Saturday, December 27, 2008

Clash of the Curses

"I think we're going to shock a lot of people with a great game. I feel like we're going to win," he said. "Not to take anything away from Green Bay, but we're a great football team. I know the record doesn't show it, but I'm going to say it."

-- Lions RB Travis Fisher
Tomorrow could be the end of the Curse of Bobby Lane. The Lions complete their 51st year without a championship in stellar fashion, a record 0-15 going into the game with the Packers. This is the Lions' very own Super Bowl. An achievement in itself that would put a smile on Lane's face.

The Packers, not taking anything for granted, stumble into the game losing 5 in a row and 7 of their last 8. If the Packers can maintain this level of play, the Lions will avert the humiliation of having the worst season in NFL history.

That could be a sign of things to come. Things like 50 years of losing for the Green Bay Packers.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Chicago 20, Packers 17 - Overtime

The set-up was perfect. The Bears give the ball back to the Packers in range for a long field goal. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers expertly passes the Packers into range for a game winner, and the Packers burn most of the clock. Rodgers first fourth quarter come from behind win is close to a lock.

The ESPN motor mouths knew it, too. They had graphics and talking points ready.

But Brett wouldn't let it happen. Blocked!

Bears win in OT. Another dagger from the Favre Curse.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


What other possible explanation than Brett's Curse?

The curse should be inactive for today's game against the Texans. The Packers are safely out of the playoff hunt, no need for the curse this week.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Carolina 35, Green Bay 31

A stellar game by Aaron Rodgers, 29 of 45 for 298 yards and 3 touchdowns through the air. The Hail Mary that was intercepted following the Panthers final touchdown should not have been necessary. Rodgers even had 26 yards on 5 carries rushing. You cannot blame the loss on Rodgers, his play was Favre-like.
First downs: Packers 25; Panthers 15
Total yards: Packers 438; Panthers 300
Time of possession: Packers 37:52; Panthers 22:08
Turnovers: Even until the Hail Mary
The Packers take the lead with a field goal with under 2 minutes left, and the Panthers come back with a touchdown on just 2 plays. The first play a bomb to Steve Smith on which Rod Woodson had coverage position until he slipped.

There is only one reason that the Packers lost this game, The Curse of Brett Favre.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The Curse of Brett Favre

Until today, I have been a naysayer of those criticizing Ted Thompson's decision to trade Brett Favre to the New York Jets for a 2009 draft pick. By my logic, the drop-off in quarterback quality with Aaron Rogers was not exceptional and the Packers will end up with a potential future star with that high draft pick from the Jets. I analogize the trade to getting something for a used car that would otherwise not be driven again.

I have also been hard on Favre jock-sniffers Kevin Fischer and Huckleberry Dumbell. They are focused on the quarterback position where statistically Favre and Rogers have been a toss-up, 94.1 to 90.5 QB Ratings following last Monday night's fiasco in New Orleans. The reality is that Aaron Rogers is not losing any more games for the Packers than Favre normally did. It has been the Packers defense this year that is losing games. Fischer's and Dumbell's comparisons to the 2007 Packers also ignore the fact that the team was incredibly lucky with injuries last year.

I've been of the same mind as Jib, who said this week.
1. Think back on how many shootouts the Packers won with Brett over the years. Having trouble coming up with more than a few, aren't you? That's because the ultimate gunslinger wasn't actually all that good in shootouts. He was undisciplined and made a ton of errors when games seemed to be spinning out of control. Like you, I was hoping for Favre-like big plays in the second half from Rodgers. Unfortunately, even Favre did not make those plays very often in games like last night. He was more prone to toss 5 interceptions in games like last night.

2. You all are right. The Packers do miss the pass rush that Brett brought last year. And he was a stout run stopper, too.

3. You all are right. The Packers do miss the blanket-like pass coverage Brett brought to the secondary of this team.
But earlier today I learned of The Curse of Bobby Lane. The parallels are troubling.
In 1958, after leading the Lions to 3 NFL Championships and providing Detroit nearly decade of Hall of Fame play, the Lions traded Bobby Layne. Bobby was injured during the last championship season and the Lions thought he was through and wanted to get what they could for him. According to Legend, as he was leaving for Pittsburgh Bobby said that Detroit "would not win for 50 years".

For nearly 50 years the Lions have searched for answers and each time they think they have one, it gets foiled and they have to start from scratch all over again. The team is constantly in a rebuilding state with an ever constant Quarterback controversy (Ala Munson/Landry, Peete/Ware, or Harrington/Garcia).
Upon his retirement in 1962, Bobby held the NFL record for most career pass attempts, completions, passing yardage, and touchdown passes (since broken). However, it was his leadership and will to win that, to this day, separate Bobby Layne from his quarterback contemporaries. He willed three average Detroit Lions teams to championships in 1952, 1953, and 1957.
Layne and Favre were cast in the same mold.
"Bobby Layne never lost a game. Time just ran out. Nobody hated to lose more than Bobby."
Doak Walker
How many time has that been said of Favre?

I now understand that it is not the quality of the quarterback's play that is losing games this year. It is the bad mojo that the Packers now carry from Thompson's treatment of Favre. The lesson of the Lion's treatment of Bobby Layne bodes ill for the Packers chances of success for decades.

How long until we can add the Favre Curse to this list of famous sports curses?

Cross posted at Headless Blogger.