Monday, January 07, 2002
Brett Favre may be generous but he's also devious.
The uproar over Favre's gift sack to Michael Strahan near the end the the Packers' victory over the N.Y. Giants on Sunday ignores an important point: It iced the game for the Packers.
Brett Favre is a good 'ol boy who loves playing football and obviously wanted his friend Mike Strahan to break the sack record. Brett Favre is also a wily old veteran who can lie with a straight face. Everyone may suspect but no one can ever prove that his sack was a gift; Favre insists it was a play he's run before and this time it just didn't happen to work. When he ran into Strahan he did the smart thing and took a slide rather than risk a fumble or injury. That's his story and he'll stick with it.
It also distracts everyone from the real consequence of that sack.
This was a game the Packers had to win to maintain home field advantage for their playoff game against San Francisco. And even though the Packers had dominated for most of the game, a late charge by the Giants had made it uncomfortably close at 34-25. A sudden touchdown, successful on-side kick, and field goal by the Giants could still result in a miracle come-back victory, which would dramatically sour the Packers' playoff chances.
So Favre pulled a "naked bootleg" (without telling his teammates) and ran smack into Strahan for the record sack. The game stopped while everyone congratulated Strahan. It signalled that the game was over. Giants coach Jim Fassel refused to use his remaining three time outs, and basically let the clock run out. After all, how could the Giants desperately attempt a last-minute upset of the Packers after that? It would have seemed so churlish and ungrateful.
End result: The Giants accepted the consolation prize, to close out an otherwise very disappointing season. And the Packers play at Lambeau field next weekend.