Holy Hitter, PV, and our friend Jon were at the Twins' game last night. Here's the fun thing about going to a Twins game: you can look up and see two championship banners slapped to the wall. There aren't any other pro sporting events in town where we can do that.
So last year's sack leader (15.5!) is a serious possibility to join the Vikings (Access Vikings). This is more good news than a Minnesota sports fan is able to take.
Dr. Z had Allen on his 2007 All-Pro team, saying
"Battling to survive on a desperate team, the NFL's sack leader kept the heat on almost all year. No defensive player, at any position, approached the 7.0 grade I had for him."
Dr. Z also had Allen on his 2006 All-Pro team.
You may also remember Allen destroying the Vikings in a September 2007 game.
You'll also enjoy this video clip of Allen at Shutdown Corner. Man, if there's any way this guy could be on our team next season, the Vikings must make it happen.
I'm planning on going to the Viking home opener against Indianapolis. Peyton Manning is my favorite non-Viking player, and I believe he is the greatest quarterback of all-time. This is likely the only time he'll ever come to Minnesota to play in a football game. I have to take that opportunity to go watch.
Of course, I'm a Viking fan--I can never appreciate an opponent's greatness while he's playing the Vikings. Every Manning completion will make me grimace, and I'll be rooting for him to get sacked or intercepted on every play.
I feel like it's OK to pick favorite AFC players and teams--they'll only play my beloved Purple once every four years, so it's easy to see them as distant from my favorite team. But when those players do match up against the Vikes, I loathe them for three hours even if I root for them every other week.
D-Wil and Ballers, Gamers, and Scoundrels talk about Steve McNair. I've never been a big fan of McNair: he was a tough, versatile quarterback, to be sure, a quarterback you'd really want leading your team. But looking at his numbers, he didn't have that many great passing seasons; 2001, 2002, and 2003 were very good, but other than that, the passing numbers are often merely OK. But Roy Johnson has a point about how a win in his Super Bowl appearance would have changed his legacy (I don't quite accept the "just one more yard" bit: one more yard would have put the game into overtime and given the Titans a 50% chance of winning). Compare McNair's numbers to Hall of Famer Troy Aikman. Aikman completed 61.5% of his passes to McNair's 60.1%: slightly better. Aikman threw 165 touchdowns and 141 interceptions; McNair threw 174 touchdowns and 119 interceptions. Here McNair is better (McNair also has three 20+ TD seasons to Aikman's one). But look at the rushing yards: after his rookie year, Aikman was a negligible runner. McNair rushed for 3,590 yards (5.4 ypa) and 37 touchdowns.
By the numbers, McNair was a comparable passing quarterback to Aikman and a far superior running quarterback. He also won a lot of games. He was widely revered for his toughness, and he's got an MVP award. We have to ask: how much are we going to use team championships to determine a quarterback's legacy? By any standard, I'd say if Aikman is a Hall of Famer, McNair is a Hall of Famer.
NBA Playoffs are Starting!
At Epic Carnival, wwtb? looks at the great point guards in the Western Conference.
At SI, Marty Burns breaks down the West.
At ESPN, John Hollinger looks at the NBA playoffs.
SLAM previews the West.
Yes, I'm virtually ignoring the Eastern Conference. I will watch games when Kevin Garnett, Dwight Howard, or LeBron James are playing. But mostly I'll just watch the Western Conference.
Some good bloggers have consolidated into one blog: Sports On My Mind. I love a chance to clean up the blogroll.
Brett Favre's number will be retired week one against the Vikes (Star Tribune).
On the 22 inning baseball game last night (The Sporting Blog).
The Timberwolves are selling some cheap season tickets (TrueHoop).
Oh, man, the Timberwolves suck. But I like Kirk Snyder too (Wages of Wins).
Did the NFL try take attention away from Jackie Robinson day (The Hater Nation)?