FAVRE DOES FANS A FAVOR

It’s official. Brett Favre is coming back to the Vikings for his 20th NFL season.

What football fan wouldn’t want him to come back?  He’s taken the normal amount of ridicule for waiting so long to make a decision but it’s the media who should be ridiculed.

Reporters and commentators everywhere are whining about how Favre put them through the “is he or isn’t he” dance again and they wish he would just go away. I may have done some whining about it myself in the past.

Favre has been accused to having an uncontrollable ego.

He doesn’t need training camp. He needs a few weeks to get ready. He knows it and his coaches know it.

You can’t really blame Favre for the media’s over the top interest in his plans. He wanted to wait until a few weeks of training camp had gone by to make a decision. He’s 41 years old. He’s probsbly increasing his team’s chances of winning by skipping those first three weeks.

How could you be a football fan and not enjoy watching him play last season?

I’m 10 times more interested in the Vikings-Saints opener now that I know he’s going to be playing in it.

The league would be a lot more exciting if it had more guys playing quarterback the way Favre plays it. If he can keep playing as well as he played last season, I don’t care if he plays until he’s 51.

BEN MAKES A GOOD IMPRESSION

I pointed out in the first post that I put up on this website that, in more than 30 years of covering Pittsburgh sports, I had never heard of a local sports figure who generated 1/10th the number of “Why is he such a jackass?” questions as Ben Rothelisberger.

As the story unfolded after the incident in Georgia, it became pretty clear that I wasn’t exaggerating. Peter King of Sports Illustrated, on his way to praising Roethlisberger for trying to fix his image, gives a perfect example of where those “jackass” stories came from.

WHEN DID IT BECOME OK TO HIT A GIRL?

OK. I know it’s never OK for a man to hit a woman. Not in the eyes of the law, anyway, but what about in the eyes of male athletes?

There were several stories in the news this week about athletes abusing women.

What is it with big, strong professional athletes and the way they treat their women? There was a time when, if you had been seen hitting a girl, you would have been ostracized.

You also stood a pretty good chance of  getting a beating from a nearby male. I don’t have to tell you about the Steelers and the problems some of their players have had with getting physical with women.

The Steelers’ who came back from Domestic Hell seemed to be greeted with open arms when they return to the locker room. When a guy gets busted for slapping his wife, girl friend or baby mama around, his teammate will say he made a “mistake.”

Those of us of a certain age were told that nothing could be more un-manly than hitting a girl. When did that change?

JOE L. BROWN RIP

Listening to the Joe. L Brown show on KDKA radio was almost like a religious experience.

When I was a kid, I listened to it every Sunday morning on the way home from St. Bernard’s church in Mt. Lebanon. I could hum a few bars of the theme song if you asked me. It was “With a Little Bit of Luck”.

Joe Brown died today, two weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.

With Nellie King dying last week, that’s two great baseball men that we’ve lost.

When I used to love baseball, there was no better compliment that I could give a guy than to say he was a good baseball man.

Joe L. Brown was one of the last remnants of the Pittsburgh Pirates that I followed and loved growing up. He not only put together two World Series winners in 1960 and 1971, he oversaw a franchise that, for at least 20 years, went into every season with a legitimate chance to win a pennant.

He also played a role in the 1979 World Series winner. Willie Stargell, Dave Parker, Manny Sanguillen, Kent Tekulve, Omar Moreno, Ed Ott and Steve Nicosia were signed when he was GM.

The Pirates have had one good team in the last 55 years that was not built, at least in part, by Joe. L Brown.  That was the 1988-92 team that won three division championships.

He was smarter than just about everybody else when there was a level playing field. He had his super scout, Howie Haak, who kept stocking the Pirates’ farm system with great Latin players.

He was the boss of the Pirates when the Pirates were every bit as big as the Steelers are now and the Steelers were something to do between Pirates seasons.

When I was a kid, Joe L. Brown was every bit as important to me as the mayor of Pittsburgh or the governor of Pennsylvania. He had an air of superiority and seriousness about him that you don’t see much any more in sports exectuives. Or maybe I just got that impression because I was a kid.

I got to know him when I started working in Pittsburgh and that was one of the many things that made working in the town where I grew up so interesting.