Turkey, Geezers, Favre and Trash Talk

brett-favreWelp, here we are upon another Thanksgiving. All of us here at Emptywheel – Marcy, Jim White, Ed Walker and me [EW: Hey! You forgot Rayne!] – are thankful for your readership, commentary and friendship. Some of you are newer, some have been with us forever, but thanks to all of you.

Marcy did a wonderful Thanksgiving food post earlier this morning. Frankly, I might not have bothered with Trash since there was a great discussion going on there. But, today is momentous. It is Brett Favre Day baybee! That’s right old man geezer himself is getting honored in the late game from The Frozen Tundra of Lambeau. And no way that could slip by without some trash talking.

I am getting old now and, still, for my money, there has never been a more joyous and exciting free spirit to watch in the NFL. Yes, obviously, it helps that he played for the team I have rooted for since I was a child. But what a joy he was. At any given instant, Favre could do something incredible or catastrophic….you never knew! But you knew he would do something. And it was usually incredible in the good direction. And on any Sunday, he was always there. Always. Only eight quarterbacks in the history of the NFL have had streaks of a hundred games or more started in a row, and only two with 200 or more. Favre had 297. 321 if you count the playoffs. That is not just the most by a quarterback ever, it is the most by any positional player in NFL history. Until last year when Peyton starting overtaking him, Favre also held nearly every meaningful passing record too. A pretty fine career. He was unique, and he was awesome. Thanks for the memories Brett.

So the Packers host the Bears tonight, where the festivities for Favre will be featured. Rodgers got a bit of his mojo back last week against the Vikings, but I still wonder about his health. The Bears took a step back against the Broncos last weekend, but played tough. They may not be great, but this years’ Bears don’t suck. This should be a great game. And what better setting to end a Thanksgiving day on?

The Lions simply destroyed the Eagles earlier. Wow, where has this version of the Kittehs been all year? Apparently it took creaky old Martha Ford to kick their asses into gear. And the Panthers at Cowboys just started, and already the Panthers have scored on a pick six off of Tony Romo. That is not what the Cowboys needed at all.

So there it is, Happy Turkey Day folks. Eat large and enjoy. Music today is by a friend of mine from long ago from the Scottsdale blues club scene. She is beautiful, and man can she sing. Please give a listen to Janiva Magness, you won’t be sorry.

90 replies
  1. dakine01 says:

    Hilltoppers are going against Marshall tomorrow at noon from Bowling Green. Marshall surely wants revenge for the ‘Toppers knocking them out of undefeated status last year but both teams are 9 – 2 this year with the winner capturing the East division of Conf USA and playing for the championship next weekend.

      • Peterr says:

        Aaannnndd . . . Romo is out with what looks like rebreaking his left collar bone (or a similar injury to his upper left torso).

  2. Peterr says:

    I’m a Bears fan, so take this for what it’s worth, but my respect for Favre went down with his pouting departure from GB.
    A little comparison between career stats on Favre and Rodgers, courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.com . . .
    Completion %: F – 62.0%, R – 65.4%
    % of attempted passes for TDs: F – 5.0%, R – 6.5%
    % of attempted passes for INTs: F – 3.3%, R – 1.6%
    yards per attempted pass: F – 7.1, R – 8.1
    yards per completion: F – 11.4, R – 12.4
    yards per game: F – 237.9, R – 258.8
    No doubt that Favre was fun to watch (unless you’re a Bears fan), but his whining that he was superior to this upstart has been proven not just wrong, but VERY wrong.
    Will Rodgers be able to keep it up for another nine years, without getting injured or otherwise collapsing? Don’t know. But he’s been putting up numbers that more than rival Faaavvruh’s.

  3. Peterr says:

    I’m away from KC right now, but it looks like freezing rain is about to descend on it. Looking at the weather projections for Green Bay, the rain that is falling now may turn into freezing rain as the game moves into the fourth quarter.
    Now THAT is Bears/Cheeseheads weather.

    • P J Evans says:

      That’s going to make it fun for people going home from the game.
      (I’ve met freezing rain. Do. Not. Want.)

