Saturday, January 09, 2010

With Respect, Brett Favre Is Your NFL MVP

And it shouldn't have been close. The scandal of it is that Favre is already a three-time MVP (1995-97) which was a record until now. Favre had 33 touchdown passes this season, only 1 fewer than Drew Brees--who didn't win the award either--and threw the fewest interceptions, 7, of any starter in the league. Brees threw 11. The great Tom Brady threw the ball to the other squad 13 times. Peyton Manning threw sixteen interceptions, while throwing the same number of touchdown passes as Mr. Favre. The quarterback rating, whose formula is admittedly shrouded in mystery but combines completion percentage, passing yards, and passing touchdowns into a useful number--favors Favre over the winner Manning as well. Manning's rating was 99.9, with the best possible number being 158.3. Favre's was 107.2. Brees posted the best in the league at 109.6. The question is, with Manning leading in only one significant category with 4,500 passing yards (to Brees' 4,398 and Favre's 4,202) how did Peyton Manning win this award? What is worse is that Manning got the lion's share of the 50 first place votes. Brees got 7. Favre got 1. It is undeniable that Manning was statistically the most proficient quarterback in this recently closed first decade in the 21st century. But this year, Brees was better, and so was Favre. If Favre had lost this fourth MVP award to Brees narrowly, I'd be OK with that. Brees was incredible. But Manning? No way. I don't even understand the reasoning. Manning isn't even the best player on his own team. Center Jeff Saturday is. Even Peyton agrees with that one. I understand that centers don't win MVPs. That being said, in a year where every MVP vote went to quarterbacks, how did Brett Favre only get 1 vote? I deserve an answer.Maybe the voters have soured on Favre's retirement dance, which has commenced every spring for at least 5 years. Maybe they are getting revenge for all the rhapsodic praise lavished on Favre in that same 5 years by announcers and fans alike. I'm guilty of this. We all are, because we were late in appreciating this legend, whose prime in the 1990s was in a league which still included Dan Marino, Joe Montana, John Elway, and Troy Aikman at that position. But the fact remains that Brett Favre--a three-time MVP and Super Bowl champion who has started every game since September 20, 1992--put up his best season in his 19th year at the age of 40. Is that worth more than one vote? It is to me. So how did this happen? Oh, I almost forgot: the award is given by the Associated Press.

Friday, January 08, 2010

5 Thoughts On "Funny People"

5. Believe it or not, Judd Apatow is not without a moral.

4. Adam Sandler is definitely entering the realm of "Respected Actor."

3. This movie is crude, but laugh out loud funny most of the way (and appropriately serious the rest of the time).

2. James Taylor still sounds incredible.

1. Lord, give me a nerd for a wife.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

5 Thoughts for Today

5. What do you mean, you've never heard of Steve Perry?

4. Returning that extra lexicon probably nets me enough for a new Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament.

3. She's definitely poem-worthy.

2. Snow and chill is my bitter pill.

1. "We're all lookin' for redemption/Just afraid to say the Name."

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

5 More Thoughts On Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22

5. Verse 5 seems to strongly indicate (especially the Hebrew syntax) that Abraham believed Isaac would be alive after this ordeal, one way or another.

4. Abraham told his young servants to stay with the donkey. Was it a poorly-behaved donkey? And why did they not take it with them? [Because it was a bad donkey, obviously.--ed.] Maybe!

3. It may have been more culturally normative for Abraham to sacrifice his son than we realize, but Isaac obviously hadn't gotten the memo.

2. My teacher may be right to say it is harmful to teach this passage from the beginning with Isaac as a type of Christ, since he fades into the background in this story.

1. Fine, sir, you win. But take it up with the Fathers. Moreover, if I were a pastor, I'd keep this text in my Christmas or Easter liturgy out of (gentle) spite.

Monday, January 04, 2010

5 Reactions To Being Told "Genesis 22 is not about Christ."

5. What do you mean "about"? Isn't the whole Bible about Jesus?

4. The point that Isaac was meant as a burnt offering, and thus cannot be analogous to Christ's sacrifice is moot if Christ's cross subsumes all OT sacrifices into itself; better stated, that His cross has differing nodes or aspects in its fulfillment. Interesting side defense of my teacher's position: If he is correct to say that Gen. 22's (Abraham-Isaac, specifically) main thrust is the testing of Abraham, could we not say that Our Lord was similarly tested--and passed superabundantly--in a manner analogous to Abraham? And in this case, He was both the one tested, and the victim of the test. Isn't that amazing?

3. The Church Fathers disagree with you, sir.

2. No notion of sensus fidelium for you. Noted.

1. Not about Christ with respect to what?
5 Snarky Thoughts On J-Term Hebrew At Seminary

5. I wish I'd failed the final for the last class.

4. Two weeks of pure pain.

3. This is like "Armageddon"--except we don't have Bruce Willis.

2. "Proficiency is such a nebulous word; I prefer 'interact.' "

1. I will likely call my teacher a Samaritan--with all the scorn of a son of Jacob--by the end.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

My Thoughts on the 2012 GOP Presidential Field
First, the list: Palin, Jindal, Pawlenty, Barbour, Huckabee. I think only Huckabee has no shot, sorry to say. He's hated by vast portions of the electorate, and even the GOP primary electorate. No way he gets the fiscal wing or the "South Park Republicans." Bobby Jindal: Has a great shot, because he's positioned himself well against both the Democrats and the Bush Republicans. Weaknesses: He's Southern. The danger that we will become, or are a regional party is a real one. Obama will play on this for all it's worth. Ethnic bonus: Take the 'racist' card from Obama and the Dems. 'Historic' bonus as well. Palin: Beloved by the base, able to get moderate women/Clintonites, credible independent stance. It's hard for me to say a bad word about her. The legacy media's ability to slime her will further diminish, and the fact that they will try will only help her. Weaknesses: She needs to downplay the anti-intellectual air about her, and be far more prepared for the big stage. Pawlenty: Almost unknown to the general public, Pawlenty is a likable, able speaker who held his own against the Democrats in the People's Republic of Minnesota as governor. Strategically, he makes the most sense to A) avoid the Southernist charge and B) put the upper midwest back in play. His only weakness, his anonymity, is also a strength. Pawlenty-Jindal or Jindal-Pawlenty (or any Palin combination) just makes a frightening amount of sense. Barbour: Respected governor with executive and fundraising experience. Weakness: Southern and unknown to the wider public.One other comment: Jindal and Palin would be a superstar ticket, but the celebrity factor would be a minus here: no one here to be the understated one when one gets annoying/overexposed.Palin-Jindal Pawlenty, with maybe someone random like Frist or Romney thrown in. (I'll do the Dems later.)