Favre deserves a warm welcome in Green Bay

Imagine Larry Bird getting traded and showing up at Boston Garden wearing a Lakers uniform.  Over the years,  I have seen some very unlikely things happen in sports, but this Sunday will top them all.  Having Brett Favre walk onto Lambeau field wearing the colors of the hated rivals to the west will be one of the strangest scenes I have ever experienced as a sports fan.  A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about his first meeting against the Packers which was fascinating but his return to Green Bay will by far top the last game.

No doubt, those Packer fans are chomping at the bit to welcome their so-called Benedict Arnold back to his former stomping grounds. I have heard a few stories about how those cheeseheads are planning to welcome him back with open arms.  I would imagine that there will be a few bon fires with people throwing their old number 4 jerseys into a fire pit.  And sales of those Favre jerseys with the #4 crossed out will be huge.  The newspaper in Green Bay is even going to print a headline that refers to Brett as being a member of the dark side.  I find it hard to believe that people in Green Bay are that creative!  Maybe there are still some brain cells left in those Packer fans!

When Favre takes the field on Sunday, there will probably be a lot of booing and some rather colorful signs. Personally, I think everyone in the stadium should stand and give him a huge standing ovation when his name is introduced. No seriously!! I mean it.  This man is an icon in Packer football history and deserves to be treated with respect. He pretty much rescued Packer football from years of mediocrity. From 1968 until Favre’s arrival, the Packers made the playoffs a grand total of 2 years.  During the time frame, the Packers were viewed the same way as the Detroit Lions are today.  All things changed when Favre became a Packer so those crazy fans who want to trash Favre should think twice before dishing him.  Without Favre, your team might be going on 40 years 0f miserable football and still be the laughing stock of the league.  Give the legend the respect he deserves by giving him a standing ovation.

As for the game, this one will be a great one like most of the Packer, Vikings games have been for the past decade.  The last meeting on Monday night football was pretty much controlled by the purple.  I expect a more competitive game this time around but in the end, look for the Vikings to rally and win by a field goal 31-28. I believe that Favre will pull out another miracle at Lambeau , this time with another team.  Old number 4 might just get the last laugh in this one.

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The White House vs. Fox News

During appearances on last weeks Sunday morning news shows, a few members of the Obama administration made some rather sharp comments about the Fox News Network, basically calling the news network, a fake news network who only caters to Republicans and their ideologies.  Like many people on the left who like to trash Fox,  I wonder how much time they actually spend watching Fox News. And why are members of the Obama administration even bothering to pick a fight with the most popular cable news station?  By bringing attention to the station, they are only increasing Fox’s ratings and more people will be made aware of  some of the many shortcomings of this administration and their policies.

In my opinion, Fox News is by far the best news network on cable, not even close. CNN is okay and I love their headline news but Fox News offers the same great news coverage and in addition, has some great programs which separates them from others.  Bill O’ Reilly, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee and Glenn Beck have outstanding shows which are very informing and tells a different side to many of the White House policies.  Several Democrats appear on these shows and I find the debates and discussions to be very entertaining. Sean Hannity has had a few memorable debates this year with Phil Donahue and Michael Moore. By listening to these shows, I can gather a lot of facts and form my own opinion. That is one of the strengths of that station. They offer opinions from both sides of the aisle. If you just listen to the regular network shows and their biased reporting, you would think that this current administration has the greatest ideas in the world.  And of course,  there is the highly liberal and pro Democratic daily newspapers which  also offers a highly biased view.  By tuning into Fox, a viewer gets a more fair and balanced view of what is actually going on.

Unfortunately,  several members of Team Obama including the president himself, are thin-skinned and feel threatened by the network.  A large number of moderates and independents are also viewers so I can see why they are deeply concerned. Instead of trashing the network,  they should actually appear on those shows and defend themselves. I am still waiting for President Obama to show up on the Sean Hannity show.  That would be awesome! These elected officials should do a service to the American people and explain their stances on certain issues to all networks, not just your cheerleading stations. I want them to answer the tough questions that Fox provides.  But it appears that this administration wants to take the easy way with their attacks.

20 years at the same job

Last Friday, I reached a personal milestone in my life that is unheard of  these days. I reached the 20 year anniversary of  my current job.  Usually, I do not like to toot my own horn. Instead, I would rather have other people make light of my accomplishment but I would like to just share a little about my career so far and the unlikely journey it has taken me on.  Many people out there can probably relate to what I have gone through.

I currently work as a tooling designer for a small manufacturing company in the Twin Cities. If someone would have told me about 22 years ago that I would be sitting at a desk, doing CAD work, I would of laughed at him or her and said no way!! I studied mathematics in college and hoped someday to become an actuary.  My last few years of college was geared toward that field and I was preparing to take the first of several tests to become an actuary.

