That's what readers had to say this week, cramming the mailbag with complaints over Favre's recent declaration that he wants to play for a winner if he decides to push off retirement one more year. Support for Favre? There wasn't a single email applauding his latest statements, which came as the Packers pushed back their deadline for his $3 million roster bonus to give Favre more time to decide his future.
While none of the angry submissions came from Packerland, it is clear that Favre's pristine reputation has lost some of its luster since the beginning of last season. Surely, Favre didn't do himself any favors by having arguably the worst campaign of his career, but his latest round of hemming and hawing over his plans – laced with some borderline smug comments – apparently haven't endeared him to NFL fans.
Beyond Favre, there was the same old voluminous bickering over the draft, along with – what else? – Vince Young's stature as a future superstar. Sandwiched in there, Pittsburgh Steelers fans were angry at Mike Holmgren's renewed Super Bowl complaints, and Oakland Raiders fans raised a glass to toast the return of Art Shell.
It was a heavy week for an offseason mailbag, but we're more than happy to take it all in. So keep the submissions coming, and remember to include your full name, city and state. As usual, my thoughts are in italics.
To the mail …
Brett Favre wants to return if the Packers can win? Brett is washed up. His gambling style is what kills the Packers now. The Packers have a better shot at winning without Favre, who is going downhill faster than an extreme skier.
Westlake Village, Calif.
I am beyond fed up with Brett Favre. For some reason, the guy seems to be largely untouchable, but in my mind he is an attention-grabbing egomaniac. It seems like Brett Favre is only interested in five things: Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, and Favre.
Why would Green Bay want Favre back? Teams bring in vets to make contenders Super Bowl quality (Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson, Rich Gannon) or make a non-contender a playoff hopeful (Drew Bledsoe in Dallas). The Packers are non-contenders and last year proved he couldn't carry them. His presence hurts Aaron Rodgers not only in game time but mini-camps, training camp and practice all week when Favre gets the first-team reps.
So Favre is only going to play if he's on a winning team? This goes against all that is sacred about playing for love of the game, so help me Hank Aaron.
Somebody tell Favre to retire and stop acting like a whiney little girl. If we wanted to watch a soap opera, we'd stay home and watch one that would at least have some decent-looking chicks. I am sick of his antics. He's over. I am sick of hearing about him. Tell him to get lost. He is such an attention monger – "Look at me, I'm Brett Favre. I can't spell my last name right, and I want your attention."
ART SHELL ("Living in a Raider dream," March 29, 2006)
Like many other Raiders fans, I have always wondered why Al Davis let Art Shell go. I believe that Art Shell IS the right man for the job and I think he will restore the glory of the Raiders. I especially liked the last line of that article about where he always should have been. It was perfect. No matter where else he's been, no matter what else he's done, deep in his heart Art Shell is a Raider. Always has been, always will be.
Al Davis, love him or hate him – you can understand why people MUST choose one or the other. The poetry of Art Shell's journey through the Raiders' organization exemplifies what it means to be tough in a league that will forget about you like yesterday's trash. But even in a landfill of players and coaches, there will be chances to be resurrected.
San Jose, Calif.
Hopefully, Big Art can light a fire under that sorry underachieving Robert Gallery.
Shell said Gallery is on the top of his list.
I am very happy as a fan to see Shell come back. He is probably the only connection that will keep the mystique alive. His loyalty and integrity are unmatched by any candidate that interviewed. I believe he is the missing piece to the puzzle and the NFL will be surprised when the old Raiders come to town.
Who in the hell is Tom Walsh? My grandparents used to live in Iredell, Texas – population 316 or so. If I become mayor there, should I start sending my resumes out for offensive coordinator positions?
Sterling Heights, Mich.
Dreams do come true.
I wanted to ask you about the Art Shell article. How was Art Shell in the interview? I'm very curious.
He was great. Very thoughtful and engaging.
MIKE HOLMGREN ("Unsettled in Seattle," March 30, 2006)
Will someone give Mike Holmgren a tissue so he can wipe his tears? Enough already! What a big baby. My 6-year-old has better sportsmanship than he does. What a shame that the Steelers are still unable to really enjoy their Super Bowl victory because a few whiners cannot seem to move on!
Just when we thought the issue was dead.
So I read another article yesterday about Mike Holmgren's refusal to accept that his team lost the Super Bowl. Will it ever end? He blamed the loss on the refs and, possibly, on his team's substandard performance. Did I miss the part where he acknowledged that his poor clock management was a huge factor in the loss?
I was struck by the headline about Mike Holmgren having trouble coping with his Super Bowl loss. He should take a look at real loss like Tony Dungy's. Maybe then the Super Bowl wouldn't seem so important. It is after all, only a game.
Holmgren needs to stop crying about officiating. I watched his team get to the Super Bowl by winning games where there were some bad calls (that went his team's way). So, to say the big game was given to Pittsburgh by the officials is out of line.
VINCE YOUNG ("No harm done," March 22, 2006)
Why does it seem that Vince Young is the only quarterback under the microscope? I'd love to see some of the other quarterbacks in the draft take a seat on the slide.
