I Did It My Way ………………

I Did It My Way ……………

I’ve always felt a great admiration for an athlete who walks away from the game on their own terms , rather than in the end for them having to be shown the door unceremoniously . It happens far too often with regard to the latter. And I know there’ll be those out there who will say that it’s their right to go on as long it’s humanly possible. But consider this , in the real world there’s a mandatory retirement age. And granted, we see people in all walks of working late into their years in a variety of fields. We’re not going to see someone in their late forties still playing in the NFL . Well , not unless your name happens to be Brett Favre. I can only surmise, that he wants to play ‘til he’s as old as Methuselah ? And for those of you who aren’t religious or perhaps have never read the Bible. Methuselah happened to be the oldest recorded person from that venerable book.

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner announces his retirement from football with his family Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. photo appears courtesy  of  Associated  Press / Matt  York ........
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner announces his retirement from football with his family Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Matt York ........

Well after 12 years in the NFL, Arizona Cardinals’ quarterback, Kurt Warner , has to decided to call it a day. He goes out on his own terms having had a story book career . A two time league MVP, Superbowl (SB XXXIV) winner and Supebowl winning MVP. Amongst other accolades , Warner has three of the top five performances ever as a quart back in the Superbowl. If that’s enough to book him a place in Canton , Ohio, then they might as well shut the frigging place down once and for all ! Never mind the regular season stats that’ve littered his career. Kurt Warner has been an exemplary player, teammate and an outstanding human being. And there are not too many sport’s individuals that one can say that about in this day and age. I don’t care in what sporting endeavor you might care to name. There has never been any controversy surrounding Warner on or off the field. And his peers past and present consider him to be amongst the very best not only as competitor , teammate or opponent. But also in terms of his character and his compassion for other less well of than him. That will be the measure of Warner’s legacy upon the NFL.

Now having said this, I must admit that his retirement hasn’t taken me by complete surprise. I understand why he now feels it’s time to bow out from a stage he graced so successfully. He’s a family man but also someone who has devoted a great time in the pursuance of helping others. And his beliefs , as he’s a devout Christian , wills Warner now to a higher calling . In this case it’s not solely about spreading the world of Christ but also to as I’d previously stated is to help those in need. It’s the same approach that was taken by former Indianapolis Colts’ head coach Tony Dungy. And it is now the same path that Warner will now follow . Both men , their accomplishments and their calling are commendable traits !

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner holds his daughter Sierra Warner, 4, as he stands with his family from left, Kade Warner, 11, Jada Warner, 8, Elijah Warner, 6, Sienna Warner, 4, wife Brenda Warner, Zack Warner, 20, and Jesse Warner, 18. after he announced his retirement from football Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. photo  appears  courtesy  of Associated  Press/ Matt York  .....
Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner holds his daughter Sierra Warner, 4, as he stands with his family from left, Kade Warner, 11, Jada Warner, 8, Elijah Warner, 6, Sienna Warner, 4, wife Brenda Warner, Zack Warner, 20, and Jesse Warner, 18. after he announced his retirement from football Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 at the Cardinals' training facility in Tempe, Ariz. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Matt York .....

Now looking at the Cardinals going forward, I think that they have a solid foundation, from which to build upon. That being said , I’m not quite sure as of yet that Matt Leinart possesses the temperament to lead this team. It’s all well and good that he had things essentially handed to him on a silver platter with USC. But since his arrival in the NFL , he’s yet to show that he has the capacity for learning the game , much less show signs of maturity. How else can one explain the petulance shown by him when he was replaced as the starter on the Cardinals’ team by coach, Ken Whisenhunt ? If that doesn’t indicate that Leinart, when at USC was all about self entitlement, rather than doing what is best for the team. Then it’s easy to understand the reason why he’s struggled to make his presence felt in the NFL. With Warner , having been given the starter’s role on the team they haven’t looked back since.

It will definitely be strange, next season to see this Cardinals’ team take the field and no longer see Warner there , with his name emblazoned on the back of his jersey. But as I alluded to earlier , he walks away from this game under his own steam , in good health , knowing that he’s accomplished a great many feats that perhaps none of us could ever have dreamed him doing . Warner did things his way and for that I for am grateful to say that it has been indeed a privilege to see him play. Anything beyond that is now just an after thought.

I don’t think anyone could’ve said it better than ol’ “Blue Eyes”… Frank Sinatra. ‘I Did It My Way’

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The  delectable Vida  Guerra
The delectable Vida Guerra

tophatal ……:)

It Was One Hell of A Coming Home Party But He’ll Take The Win Anyway …………..