After finishing college at a small college in northern Minnesota,  I desperately wanted to move to the Twin Cities because most of the good jobs were in this area. One day, I noticed an ad in the paper for a position which involved good attention to detail and good math skills. I decided to send my resume to this company and shortly after, I received a phone call for a job interview, the first of two I had with this company.  Soon after my second interview, I received the job offer. At first, I was very uncertain about the position. I mean, I had absolutely no training in computerized designing and was very uncertain whether I could be successful at that position. I decided to accept the position and the rest in history. 20 years later and I am still working at the very same position I was interviewed for.

My job is far from perfect and has many flaws. But what job out there is perfect and without flaws? I could probably go out and get another job that is more challenging and pays more but I am generally happy with my job.  I like my job because  it involves a good deal of independent work and there is always a lot of work to do. My day is very seldom slow.

I think to stay at any job for a long period of time, you have to enjoy what you are doing and that is the case with me.  I cannot recall too many times I have dreaded going into work in the morning. Another great thing about working at a company for that long is that added security. Now I know in these times, no job is safe . But when you have worked for several years at a position,  there is always that sense that your job is more secure as opposed to constantly jumping around and changing jobs.  For me, security is a key thing I look for in a job.

I do not know what the future will hold for me. Sometimes I wonder whether it is time to pursue other opportunities. But I love my job and I have been fortunate to work with many fine people over these past 20 years. They are like my extended family. Leaving them would be hard.  My current job is not even close to being my dream job but I am happy and content with it.  There is an old saying that ” grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence” and that may be true in the job market. I have always felt that way with my job.

The Twins playoff failures

During the last few days, there has been a lot of discussion around here about the Minnesota Twins sudden departure from the playoffs. People in the media are mostly split about the season and whether it was a success or not. Of course, most of the focus has been on the continuing losing streak the Twins have had in the playoffs. Now it is 9 straight including 8 at home.  The Metrodome used to be a house of horrors for opposing teams during their 2 World Series championships. Now it is shocking to see them lose that many in a row at the Dome during the playoffs. But the truth is, is anyone really surprised?

The Twins are a nice young ballclub that has really captured the hearts of people in this area. The overcame several injuries to win a very weak AL central. One thing that I have always been impressed with, is the grit and determination of this team. They never give up in any game, even if they are several runs down. People love that in a team. But unfortunately that has not gotten them anywhere when it comes to the playoffs.  It is one thing to win a tie breaking game against Detroit, it is another thing to go up against the Yankees or Angels and beat them in a playoff series.  This has been the case for several years with this club. They are just not good enough to get out the first round and fans should express their concern about this.

I am personally calling out the cheap management of this team to go out and do more in the offseason to ensure they have a shot to compete with the big boys of baseball. First of all, sign Joe Mauer to a long term contract. There is no guarantee he will stay here. By signing him to an extended long term deal, you are telling the fans of Minnesota that you are serious about building a strong contender for years. But this cheap organization will probably just waffle on this issue until it is too late and he ends up with Boston or New York.  Give this guy the keys to the city if you have to! I think they should also go out and find  a veteran pitcher to add to the staff and maybe add some help to the infield.  They are not really that far off from becoming a serious contender. Maybe just signing a few good players will do the trick. With the team moving into a new stadium next year, they should be able to generate enough money to sign more quality free agents. The owners of this team should take a clue from the other pro sports owners in this town and open up their checkbooks.  But this has always been the cheapest team in baseball for many years and I doubt it will change soon.

The bar on this team should go much higher. I am not interested in watching some gusty little team win a weak division and continually get knocked out in the first round.  That stuff gets old in a hurry! Fans are interested in a team reaching a higher and higher level each year. The same old status quo has got to go. Set your sights on beating the Yankees, Red Sox and Angels instead of the Tigers and White Sox.  And just open up the wallet for once!

The shocking Nobel Peace prize announcement

Every once in a while, certain people are given an award that really makes you wonder what was behind the selection of that individual. I do it all the time when it comes to sports and the selection of the MVP of a league.  The same holds true with music and movie awards. Sometimes you have to wonder whether the selection committee has a certain bias towards someone and certainly, that seems to be the case in many situations.

The announcement of the Nobel Peace prize winner is no exception. As many people are already aware, our president, Barack Obama was announced the winner on Friday morning. Now, I think it is great that the president and a member of the United States won the award but what did he really do to win the award? Here is a guy who has only been in office for about 10 months and some committee has determined that he has already done enough to earn the honor. Oh please, give me a break! President Obama may be a strong candidate to win the award sometime in the future but he really has not done anything yet to deserve the award. Oh sure, he has given a few good speeches but action speaks larger than words.

