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Remember when Brett Favre signed with the Vikings shortly before the
season began and "experts" were claiming the Minnesota locker room was
divided? They also said the organization made a mistake signing him
and it was "sending the wrong message" to Tavaris Jackson and Sage

At the time, I said the only message that mattered was winning and
asked the following question: Who would you rather have at QB, Favre,
Jackson or Rosenfels?.

Since the Vikings were a quarterback away from the Super Bowl, the
answer was a no-brainer.

Were there some Vikings players upset that Favre came in at the last
minute? Probably. And did some of them want to see a guy like Jackson
get a chance? I'm sure there were.

Winning cures everything, however, and I'd love to hear what some of
the "experts" are saying now that Brett has led the Vikings to the NFC
Championship game.

Favre has played at an MVP level this season, which I doubt would
have happened with Jackson or Rosenfels. And he topped off his
remarkable season by throwing for four TD's in Minnesota's 34-3
drubbing of Dallas.

And if any of his teammates still question his being there, they
should be ex-teamates after the season.

This sets up a great NFC title game between the Vikings and Saints;
matching the NFL's best offense against one of the all-time great QB's
in the midst of a Cinderalla story.

New Orleans demolished Arizona on Saturday and looked unstoppable,
so this is going to be fun.

The Vikings defense was very impressive in dominating the Cowboys
and is going to have to match that in order to slow down this Saints

As for the AFC, it was another bitter, disappointing, early exit for
the Chargers, as they managed to lose at home to the Jets, 17-14.

New York's game plan was textbook in how to defeat a high-powred
offense; effectively run the ball, keep the oppoents's offense off the
field and get them out of rythym.

Of course, when your kicker misses three FG's and you commit 10
penalties, you're putting yourself in danger.

As for the AFC title game, I don't give the Jets much of a chance
against the Colts.

Sure, they can run the ball and play defense, but they are not going
to hold Indy to 14 points on their home field.

Mark Sanchez is going to have to make plays and I don't believe he's
ready to win an AFC title game on the road against a great team.

Speaking of Sanchez, how happy must he be about his decision to
leave USC and enter the draft?.

Despite Pete Carroll throwing a hissy-fit and tellnig the press Mark
was not ready, here he is in the AFC Championship game.

He's living in New York, is a multi-millionaire, is a game away from
the Super Bowl and must be enjoying life to its fullest.

By the way, how similar and eerie is the Sanchez-Joe Namath

At the same stage, both were young, talented, good looking,
personable, likeable and went into a game against the Colts with
almost nobody thinking they could win.

Broadway Joe pulled it off and became a legend and now it's Mark
s turn to make history.

Maybe he'll guarantee a win.

Now that would be something.

Tags: , ,

Although I like the coaching staff new USC coach Lane Kiffin is
putting together, I simply cannot get excited unless Norm Chow decides
to return.

Yes, Ed Orgeron and Monte Kiffin are outstanding additions and will
help Kiffin a great deal, but without Chow the program will not be

The reason? Without Norm, Kiffin will call the plays; and that's a
recipe for disaster.

While a good cheerleader and recruiter, Kiffin is a terrible play
caller and the offense will suffer greatly if he's in charge.

I've always thought he was a snake-oil salesman and vastly overrated
as an offensive mind, so a full court press needs to be applied to
Stormin' Norman, the best offensive coordinator I've seen in college

Hopefully Lane has matured and is smart enough to swallow his pride,
butt out and let Chow call the plays.

As I write this, Norm still hasn't made a decision, so I'm keeping
my fingers crossed.

Chow has reportedly been offered $1.5M to return to USC, which is a
number UCLA couldn't come close to matching; so it makes me wonder
what Norm is waiting for.

This could be the reason.

No matter what Chow or Pete Carroll say publicly, there was a big
rift between the two after the Trojans National Championship win over
Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl. And I've heard Chow didn't think much of
Lane Kiffin, either.

Reports are that after the Orange Bowl, Carroll informed Chow that
Kiffin's role was going to be increased, including calling some of the
plays, which pushed Chow out the door.

Coincidentally, USC never won another national title.

The bottom line is this: Lane Kiffin is a good hire if Norm Chow
comes on board.

But Lane Kiffin is a bad hire if Chow does not return to USC.