The once much despised, Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles came to town to face off against the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome, in Atlanta, in a pivotal NFC match-up. Week 13 in the NFL brought about several story lines that might have been well worth paying attention to. But nonetheless, for the fans of Michael Vick and to a lesser extent the fans of the Atlanta Falcons, this was a chance to see their former idol return to the city and organization that he once lauded over but then brought so much shame and disgust to.

Atlanta, Ga,. December 6th 2009. Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles passes for a completion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture appears  courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .....
Atlanta, Ga,. December 6th 2009. Michael Vick (#7) of the Philadelphia Eagles passes for a completion against the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .....

And for Falcons’ owner, Arthur Blank, this must’ve been a return as such that he’d rather have not be a part of. He’d vested a great deal of time, money and effort in the player , he once believed in and trusted greatly to steer his franchise to success and prosperity. Instead , Vick , seemingly treated Blank and the entire Falcons’ organization with so much disdain with his dishonesty and irrational behavior. That one feels hard pressed to see how he can be forgiven for those misdeeds.

The game itself was fraught with danger, as neither side could really afford to lose. In doing so, it’d make the likelihood of either gaining a playoff berth that more difficult. The Eagles at (8-4) were looking to stay in close proximity of the Dallas Cowboys (8-3) atop of the NFC East. While the Atlanta Falcons (6-6) just didn’t want to lose ground in the NFC South and the wildcard berth proceedings . Either way the game had to played and someone had to turn out to be a winner and no doubt there had to be a loser. The script for this particular wouldn’t be cliche ridden with angst or anything else besides. It was meant to be just your typical ‘run of the mill display’ by two teams with playoff ambitions.

Quintin Mikell (#27) of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Roddy White (#84)) of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......
Quintin Mikell (#27) of the Philadelphia Eagles tackles Roddy White (#84)) of the Atlanta Falcons at Georgia Dome on December 6, 2009 in Atlanta, Georgia. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Kevin C. Cox .......

What the game between the Eagles and Falcons ended up being however , was a chance for Vick to showcase his skills and remind the Falcons and their fans what they were missing. Never mind the fact, that the Falcons now had their own hero , in sophomore quarterback,Matt Ryan, who unfortunately wasn’t suited up for the team on the day. Ryan was unable to play for the team, due to an injury. In his place was backup quarterback , Chris Redman. An able understudy but he’s no Matt Ryan , by any stretch of the imagination.

The game itself was won decisively by the Eagles , with a rather lopsided resulting victory 34-7. Now the Eagles essentially hold their destiny in their own hands. Whereas, for the Atlanta Falcons theirs is a situation that now becomes even more increasingly difficult for the likelihood of them making the playoffs altogether. For Michael Vick on the other hand, the homecoming while celebratory in nature. I’d dare say he’d take the victory and quickly depart out of town !

So are there still many people riding on the coattails of the Brett Favre bandwagon at this present moment in time ? I know that ESPN’s , Mark Schlereth tends to prematurely ejaculate the moment Brett Favre’s name is mentioned, no matter in what context. So much so, that it’s probably a running joke between he and his fellow ESPN colleague,Chris Mortensen.

Glendale , Az,. December 6th 2009. Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings reacts as he walks the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy  of  Getty Images/ Christian  Petersen .....
Glendale , Az,. December 6th 2009. Head coach Brad Childress of the Minnesota Vikings reacts as he walks the sidelines during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen .....

For coach, Brad Childressand the Minnesota Vikings, there’s a great deal riding on this season. Albeit , that Favre was signed by the organization to a two year, $25 million contract. To say that anything short of winning the Superbowl this would be a great understatement for the team and its most devoted fans. This is the year that they believe that the stars are aligned for them to win it all. And if they should fail to do so, then all fingers will be pointed directly towards Childress and indirectly at Favre, as well.

 Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a first quarter touchdown during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona.  The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17.  picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Christian  Petersen ............
Quarterback Brett Favre (#4) of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates after a first quarter touchdown during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ............

Courtesy of Associated Press and Yahoo Sports

Warner, Cardinals dominate Favre, Vikings 30-17

By Bob Baum , AP Sports Writer

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP)—That “kid” Kurt Warner got the best of old-timer Brett Favre on Sunday night.

Warner, a mere 38 to Favre’s 40, threw for 285 yards and three touchdowns and the Arizona Cardinals’ defense stifled Favre and the Minnesota Vikings in a stunningly one-sided 30-17 victory.

“They played like they were in the Super Bowl last year,” Favre said, “and we obviously have to play better if we want to be the team that’s in the Super Bowl this year.”

Favre set an NFL record for consecutive appearances, but game No. 283 in a row was no night to remember for him or the rest of the Vikings (10-2). Favre, with just three interceptions in the first 11 games, was picked off twice and sacked three times.

“I made some decisions that I haven’t made up to this point,” he said, “and I’m disappointed about it.”

