that we're dealing with, and that's all I'm gonna say."
Translation: I can address it...but I'm not going to address it. Unfortunately, Tom, once someone got sent to the hospital and the police got involved, it kinda stopped being internal.
If we think we're going to get answers from anyone Raider-affiliated, keep dreaming. The Mafia and Fight Club take tips from Al Davis on ways to keep people from talking. Randy Hanson is, according to the San Jose Mercury News's Tim Kawakami, Al Davis's boy on the staff. As a key witness in Davis's legal war with Lane Kiffin, Hanson may be enjoying the equivalent of diplomatic immunity. He's not been at work since the incident on August 5th, but I'd be quite surprised if he's no longer on the payroll. Knowing Al, he may just pay Hanson to sit home and eat Bon-Bons until the Kiffin case gets settled.
Meanwhile, Cable may get whacked. Figuratively, literally, either way. Depends on Al's mood that day.
Finally, we have Brett Favre allegedly taking career advice from his ten-year-old daughter. Seriously, is his daughter Dakota Fanning? The entire "do what you have to do" speech sounds ripped straight from an Oscar consideration reel. Either your heart melted when he recounted this story, or you rolled your eyes and threw another layer of BS on top of the already sizeable pile that's come out of both Favre and Brad Childress over the last several months. And you might be able to guess that I haven't had to call the mop crew.
And yes, I said several months. Meaning more than three or four. This situation has been in the works for a lot longer than anyone will admit, and it'd shock me if there was no tacit understanding that Brett would show up as soon as he could without going to Mankato State University and bunking in a dorm for training camp.
I do have to give Brett one thing, he didn't do too terribly wrong by the Jets. The Packers had slipped a poison pill into their trade with New York that would have sent three first-rounders to Green Bay if the Jets had traded him to an NFC North team. Favre retired again, let the Jets release him, and got them off the hook for those picks. Good show there. And yes, it's rather sad that I have to applaud a guy for not actively screwing his old team.
Speaking of getting screwed, how long before Tarvaris Jackson goes on Vince Young suicide watch? He and Sage Rosenfels got lied to for months. They may have been the only guys thinking that there might be a chance that Favre would stay retired. But every Viking player needs to pay close attention here, because there but for the grace of God goes every player in that locker room. "We're moving on, we're closing the book, Sage and Tarvaris are our guys...whoops, sorry guys, gotta skip out for a little bit of practice so I can go pick up a GOOD quarterback from the airport." Good luck getting the guys to play to the whistle for all 16 games, Coach.
I'll put it down here, the Vikings go either 7-9 or 8-8, miss the playoffs, and Brad Childress gets fired. The final month of the season, Favre's chucking it 40 times per game, AP's getting 12 carries, and they wonder why the defense starts giving up more points. All that, of course, if the rotator cuff doesn't disintegrate.
If we're going to get any loonier, I think it'll have to entail someone ripping Tom Brady's arm off and letting loose nothing but a shower of sparks and dangling wires. Or Bill Belichick turns out to be one of those Hulu aliens. Or Jared Allen shows up to a game in nothing but a loincloth. Actually, considering the source, that last one just might happen.