Sadly, this blog kicks off with the passing of a football legend.
Al Davis, the controversial and combative owner of the Oakland Raiders died yesterday at age 82.
Davis, whose feuds with the National Football League reshaped professional football over the last half century and helped spur its rise to pre-eminence in the landscape of American sports, died at his home in Oakland.
Without Davis, there would be no franchise owners like George Steinbrenner, Jerry Jones or Mark Cuban.
Al Davis, outspoken and brash, was a central figure in the merger of the upstart American Football League with the established N.F.L., and paved the way for the extravaganza known as the Super Bowl.
The Raiders’ colors, silver and black, were chosen by Mr. Davis to intimidate. So was their insignia, a shield emblazoned with the image of a pirate in a football helmet in front of crossed sabers.
Mr. Davis was a coach, general manager and owner of the Raiders for nearly 50 years. He left briefly, in 1966, to become the commissioner of the A.F.L., vowing to battle the older N.F.L. for the best players available. That attitude helped lead the N.F.L. to agree to play the A.F.L. in an annual championship game, which became the Super Bowl. In 1970, the leagues played a united schedule, creating the modern N.F.L.
Davis feuded for decades with the former N.F.L. commissioner Pete Rozelle and sued the league in the early 1980s so he could move the Raiders from Oakland to Los Angeles.
Then, 13 years later, he moved them back.
Mr. Davis became the symbol of a franchise that garnered a reputation for outlaw personalities and a kind of counterculture sensibility. The Raiders were the first franchise in the modern era to have a Latino head coach (Tom Flores), a black head coach (Art Shell) and a female chief executive (Amy Trask).
He was also one of a dwindling number of N.F.L. owners whose riches came primarily from the business of football. There were no hedge funds or shipping companies in Mr. Davis’s background. He simply ran the Raiders — the team appeared in five Super Bowls under his ownership, winning three — and his business model could, for all intents and purposes, be summed up by the phrase that became his franchise’s motto: “Just win, baby!”
R.I.P. Al Davis
Also in the media this week was future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre.The one-time Super Bowl champion will forever be recognized as an iron man due to his streak of consecutive starts.
Now, can he just please go away?
We had to deal with season after season of Brettie crying wolf over retirement.
Brett Favre is old news, and the only person who can't deal with that is Brett Favre.
During a recent interview, Has Been commented on the Green Bay Packers' Super Bowl win behind the arm of quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
“I’m going to be honest, I was not surprised. The biggest surprise to me would be that he didn’t do it sooner," Favre said.
Favre continued, "[Aaron] just kind of fell into a good situation. On top of that, he's a good player. I don't think there's any pressure on him now, the talent around him is even better than when I was there."
Favre's last year with the Packers was in 2007, and he ended his season with an interception.
Rodgers won the Super Bowl with the team in 2010, with less of a running game than the 2007 team, and with a starting tight end injured all season.
Said differently, the Packers offense had less talent in 2010 than it did in 2007. Except for one position, and that's quarterback.
Simply put, Aaron Rodgers is a better quarterback than Favre.
Last season, was statistically the worst of his career. Rodgers threw for just 3,922 yards, 28 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.
Over the course of his career Rodgers has a 14,048 yards, 99 touchdowns and only 34 interceptions. This has been over the course of essentially just three and a half seasons. His 100.5 quarterback rating is among the top of active quarterbacks.
Favre's career QB rating was 86.0. Over his first four seasons, it averaged a little higher, but nowhere near Rodgers.
Since winning his first Super Bowl, Favre's playoff record was 3-6 with 16 interceptions.
Favre also set the record for most interceptions in the playoffs at 30.
Favre is a media hound with a pathetic need to be in the limelight. That means every few months the rest of us have to suffer through a little more media exposure than the Wrangler commercials.
When asked if he thought Favre's shadow would ever go away, Rodgers gave the perfect response.
"I don't think so. And I think on some level, you need to embrace the fact that you're mentioned with a future Hall of Famer in the same sentence -- a lot."
It would appear that Rodgers outclasses Favre on and off the field.