Even more startling, Arizona (8-4) held Adrian Peterson to a season-low 19 yards in 13 carries and outrushed Minnesota 113-62.

“It was just physical up front and making the tackle,” Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett(notes) said. “It was great team tackling.”

The victory, coupled with San Francisco’s loss at Seattle, gives Arizona a three-game lead in the NFC West. The Cardinals can clinch the division title with a victory at San Francisco a week from Monday night.

Favre had two touchdown passes, but the second, a 31-yarder to Percy Harvin(notes), came with 1:20 to go and the game out of reach. Favre was 30 of 45 for 275 yards.

“I’m pretty sure everybody is going to talk about what Brett Favre did wrong,” Dockett said, “how Brett did this wrong and that wrong, but not talk about how our defense stood up today. We’re going to stay humble, though, because we are going to play that team again.”

Things got worse for the Vikings when linebacker E.J. Henderson(notes) broke his leg late in the game. Coach Brad Childress said the injury would require surgery.

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Brad Childress and his coaching staff felt that Brett Favre was the missing piece to the puzzle that would enable the team to get over that proverbial hump and contend with ‘the elite’, within the NFL. And though there were considered ‘the class’ of the NFC and world beaters. Having started off fast out of the gate ripping of ten straight wins. The Vikings of late have been looking anything but the world beaters that the pundits and their fans believe them to be. And for the likes of Schlereth , Mortensen and it appears ESPN’s reigning ‘buffoon in waiting’, Jon Gruden. The continued ‘lovefest’ for Favre, goes unabated. Even with Gruden , himself, using the adjectives that the the Vikings are ‘the best and most balanced team in the NFL’. Anything that Gruden gives credence to , ought to be tempered by his so called success with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. A lone Superbowl win and thereafter , abject failure and draft picks for the Buccaneers’ organization that are as worthless as the share price of Citigroup. (At close of business Friday, their share price $4-01 per share)

Well, on Sunday, we got to see how Favre and the Vikings would do against Ken Whisenhunt‘s Arizona Cardinals. Last year’s NFC representative in the Superbowl , has once again got the NFC West, all to themselves. The division has a moribund group of teams, with the Cardinals appearing to be the lone exception to the rule. And this is a team that is deep in talent and when on top of their game , there as good as anyone offensively and that’s with due credit to the New New Orleans Saints.

While the raves by Messr’s Gruden , Mortensen and Schlereth as to how good this Vikings’ team is and how versatile and well balanced they are. Sunday’s evidence did nothing to support that at all. One wonders if Gruden and his colleagues are looking at the Vikings through rose colored glasses or quite possibly the love-fest for Favre border on homo-erotic tendencies ? Because I’ve yet to hear them post one critical comment concerning this team even when they’ve played poorly. It’s as if it were all an aberration as far as they’re concerned. Now I understand why it is that the outlet is hard pressed to find decent on air talent. They tend to value style and gimmicks over actual substance !

Sunday night the Vikings were found wanting and were exposed a flawed team on both sides of the ball. Instead of them being able to ride rough-shod over the Arizona Cardinals. Instead it was the other way around. And with seemingly another ageless wonder in Cardinals’ quarterback,Kurt Warner, proving to be more than Brett Favre’s equal. As a matter of fact, he made Favre look ever so pedantic and way beyond his forty years of age ! And the Vikings as a whole were completely out of touch as they were man-handled by the Arizona Cardinals.

Kurt Warner (#13)) of the Arizona Cardinals prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of  Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....
Kurt Warner (#13)) of the Arizona Cardinals prepares to snap the ball during the NFL game against the Minnesota Vikings at the University of Phoenix Stadium on December 6, 2009 in Glendale, Arizona. The Cardinals defeated the Vikings 30-17. picture appears courtesy of Getty Images/ Christian Petersen ....

The resultant 30-17 shellacking that the Viking suffered in defeat, at the hands of the Cardinals. Well, it may well have some wondering if at all it was worth the ordeal of bring in Favre ,should they fail to make it to the Superbowl. One thing for sure, if they Minnesota Vikings fails to do so . Then there’s no telling what Favre’s demeanor will be at the end of the day.Him ,then contemplating retirement once again would be about as welcoming to the Vikings’ organization as Paris Hilton entering medical school to study to become a cardio-thoracic surgeon. Stranger things have been known to have happened. And given Favre’s track record over the last few years. I wouldn’t for one minute doubt that he’d contemplate retirement once again. Especially in light of blame that’d be apportioned his way, with the impending failure of the Minnesota Vikings.

Say what you want about Brett Favre but no one, absolutely no one panders to the cameras and seeks the public’s empathy the way that he does ! He craves it more than life itself !