The committee which selected Obama explained their choice in being that essentially, it is about what he might do in the future.  If that were true, then maybe we should just give out that MVP award before the season even starts or that grammy award before the singer even cuts an album. After all, that singer should win the award, right? When is it about people actually stock piling a list of accomplishments before they are handed out an award?

Unfortunately, politics played a big role in this announcement.  The Norwegian committee which determined this award is a left leaning committee. Just look at the past few winners, Jimmy Carter and Al Gore.  It will be interesting to see how this decision will affect Obama’s decision on whether to send more troops to Afghanistan. If he had any sense, he would do the right thing and send more troops over there.  We are fighting against people who want to destroy world peace at all costs. In the meantime, I just hope future Nobel Peace winners are picked because of their accomplishments, not hope of accomplishments.

Game 163 Twins vs. Tigers

You knew it was going to happen! After playing 162 games, the terrible AL central is still not settled. On Tuesday, The Twins and the Tigers will play an extra game to go on and face the best team in baseball, the New York Yankees. Whoever comes out of this tilt will be heavy underdogs in the playoffs.

After playing terribly inconsistent baseball all season, the Twins have really caught fire, winning 15 of 19.  Now granted they did beat up on Kansas City, Cleveland and the struggling Tigers during that span.  Not exactly a stretch of games that would send shivers down the spines of many teams.  But you have to give the team credit for hanging around and not giving up. They have had to deal with several injuries including the big one with Justin Morneau being out for the season.

Detroit is spinning wildly out of control! They are going in the complete opposite direction of the Twins.  Their starting pitching has been extremely shaky during the month of September. Losing a 3 game lead with only 4 games to play is inexcusable. Like I wrote in another blog, if I were a Tigers fan, I would probably being going insane by now.  If there ever was such a thing as giving a division title away, the Tigers have done so.

Everyone is pretty much betting on the Twins to win this game but I would not automatically give them a playoff berth.  The Tigers are more than capable of coming in here and winning. They have a good rookie pitcher starting and a dangerous lineup.  I really believe and some people will disagree on this, but the pressure is really on the home team in these type of games.  Sometimes that is a big disadvantage to the home team especially in baseball.  But this is what makes these games and playoff baseball so special. One swing of the bat can change a teams fortunes for good or bad.  Anything can happen in a one game playoff.  Having said those things, I  predict the Twins will win 7-3. They are the better team and deserve a playoff spot more than the choking Detroit Tigers.

Brett Favre vs. the Packers, Round 1

It still does not seem right! If someone would have told me about 5 years ago that Brett Favre was going to be playing for the Minnesota Vikings and would be starting against the Packers in a big Monday night game, I would have suggested to that person that they check into the nearest mental health facility. After all, how could he even play for someone else, let alone a bitter rival of the Packers? How could this possibly happen? This has to be one of the strangest and most unusual scenarios of all time and will be sure to generate record ratings for MNF. It is kind of like Derek Jeter suddenly getting traded to Boston or Magic Johnson going to the Celtics.

Favre is a sports legend in Wisconsin and might be arguably, the most popular Packer of all time.  I always thought he would retire as a Packer and go on to become the governor of Wisconsin. The man was an icon in Wisconsin for 16 years. He was the defining face of the Green Bay Packers.  Now, he is playing for the hated rivals to the west. Isn’t that suppose to be grounds for treason? But as a Vikings fan, I just love it!!

The Packers, Vikings rivalry is one of the most intense in all of sports.  Having lived in the Twin Cities for almost 20 years, I know all about this. There are plenty of Green Bay Packer fans who live in this area since Wisconsin is about 1/2 hour away from the Twin Cities. In fact, the Packers may be the 3rd most popular pro sports team around here next to the Vikings and Twins. But having said that, they are also the most hated sports team around here, not even close!! Nearly everyone who lives here, knows someone who is a Packers fan. Unfortunately,  I do too and have to work with a few of them. I personally think Packer fans are the most delusional fans on the planet. They think that every year will bring them a Super Bowl appearance. And when they finish below 500, they are mystified and want to fire the coach.  It is always fun and interesting to read a Packers message board!! No! Aaron Rodgers will not become the greatest quarterback of all time!!

As far as the game is concerned, I fully expect the Vikings to win. They have more talent and the home crowd will certainly be a big factor. I have attended a few games between these teams and the fan noise is always high. Add in the emotions to this game and the cover of the Dome might be blown off! The Vikings have not played well in their first 3 games but I expect them to come out and play their best game of the season and win by at least a few touchdowns.  AP will have a big night and will be the difference in the game.  In 4 weeks, it gets even more interesting. Favre returns to Lambeau for another meeting. Imagine Favre rallying the Vikes to victory at Lambeau like he did against the 49ers. It would be too good to be true!