      • Peterr says:

        No kidding.
        I’ll take three feet of snow and -20 temps before you give me freezing rain or an ice storm.

  4. Bitter Angry Drunk says:

    I’ll keep this to the short version of my argument that Favre, while certainly one of the greatest QBs ever, is still maybe the most overrated athlete of all-time:

    Favre played, what, 19 seasons? By my count, seven of them were great. The rest were kind of mediocre. He’s football’s Pete Rose, a talented and enthusiastic white player that white fans LOVE, but with sexting instead of betting. I’ll never not be sick to death of the media polishing his knob. I won’t even get into the endless speculation about his retirement as early as ’03, when it was obvious that Favre was years from walking away.

    When people want to slam the playoff record of, say, Peyton Manning, I just laugh. Favre made more crushing mistakes in the postseason than anybody. The (groans) gun-slinging was part of what made him great, but media/fans just forget/ignore the massive downside of his almost-compulsive risk-taking.

    This is coming from a Vikings fan who’s convinced that the Vikings were never closer to winning the Super Bowl than they were in ’09 with Favre. I don’t hate Brett Favre, but man, I still hate hearing about him.

  5. Bay State Librul says:

    New York, New York

    My magnificent obsession streams on, with legend David Boies before the Judge

    “In a conference call with reporters, Boies previewed his case against New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman: It will focus on New York state law. “New York law expressly permits New Yorkers to pay entry fees to contest for fixed prizes,” he said. “New York law indeed even expressly permits New Yorkers to wager on contests of skill in which they personally participate. Anyone who has ever played a daily fantasy sports contest knows that this is a contest of skill.”

    In New York, the legal definition of skill is more rigorous than most states (including Massachusetts). If the judge rules that there is a “material degree” of chance, then that’s all it takes to be classified as gambling.

    “The very evidence that the Attorney General relies on for his advertising claim is that he says DraftKings suggests in its advertising that anyone can win and that’s not true because about 1% of players win a majority of the prizes. That can only happen if skill is determinant. The same people win repeatedly. That can’t happen if there’s a material degree of chance.”

    If that argument doesn’t hold up in court, it would be a major loss, considering that New York state provides the largest number of fantasy players for either DraftKings or FanDuel. Standing in the way of that result is Boies, who has stared down worse scenarios in his lengthy career and managed to pull off victories.

    Here are some additional thoughts that Boies shared on the conference call earlier in the week. He said:

    FanDuel has been openly operating these contests in New York for almost eight years. DraftKings itself has been openly offering these contests in New York for almost four years. Never until 10 days ago had anyone, not the attorney general, not the attorney general’s office, not any public official suggested, hinted, asserted that there was anything illegal about what FanDuel or DraftKings were doing. …

    I think that the attorney general has obviously changed his mind as to whether daily fantasy sports games should be conducted in New York. He’s entitled to change his mind. He’s not entitled to unilaterally change the law. The law entitles New Yorkers to play these games. They enjoy the games. It is a very, very popular form of competition and entertainment and we are hopeful that they will, the court will rule that the New York attorney general does not have the right to shut down this type of competition and if there is going to be a change, it has to come from the legislature.”

    • bmaz says:

      Actually, the AG is entitled to do exactly that. Boies is effectively making a waiver argument, which is effectively nonsense against a prosecutorial authority who generally has discretion when and where to exercise their authority. That said, there is one Florida case, which is out of state, out of district, and out of circuit, that once found otherwise. Probably not persuasive in NY Supreme Court (which for the uninitiated, is actually the trial level general court in NY).
      I know a couple of people that are all over this case, and who were in the courtroom on Wednesday. There is almost universal agreement that the woman arguing for Schneiderman’s AG office did not do a very good job. Which favors Draft Kings and Fan Duel. That said, my experience is that oral arguments rarely truly affect the outcome on pure law cases like this, it is the briefing that almost always wins out. From what I have seen here, I very much expect that to be the case on this too. We shall see. As I read NY law, it very much favors the AG and not the gambling interests.

      • Bay State Librul says:


        If Boies happens to win, can the AG appeal, and to whom.

