A Very American Coup By Michael – Louis Ingram, Editor-in-Chief...
Brett, Shaq, and Albert
This year, the act has worn thin to a point where I don’t really care if he plays or not. Now I am a Redskin fan, so my bias is based on what is good for Washington.
So for me, Favre not playing only eliminates one more team from Super Bowl contention.
Yes, Favre is a Hall of Fame quarterback and Hall of Fame quarterbacks are given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to retirement. But after five years of will he retire or will he play — how many benefits does Favre gets?
At the age of 41 and recent ankle surgery, Favre has a good reason to consider his decision carefully but couldn’t he simply make an announcement before training camp begins that he is waiting on a final exam with his doctors before making a final decision?
It doesn’t help Favre that the Vikings felt obligated to offer an extra $4 million as incentives to help in his decision making process. (When an athlete feels that the needs to tell the world, “It isn’t about the money,” you know it is about the money.)
Favre has been a great quarterback but isn’t there an obligation to make his decision sooner so the Vikings will know if they are beginning a new era or if he will actually play for them this year?
Minnesota didn’t help themselves this past draft either. In the second round, they had a chance to get two solid young prospects in Colt McCoy or Jimmy Clausen.
During the draft, ESPN pundits kept telling us that to draft a quarterback would send the wrong message to Favre. Of course, the Vikings could have faith in Taravis Jackson.
But if memory serves me, Jackson was competing for a starting job against Sage Rosenfelds, a career back up quarterback before Favre arrived in Minnesota. So one has to suspect that Vikings are not yet sold on Jackson.
So if they refuse to draft a quarterback because they wanted to be sensitive to Favre’s feelings, then they have put their future in jeopardy.
THE BIG SHAMROCK
The Boston Celtics signed Shaquille O’Neal this week and every NBA pundit can’t wait to pile on what a bad decision it was. Two things that speak against conventional wisdom and the first is that Shaq was willing to sign for a minimum deal.
So he is admitting that he is a role player and added depth.
The second is that while O’Neal is not the player he was several years ago, he is still good enough to spell Garnett and Jermaine O’Neal in the early part of the season and added depth when Kendrick Perkins come back in February.
With KG, the two O’Neal’s, Glen Davis (and possibly a change of heart from Rasheed Wallace), the Celtics have a deep front court which could be helpful if they have seventh game showdown with the Lakers and or the Heat.
Many pundits remind us that Shaq did not help the Suns win a title in 2009 or the Cavaliers last year. But Phoenix wasn’t the not right team for his skills and Cleveland did not lose because of Shaq.
There were plenty of other reasons for the Cavaliers not making the finals like a smothering Celtic defense. He will not be the reason if Boston fails to make it to the finals, but he may just be the reasons that they beat the Heat and or and Lakers.
Albert Haynesworth last year was not the superstar the Redskins signed for million dollars and now he finding that Mike Shanahan is not one coach who deals with foolishment or out of shape defensive lineman.
Washington has a head coach who knows how to get to a Super Bowl, a great quarterback and a decent defense even without him. A healthy, well motivated Haynesworth gives them a shot at the playoffs.
That is the trick for Haynesworth need to understand what Shaq knows, there are times to sacrifice to win a title. Shaq did that in 2006 when he played Robin to Dwyane Wade’s Batman in helping the Heat to a title.