Both teams are good defensively and one-dimensional offensively. Both teams have been in a lot of close games this season. However, because in professional football the passing game is more important than the running game, the Packers have been able to win most of their close games, while the Vikings have lost most of theirs. In a close game, Brett Favre and all those young talented receivers can mount a winning drive. In a close game, the Vikings don't have the passing game to mount a necessary fourth quarter drive.
As I pointed out yesterday, the Vikes have won 3 of their last 5 games at Lambeau Field, and the two losses were by a combined 5 points. It appears to me that there's going to be another close game--which means Brett Favre might have a chance to lead a late game-winning drive, while Brooks Bollinger will have to hope Adrian Peterson or Chester Taylor can break out big plays.
If the Vikings win this game, they move to 4-5 with a favorable schedule ahead, and we should be optimistic they can get to 9 wins. If they lose, they'll be 3-6, and many will give up on them (though they shouldn't--they still have a favorable schedule, and as long as the team doesn't give up on the season, they can win any game remaining).
Williamson missed some time for a funeral: the Vikings docked his pay, and Williamson wished he could have more time off.
I'll set aside the ethical question of the situation (though what the Vikings did certainly appears distasteful) to look at the pragmatic consequences. Brad Childress better have a good feel for how the other players on the team feel about Williamson and the situation. If Williamson is well-liked and the players on the team symphathize with his actions (and resent the team's treatment of him), this could be the sort of thing that gets the team to turn on Childress and Viking management. It appears to me the team has always played hard for Childress (with the possible exception of last season's week 17 game). Hopefully the Vikings have a good feel for how players on the team will react to the Williamson situation, or this could spiral badly out of control.
Looking at the week 10 matchups, we can see that 10 of 14 games feature divisional matchups. It's the second half of the season, and we're ready for the playoff run.
The Fantasy Championship Run
Now's the time to finish up building your fantasy football squad for the second half of the season. Members of the Hazelweird League were trading fast and furious this week, gearing up for a title run over the last eight weeks.
Take that, Boston
Sure, Boston fans might be reveling in the joy the Red Sox, Patriots, and Celtics are giving them. But if Bostonians want to go to the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, they have to pay. The Twins, Vikings, and Timberwolves may perpetually disappoint us, but we can to go the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts for free. So there. Think about it. Yeah.
Have a good weekend everybody. Except Packer fans.
wwtb?'s latest fantasy flukism (when a RB is awful but scores short TDs and thus has a good fantasy week) is up at Epic Carnival.
Cold, Hard Football Facts compares Adrian Peterson and Eric Dickerson.
My favorite chapter in any novel is in The Brothers Karamozov, when Ivan has a conversation with the devil, who tears Ivan's "everything is permitted" ideology to shreds. Ivan is a philosophical nihilist who believes there is no morality. The devil points out that Ivan's nihilism actually reveals a desire for transcendent meaning--if "everything is permitted," why doesn't Ivan just do whatever he wants? Why does he have to create an elaborate philosophical justification for it? Why does he have to develop a philosophy to imbue doing whatever you want with meaning? Ivan, the devil reveals, has a real desire for spiritual meaning not merely hiding within his nihilism, but revealed by his nihilism.
And Bill Simmons continues to write columns not merely justifying anything the Patriots do, but anything Patriot fans do, say, or feel about it, claiming they are saying "F--- you!" to everybody else. As I stumble through these barely readable screeds, I sort of wish Ivan's devil would have a conversation with him. If you're going to say "F--- you!" to the entire league, shouldn't you just do it? If you write column after column explaining and justifying that you are saying "F--- you!" to the entire league, aren't you sort of admitting you realize something is amiss? To borrow one of the most famous lines in literature's history: "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."