        Could it go to the Supremos, where I know of no closet gamblers, but a few moralists?

        • bmaz says:

          Yes. In most states, there is the Superior Court as the trial level, and then a Court of Appeal and then, ultimately, a Supreme Court. In New York, and I have no clue on the history why, the “Supreme Court” is actually the trial level court that is the Superior Court in most states.
          But from an adverse decision in the Supreme Court in NY, you can then appeal to the “Appellate Term”, which is the functional equivalent to a regular court of appeals, and from that, can appeal to the final NY judiciary, which, in NY, is called the Court of Appeals. Same three levels of courts as most states, just different terminology.
          On a state law question, you can appeal from a negative decision from any final level of any state’s highest court. Do many get taken, no, but you can petition SCOTUS to hear you. FWIW, I do not think SCOTUS would get involved in this case, and would leave any final state law decision stand on its own. If SCOTUS were to get involved, the FAR more likely path would be that there is an adverse finding in NY upholding Scneiderman’s AG Opinion, and that is then used by Preet Bharara, the US Atty for SDNY as the basis for federal action under the IGBA and/or UGIEA. See here for more.

          • scribe says:

            Naming the NY Supreme Court to be the Supreme Court is an artifact of its formation. In about 1691. Shortly after the English took over from the Dutch.
            The New York Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court, was not created until much later. Before then, all “major” trials and appeals were handled in the Supreme Court. To this day, direct appeals from a trial decision in the Supreme Court go to the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, which has 4 departments. The Appellate Division is also pretty unique, as an appellate court, in that it can also take evidence and find facts. That’s usually a function solely of trial courts, but not in NYS. The Court of Appeals hears cases on a discretionary basis.
            You can read more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_Supreme_Court
            Suffice it to say, the wiki entry is a bare thumbnail of a very convoluted, complicated and messy court system.
            By way of examples, though, all the trials on shows like Law and Order take place in the Supreme Court. As did the incompetency hearing in Miracle on 34th Street. The courtrooms do, indeed, look like that though the TV version is nicer and there is not nearly as much side noise on TV. In real life, the windows open and siren and city noise come in, the floors are hardwood or something similar, hard and echo-producing, and the jurors’ chairs – wood, on swivels and with reclining springs all atop fixed pedestals – all squeak with every eyeblink of a juror.
            Keep in mind that the inferior courts – county, police, town and such – are just as serious and important. But, also keep in mind that some of them are not “courts of record”.
            It’s complicated. The Draft Kings case is in the right place.

            • scribe says:

              Bmaz: you oughta have Cindy Kouril come in and give a guest post on the structure of the NYS Court system. She makes her living there….

        • bmaz says:

          By the way, I think either side would appeal a negative decision. The assigned judge, Mendez, apparently has had many big cases overturned on appeal, and has a lot of appeals taken from his court.

  6. JohnT says:

    I suck too
    Did a parlay this morning and it’s already a loser. Took the Rangers over the Flyers. The Rangers were 13-1 at home against the Flyers in the last 14, and guess who won?.
    The parlay was mostly hockey because I didn’t like the matchups in the NBA or most of the NCAA football games. There were too many rivalry games in the NCAA i.e. beating the favorite will make the underdog’s season.
    I did take Temple over UConn because they’re 8-1 against the spread in the last 9 against them. And I took Oklahoma over Oklahoma State because iirc they have similar numbers ATS against OSU
    In hockey I took the Predators over the Sabres. And three overs, Canadiens & Devils; Stars & Wild; and Blackhawks & Kings
    Of course when all is said and done, I’ll prolly be 0-7 because of the wacky way this year has gone against the trends

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Now, THIS guy should be in the running for a front office spot with the Lions; he’s much smarter than the old guard. “A Detroit thief armed with nothing more than a convincing costume stole over half a million dollars from an armored truck Friday — and is still on the run, police said. The man, who was dressed as a security guard, approached a Loomis armored van at around 8 a.m. ET that was parked in front of a casino in Detroit’s Greektown district, reported NBC affiliate WDIV. The thief asked the Loomis driver to open the van, which the driver did willingly after assuming the man was a co-worker based on his uniform. The brazen thief then walked away with several money bags stuffed with more than $500,000 in them.”