It's that simple.

I still can't believe Floyd Mayweather is being so stupid and pig
headed and actually going to let a $30M payday slip away.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission is the best in the world and
their drug testing procedures are more than fair; so the Pretty Boy's
demands for Olympic-style drug testing are absurd and makes him look
like he doesn't want the fight.

I keep expecting to read Floyd has come to his senses and will save
the fight, but today I read that he's going to fight Paulie Malignaggi
at the MGM Grand on March 13th; which happens to be the exect same
date Manny Pacquiao will be fighting Joshua Clottey at Cowboys

This is another example of why boxing is being overtaken by MMA,
because they would never allow something like this to happen. Instead
of staging the greatest fight in years and potentially the bigest
money-maker, Pacquiao and Mayweather are going to fight different
opponents on the same night.

Absurd and embarrassing.

Even though Manny agreed to blood testing, which the NSAC does not
do, it wasn't good enough for Floyd.

Pacquiao agreeing to a blood test after they announced the fight, 30
days before the fight and immediately after the fight was more than
fair and that should have been it.

But Mayweather wasn't satisfied and will cost himself millions of
dollars for his stupidity.

As for the two fights, here is my opinion:

Clottey is an excellent fighter and this is going to be a tough
night for Pacman. Clottey was beating Antonio Margarito a few years
ago before breaking his hand and losing a close decision.

Last year, he outworked and defeated Miguel Cotto; except in the
eyes of the judges, who somehow got it wrong.

He's bigger and stronger than Manny and this will be an excellent
and competitive fight. The crowd will be huge in Dallas, the PPV will
be strong and it will be fun to watch.

As for Mayweather-Malignaggi, this will be a stinker and an easy
fight for the Pretty Boy. It also won't sell and there are going to be
a lot of empty seats.

Paulie is too small to be a Welterweight and will get tattooed all
night long.

HBO should sign up immediately for Pacquiao-Clottey and walk away
from Mayweather-Malignaggi.

Despite his claims, Mayweather doesn't put butts in seats or sell
PPV's, unless people want to see his opponent.

Mayweather-Hatton, Mayweather-DeLaHoya and Mayweather-Marquez did
big numbers, but only because fans of Floyd's opponents filled the
seats and bought the PPV.

You'll see on March 13th how much attraction Mayweather has when
he's up against someone most people have never heard of and it's up to
Floyd to drive ticket and PPV sales.

Interesting to read that Bernard Hopkins and Roy Jones are finally
going to have their rematch, even though it's 17 years too late.

It was set a few months ago, with both of them slated for tune-up
bouts. The Executioner did his part and won easily, but Roy went down
to Australia and was knocked out in the first round by a white guy
I've never heard of.

Fortunately, the casual boxing fan has no idea Jones lost his last
fight, so this has some appeal.

It's too bad Roy lost, because he's looked good recently in stopping
Jeff Lacy and decisioning Felix Trinidad.

Back in 1993, Bernard was talented, but inexperienced young fighter.
Fresh off a five-year stretch in Graterford State Prison, he gave
Jones a hell of a fight before losing a decision.

At the time, Jones was the best fighter in the world and many
considered him an all-time great. And since nobody had ever heard of
Hopkins, the win didn't mean all that much.

But I saw something special in Bernard that night and became his
biggest fan. Although Roy was much quicker and more experienced,
Hopkins kept pressing the action, managed to back up Jones and
actually won three or four rounds; which was unheard of against a Roy
Jones opponent.

Since that fight, Jones has been knocked out three times, lost four
fights and been exposed as a guy with a weak chin.

Hopkins, on the other hand, went on to be one of the greatest
fighters in boxing history, holding the Middleweight title for 10
years and then moving up to win the Light Heavyweight title.

And in my humble opinion, he hasn't lost a fight since that night in

Officially he's lost three fights in that time, but not in my book.

He was flat out robbed in his two "losses" to Jermaine Taylor
because Taylor was the HBO house fighter.

The fight against Joe Calzaghe was closer, but I had Bernard the
115-112 winner.

Hopkins knocked down Calzaghe in the first round and schooled him
the rest of the fight. Siure, the Welshman was busier, but he never
actually hit Bernard; which escaped the eyes of the judges and HBO
announcing crew.


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