Thursday, January 20, 2011

Polamalu’s Hair: Week Twenty Notes

Goodbye Brett?

If it feels like we’ve been through this song and dance before, it’s because we have been.

Brett Favre filed his retirement papers with the NFL this week, which appears to close the book on the career of a legendary Super Bowl winning quarterback after a 20th season in the pro ranks. That news comes at the end of a dreadfully disappointing 2010 season that saw his numbers drop off, injuries get the best of him and his prized “consecutive starts” record come to an end.

Is Brett Favre done for good though?

It looks that way – he’s said time and again that “it’s time” and he has come to peace with that idea. Further to that, Vikings coach Leslie Frazier says he isn’t interested in trying to convince the old gunslinger to come back for another season.

So, is Favre done for good?

Given his history, I felt the need to ask that question at least twice. I think it is probably over for him, but you can never really tell until near the end of the offseason when he gets that itch to play again. Right now it’s easy for him to say that it’s over because he’s sore, he’s probably still nursing a concussion and he’s definitely still feeling the sting of a 6-10 season.

The real test will come in mid-summer when he gets that itch again and he’s feeling rested and healthy. I think if anyone reaches out to him they might have at least a 50/50 shot of bringing him back, especially if it’s a lockout-shortened season!

Then again, Favre might want to just lay low for a little while after yet another massage therapist has come out with allegations about him!

Stephanie Dusenberry went to Deadspin with her claims after seeing the lame punishment given to Favre over the Jenn Sterger allegations this season, a story also broken by that website. Sterger alleged that Favre sent her dirty pictures and he admitted to leaving messages on her phone, but the NFL fined him $50,000 for not cooperating with the investigation.

Dusenberry tells Deadspin (via The Huffington Post) that she had problems with a number of Minnesota Vikings players, including Favre, and even went to the police at one point (though she says she was told there wasn’t much they could do).

It seems like every week there’s something coming out about Brett Favre doesn’t it? Do you think all of these stories take away from all the things he has done on the field over the course of his career?

I have a feeling that a few years down the road people will still be talking about Favre’s disastrous 2010 season, both on an off the field.

Pats Drama

For a team that is known for keeping quiet and just going about their business, there was quite a bit of drama surrounding the New England Patriots since we last spoke.

On Sunday they fell 28-21 to the NY Jets, ending their season, but it was a previous meeting with New York that was making headlines.

Earlier this season the Jets were fined $100,000 by the NFL for forming a “human wall” on the sideline during a punt in a game against the Miami Dolphins. The team’s strength and conditioning coach wound up being fined and suspended by the team for actually tripping a Dolphins player.

As it turns out, the Pats tried the same thing back in Week 2, says Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer!

According to ESPN, the league says the positioning of the Patriots players was legal because they were “offensive lineman prepared to enter the game.” However, if one of them did try to trip another player, then there is a problem.

That wasn’t even the best Pats/Jets moment of the week either! Ahead of Sunday’s game, New England receiver Wes Welker decided to have a little bit of fun at his press conference:

Welker, clearly poking fun at the foot fetish drama that Jets coach Rex Ryan found himself in the middle of a few weeks ago, makes 11 “foot references” in the span of nine minutes!

The Pats benched Welker for the team’s first possession of the game.

Safety First (after fashion)

It seems like anytime somebody tries to bring safety and coolness together it just doesn’t work out.

Take the minivan, for example, or baseball’s “concussion helmet” that only a handful of players have decided to use as balls are thrown at 80-100 mph in their direction. If you don’t want some extra protection in that scenario, it must be a dorky looking piece of equipment, wouldn’t you agree?

Well the NFL is in the same boat – they’ve been trying to cut down on head injuries, but the number of concussions being sustained by players each year doesn’t seem to be changing. There has been talk this season that maybe the helmets are part of the problem, with some old-timers suggesting that players feel untouchable with all that padding on.

Getting rid of padding isn’t the direction the NFL wants to go, in fact, they’re looking into their own concussion reducing helmets. But, ESPN's Page 2 asks, can they look cool?

A fellow by the name of Michael Princip has designed a helmet called the Bulwark which looks pretty sweet and is made in a way that protects players more than the current buckets do. Princip says a helmet design will never take concussions out of the game, but his design helps to prevent them.

Head injuries aren’t the only thing teams have to worry about though – the NFL is also looking into making knee and thigh pads mandatory for next season.

Other stuff…

Brett Favre says his former club is going all the way…no, not that one. The other one.

Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen writes to his season ticket holders, promising a better season in 2011…

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell isn’t quite hitting the panic button yet when it comes to a potential lockout…but he's close!

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