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Writing a Christmas Card to Tom Brady?

        At 8AM, Goodell was really penning his concession speech, after the Film “Concussion” is released this Christmas

  8. bloopie2 says:

    During the Michigan State game, the announcer said that a good coach teaches his pass defenders this: “If you get beat, you don’t attempt a shoestring tackle, you punch the ball out of the receiver’s arms.” I don’t seem to remember, back in the day, as much emphasis on trying to cause fumbles – rather, the job was to tackle the guy. Or am I wrong about that? To me it seems cheap to punch the ball out instead of tackling; that’s just old-fashioned?

  9. Ed Walker says:

    I have the greatest Christmas movie of all time on the flip while Fox runs 3.5 minutes of commercials: Bad Santa.

  10. Jim White says:

    My, but that was a very difficult game to watch last night. I have no idea what is wrong with Treon Harris, but he has gone steadily backwards all season. I’m starting to wonder about undisclosed injuries to a shoulder or arm. Maybe even hidden concussion problems, given his poor decision-making.
    I will give a grudging hat-tip to Jimbo Fisher. The Noles were entirely civilized, even as they ran up the score. The trash that a Bowden team would have heaped on the field in the same situation would have been truly putrid.
    Meanwhile, the recruiting goes on and McElwain has to figure out how to get the team through the SEC Championship game next week and a bowl game with minimal further embarrassment. Finding a QB for the first half of next season until Grier comes off suspension will be a unique problem, too.
    Meanwhile, Muschamp’s meltdown on the sidelines has me worried about the future mental stability of McElwain. Given how batshit crazy both Meyer and Muschamp are now, McElwain has to be really afraid of what the job will do to his mind.

    • emptywheel says:

      Jeebus. Muschamp lost it.

      Looks like your team’s trajectory and mine worked out about the same (though of course we’ve got more national contenders and so we won’t see a B1G championship game).

      As you said, go forth and recruit.

      • Jim White says:

        And the recruiting has accelerated: the Gators got three great offensive commitments today. Including a 6-5, 220 lb QB rated as being in the top 5 available QB’s by several rating services. Also got a JUCO transfer receiver and a gigantic offensive lineman. It’s clear that good offensive players who watched last night’s game realize they can compete immediately for playing time.

  11. scribe says:

    506 puts me in the red today, all day.
    You wanna talk sucky football? Watch ‘fins at J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS. Ugh. And that’s between the injury timeouts. At least, Ms. Wheel, you get to watch Fat Rex’s boys at work and laugh at his Rex-ness.
    Heard an interesting stat this morning: there were more incidents which we’d call “terrorist” in the US in the 70s than in the current time. People forget. And, you know what? We got through. (I always thought disco was the greatest threat we’ve faced since Hitler, and we overcame and survived both.)
    Suh encroaches on Jets line with 0:14 left in the half, the dimwit. TD Jets. Thank you, dimwit.

      • scribe says:

        When successive attorneys general (John Ashcroft*, Alberto Gonzales**, Michael Mukasey***) of the United States deserved to wind up in prison and aren’t even charged, that qualifies as a worse decade.
        * Preemptively promising non-prosecution for anything done while hunting alleged terrorists, warrantless wiretapping, misuse of the material witness statute to round up Muslim men who are disappeared in and later tortured in US jails, interference in state-court justice systems to ensure Virginia – more likely to execute John Lee Malvo, the “beltway sniper”, first – rather than Maryland got dibs on prosecution, so-called USA PATIOT Act, hired Rove’s minions as US attorneys and functionaries in the DoJ Main. Need I go on?
        ** Firing US Attorneys for not prosecuting Democrats aggressively enough, torture, Guantanamo, warrantless wiretapping, holding Jose Padilla incommunicado in military custody, prosecution of QWest CWO Joe Nacchio after QWest balked at participating in warrantless wiretapping, being a general doofus who couldn’t get a decent job after leaving office because he was such a tool. Need I go on?
        *** “You don’t look so bad” being his response to a defendant tortured in the Manhattan federal detention center, ratifying warrantless wiretapping and torture (some would say as high-sign to the Administration so he would get the job), Guantanamo. Need I say more?

