And by O.P.P., I mean Other People's. . .Problems.
(Come on. . .where did you think I was going there?)
Yes, since there really is no Vikings' news to speak of, let's take a look at a couple of news items that are affecting a couple of our division rivals. After all, if it affects them, it could indirectly affect us.
Let's start in Chicago, where "Joliet" Tank Johnson was released from jail on Sunday morning after serving half of his 120-day sentence for violating his probation. He served half because he got some sort of two-for-one deal with good behavior and such. Now that he's been let out of prison, he's got a meeting scheduled with NFL Commissioner Roger "The Executioner" Goodell. . .or he may have already had it, I'm not sure which.
The question in this case isn't if Johnson's going to be suspended, but for how long. ESPN's John Clayton stated on the radio the other day that the word is that Goodell is looking at actually showing Johnson some leniency based on the fact that he spent time in jail.
In the words of the immortal Penn and Teller. . .well, mostly Penn, since Teller doesn't talk. . .I must cry "Bullshit!" if this is the case.
Look, Pac-Man Jones just got suspended for a year. . .and while Pac-Man Jones has done a metric assload of galactically stupid things, he doesn't have any convictions on his record. Tank Johnson, on the other hand, has not only been convicted of a crime, it was a crime he committed while he was on probation for another crime he committed! Throw in the fact that Johnson's house has been a regular landing spot for the Chicago P.D. and the fact that the authorities found so many guns in said house that Ted Nugent called him up and advised him to dial it back a bit, and you've got a guy that should be in some serious trouble.
Tank Johnson should get a one-year suspension. . .at LEAST a one-year suspension. Jail, schmail. . .jail isn't going to do anything to this schmuck. You want to send a message to the guy? Hit him in the wallet.
Our other story takes us to Green Bay, where when we last left our hero, Captain Overrated, he was in the midst of pitching a hissy fit about his team's inability to acquire one Randy Moss from the Oakland Raiders.
Turns out that the hissy fit isn't over yet.
Yes, at his charity golf tournament over the weekend, the aforementioned Captain Overrated whined to a reporter from the Biloxi Sun-Herald (WOO-HOO!! LOCAL NEWSPAPER!! WOO-HOO!!) that he was envisioning a three-wide set with Moss, Donald Driver, and Greg Jennings. I once envisioned myself in a threesome with Kate Hudson and Scarlett Johanssen. . .heck, there's a better chance of that happening than there was of Randy Moss actually ending up in Green Bay. The word is coming from all corners that Favre is fed up with the Packers' current committment to excrement.
Quite frankly, if I may borrow a phrase from Vince McMahon. . .Ted Thompson didn't screw Brett Favre. Brett Favre screwed Brett Favre.
Now, don't get me wrong. . .Ted Thompson is still an idiot (and time will bear this out), and I hope that Favre stays in Green Bay for another decade, because that team's not going anywhere as long as he's behind center. But maybe. . .just maybe. . .the Packers would have made more of a committment to winning NOW if Favre could have humbled himself to make more of a committment to the Packers.
Think about it. . .every off-season, this guy gives us the same old "Well, I think I might retire. . .then again, I might not!" schtick, and everyone in the state of Wisconsin (not to mention the chimps at ESPN) hang on this guy's every word. You can't seriously think that that team can make long-term plans when they've currently got a 37-year old quarterback who doesn't even know if he wants to play next year, let alone a couple of years down the road. When his previous contract was up, he could have gone to management and said, "You know what? I'll give you three more years. Let's try to make another run before I retire." But he didn't. . .and we get the "will he or won't he" garbage every year.
This is a team that burned a first-round pick on Aaron Rodgers in 2005, and they're now looking at a third straight season where he doesn't take a single meaningful snap. The Packers aren't going to the playoffs this year regardless of who their quarterback is. . .the difference is that if they play Brett Favre and they don't make the playoffs, they STILL don't know what they have in Aaron Rodgers. If they play Rodgers and he's terrible (and I have the feeling he will be), then Green Bay can look at moving on.
But, instead, they're held hostage by a quarterback that's under the impression that he's bigger than the team. . .and, quite frankly, given the treatment he's received over the years, why would he feel any other way? No coach since Mike Holmgren has had the stones to stand up to him, nobody in the front office has the stones to push him out some other way, and nobody in the Packer fan base wants to admit that the guy is about 3 years removed from his prime. (And if you don't believe me on that last point, feel free to ask Sam Brownback.)
But, like I said, as a Viking fan, long live the Brett Favre era in Green Bay! But I honestly have no idea how Packer fans put up with this crap every single year.