Mail call: Favre bashers, backers do battle and a surprising take on Vick
Who would have thought that my innocent little trip down memory lane, with Brett Favre, would have generated the heated response that it did? But it did, yes it did. Either that or Dominic B., who selects and forwards the chosen mail, is trying to provoke your faithful narrator... naaah, he wouldn't do that.
So how are we going to handle the nine e-mailers, pro and Kong, represented here? I tried the debate number when I was ripped for my Vikings pick, so that angle is shot. How about if we choose up sides and make it like a softball game at a picnic -- shirts against skins, fats against leans, married vs. single, like that? OK? Agreed? And for our umpire, selected for his unbiased, level-headed opinion, I give you Michael Schumacher of Kenosha, Wisc. Fait attention, mesdames et monsieurs, s'il vous plait!
"I have a friend, a recently retired firefighter," he writes, "and I asked him how it would go over, after a short while in retirement, if he decided he missed the firehouse camaraderie and the occasional rush he got from doing something others couldn't or wouldn't do. Could he go back to the chief, announce that he wanted to come out of retirement, and perhaps, best of all, pick the firehouse where he wanted to work? My friend, a decorated vet with a reputation of being one of the best in the department, just laughed. Maybe McCarthy and the Packers' front office should do the same."
OK, I admit it, I stacked the deck and appointed an ump favorable to my cause. But geez, just look at the Murderers Row lineup I have to face:
Corey from Green Bay: "You're an idiot." (Right. Continue, please.) "Your recent column is nothing more than biased bullcrap." (Redundant.) "Favre is the greatest player ever to play" ... with about two more lines of the same. (Who'd you ever see pre-1970, Corey?) "Your column sucks." (So that was the noise I heard.) "Quit writing you hack." (Needs a comma separating the phrases.)
Larry of Atlanta: "I look forward to watching him prove you wrong." (We all have things to look forward to.) "And screw this legacy crap." (Sounds like you'd have to be double-jointed for that.) "His legacy is set in stone... why don't people just quit harping on this legacy BS and enjoy watching one of the greatest players of all time?" (Because there are few things I enjoy more than harping on this legacy BS.)
Pamela of Norfolk, Va.: "If Favre retires, shouldn't you too? (The question I always ask the Flaming Redhead is, why do women e-mailers hate me so much?)
Dwayne of Picayune, Miss.: "Do you agree that we'd all be better off if you retired to?" (No, I don't, but a lot other people do.)
Diego of Toledo: "Why are you still writing?" (Out of habit.) "If anyone should retire it should be you and not Brett Favre." (Diego of Toledo. Has a nice, Conquistador ring to it, doesn't it? "Your highness, may I present Diego of Toledo." Man, I could go places with a title like that.)
And now the jungle answers back. Time for my team to come to bat.
Bernie of Chicago: "As always, you hit it right on the head with Favre." (Better than using a hammer.)
Tommy D. of Albuquerque, who applies some praise and ends with, "This coming from a diehard Packers fan excited for the Aaron Rodgers era to start and tired of the quarterback I watched for 17 years of my life being more dramatic than T.O." (Just to set this straight, I never questioned Favre's ability as a player. Dramatic? Well, maybe, but so what. It's those weird interceptions I found hard to take.)
Finally, Hans R. from Sioux City, Iowa: "Dr. Z, don't ever retire." (Hans, I swear to God that even when I'm dead my byline will still be on the column. It'll be an El Cid type of situation. I just have to convince the Redhead that she'll be up to it.)
Having had the final innings of the great Pro-Anti-Z-athon called by rain, we move to softer topics. First, let me introduce you to my co-E-mailers of the week. A big New Jersey round of applause for Scott of New Mexico. (Man, how many times I gotta tell ya...I need last names for prospective award winners.) "Let's see," he writes, "Emmitt Smith, Jerry Rice and now Jason Taylor all proved they're light on their loafers from their turns on Prancing With the Farce (Linda, is that really what it's called?), then Favre bawls like a baby at his retirement, only to decide about five minutes later that he wants to play again. Tell me, are there any tough guys left in pro football or just a bunch of sissies?"
Come on, the linemen are tough guys, but they look like me when they try to dance. And they don't retire. They have it done for them by the coach or GM.
And now a big Garden State bouquet of roses for our co-award winner, Andrew LaBrecque -- "En garde, monsieur!" -- from San Diego. "Dr. Z," he writes, which is a sensible enough beginning, "do you actually have a PhD or MD? My guess is that you use the title simply to get priority seating at fancy restaurants. Your readers await your reply."
You mean the ones that are still awake. Nope, I'm not a real medico or braino. And you're right, I do try to use the title in restaurants, which usually gets the Redhead and me a seat midway between the rest rooms and the drug store, which is what they call the station in which they keep the silverware. This is perfect, because then I can dip in to my heart's content, when nobody's watching, and have a nice collection of forks and spoons to bring home.