        Oh, and then there’s habeas corpus abuse, too.

      • What Constitution? says:

        Then again, Peterr, you have to admit that having that particular attorney general of the United States actually end up in prison was one of the very best things that can be said of that decade. Right up there with Frampton Comes Alive, right?

    • Peterr says:

      Re Suh, from NFL.com:

      Ndamukong Suh addressed his Miami Dolphins defensive teammates on Monday.
      It was — ummmmm — interesting.
      NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport passed along the fiery address from the defensive tackle Sunday on NFL Network’s GameDay Morning.
      “I’m told he told them: ‘I run this defense, I’m going to be here for the next five years, there is no guarantee any of you will be as well. Only a handful of guys are good enough to play with me right now,'” Rapoport said. “He also said the schemes were not good enough, the techniques were not enough and everyone needed to be better, he said ‘follow me.'”

  12. Peterr says:

    Music today is by a friend of mine from long ago from the Scottsdale blues club scene. She is beautiful, and man can she sing. Please give a listen to Janiva Magness, you won’t be sorry

    You can, and probably should, argue with anything else in this post, but not this last paragraph.
    Thanks, bmaz — great great stuff.

    • Peterr says:

      Screwed up the blockquote. Grumble grumble grumble grumble . . .
      The “Music today . . .” stuff is from bmaz, of course.
      I miss the edit function.

    • bmaz says:

      Peter, she is great, whether on a small club stage, or larger. I wish I could find some older clips from Phoenix/Scottsdale era when I knew her and she sang under the moniker of “Janiva Magness and the Mojomatics”. Just pure and incredible. And she was truly cool personally too. Here is another song from a concert joint in Portland.
      Walking In The Sun
      Seriously folks, give Janiva a listen.

  13. emptywheel says:

    FTR, I would be shocked if the Pats win tonight, especially with Chung somehow having injured his foot after practice for the week ended. Most have tripped over himself in the walk-through.

    So no Lewis, no Edelman, no Amendola, no Collins, and maybe no Chung.

    Just hoping Brady gets through it healthy. And feeling a bit bad for Peyton who will probably watch some other QB lead his team to a victory over his nemesis.

  14. bmaz says:

    Welp, Osweiler has not been a world beater, but, so far, the kid can play. Donkos not going to win, but that is not totally on him tonight.

  15. bmaz says:

    From the Twitters:

    Can’t tell me Tom Brady is the greatest of all-time until he finally beats Brock Osweiler

  16. Bay State Librul says:

    Tight end – push off – penalty

    Tight end – push off – penalty.

    Big X on Gronk’s back

    Brady “pissed off” after loss. 3rd down call back, losing Gronk, blowing 4th quarter lead,
    circumstances of the game. Never closed them out. Fingers crossed for Gronk.

    I thought it was a good game and enjoyable.

    I’m prejudiced. What did others think of the referees?

      • scribe says:

        I dunno about that, Bmaz. There seems to be a remarkable degree of unanimity as to what constitutes a “catch”.

      • Bay State Librul says:

        Appreciate the transcript

        Interesting takes

        The Judge will rule soon

        Any bets on how it will play out?

        Boies more skillful than AG

        • scribe says:

          Short version: it will be a pure question of law. Therefore, on appellate review, the Appellate Division will take the case under a de novo standard of review, i.e., that they’ll be looking at it as though the trial court hadn’t ruled at all. Moreover, since this is the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court with its funky rules, the Appellate Division will be able to consider facts not adduced below and find facts, even when they are contrary to the facts (if any) found at the trial level.
          You can count on Boies (who got his start in NYC’s Cravath, Swaine and Moore) to exploit that if he thinks it’ll help his client.
          In other words, this trial court decision is merely a way station on the trip to where the case will really be decided – appellate town. As long as no one gave up the store in oral argument, no one will long remember the trial court’s handling of the case.

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