Port Arthur, Texas
Actually, I can't figure out where this perception that Young is the only quarterback who gets criticized came from. I still hear people talk about how Vanderbilt's Jay Cutler never won anything in college, and how USC's Matt Leinart doesn't have "elite" arm strength. Certainly, Young has gotten the most criticism, but the other two quarterbacks haven't gone unscathed.
So I guess we have to put up with possibly 12 to 15 years of Vince Young referring to himself in the third person?
As Young would put it, "Vince thinks that's definitely a possibility."
That you, or anyone else, would put Jay Cutler in the same class as Vince Young, is just plain offensive. If you want to put Matt Leinart in that category, so be it. Leinart has earned his props. But let's not, even for a moment, think that Leinart will be as good a pro as Young. The team that picks Leinart above Young will soon feel like the Portland Trail Blazers felt when they bypassed Michael Jordan for Sam Bowie.
I read like five articles today about Young's pro day and this was the only negative one. Neither Jay Cutler nor Matt Leinart will hit 51 of 54 throws. Are you kidding? That's like 95-percent accuracy.
Not bad for throwing against the air inside a practice dome.
From all the reports I've heard, Vince is actually plummeting in the rankings. Yes, he did drop-backs but there was no center. Is he going to play a no-center offense in the NFL? Also, he didn't hit hardly any of his receivers out of their breaks – most throws were when the routes were fully developed and it was just a plain pitch-and-catch. I'm not sure how this solidifies him as a top-five pick. He'll be lucky to go in the top 10.
For what it's worth, I watched both Young and Leinart work out, and from what I could see, neither of them got the ball out before their receivers came out of their breaks.
Why do people think Vince Young is so great? Mark my words, Young is going to make Ryan Leaf look as good as Brett Favre.
NFL DRAFT ("The draft's new deal," April 1, 2006)
You need to do more mock drafts on a weekly basis. Things change daily, so your mock draft seems stale and wrong because of what has happened since you posted your last mock.
Rochester Hills, Mich.
I think six mocks between the combine and draft are plenty. Have some patience.
Is there any chance in hell that D'Brickshaw Ferguson drops down to the Detroit Lions at No. 9?
I highly doubt it. No way Ferguson would get past the Buffalo Bills at No. 8.
The Houston Texans have the No. 1 pick in the draft, and for the past couple of seasons, they have had the worst offensive line in the league. Why not just draft D'Brickshaw Ferguson? He is the best and most complete offensive lineman in the draft.
There are two reasons. First, Ferguson is a good – but not great – tackle. He's not Tony Boselli, Jonathan Ogden or Walter Jones. If anything, he's more along the lines of Carolina's Jordan Gross. Second, if you are going to be doling out $15 million to $18 million in a signing bonus, it had better be for a player who has the potential to be a game changer. Reggie Bush has that – even if he is a risk, too.
Don't you think the key to any team going to the Super Bowl this coming year is signing the A-Train?
Santa Fe, N.M.
Maybe I missed it – has Anthony Thomas promised to buy everyone on his next team tickets to the Super Bowl?
Keyshawn Johnson is now with the Carolina Panthers, and that stunned me, quite frankly, because I hadn't expected John Fox to take him. Has Keyshawn finally matured after his stint in Dallas, or will he go back to his old ways that we saw in Tampa and with the New York Jets?
John Thomas Hill
I think Keyshawn mellowed some with Bill Parcells in Dallas, but he's still going to be good for the occasional headache. It will be interesting to see how he and the ever-emotional Steve Smith coexist.
Why do you let the moronic masses have a voice? I can't stand reading the mailbag column anymore. I read papers and columns by educated people so I don't have to listen to the average schmuck whose head is stuck somewhere in their intestines. If I wanted to hear the voice of the village idiot, I just need to go to the water cooler at work or my local tavern.
Scotts Valley, Calif.
The way I figure it, if people take the time to read a piece and then write in and rip me, they deserve to have their voice heard.
You claim all quarterbacks drafted are two- to three-year works-in-progress? Where does that leave the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger?
You think Roethlisberger is a finished product? Just because a quarterback has some success doesn't mean he's stopped going through growing pains. Look at Roethlisberger's numbers in the playoffs as a rookie. And look at his Super Bowl performance. He still has some growing to do.
Why are you and most sport reporters so against the Baltimore Ravens? No one ever gives Baltimore the credit it deserves. It's always the Patriots, Steelers, Cowboys, Colts and the limping Bears. If you recall, the Ravens defeated the Steelers and put up a great first half against the Indianapolis Colts with a depleted defense. Why not do something novel this year and honestly review the Ravens.
How much time did we spend talking about Kyle Boller, Brian Billick and Jamal Lewis last season? And where were you when all the celebrating took place after the free-agent signings last offseason? I've devoted just as much attention to the Ravens as I have to any team in the league with zero postseason wins in the last four years.
- Vince Young
- Mike Holmgren