FanDuel - WFBC

January 17, 2010

Favre, Viking defense rough up Romo, Cowboys 34-3: This is why Brett Favre said he was coming back. And back he is maybe better than ever.

Four count 'em, four touchdown passes from Minnesota's 40-year-old quarterback put the Vikings within a game of the Super Bowl with a 34-3 rout of the Dallas Cowboys to advance to the NFC championship Sunday.

posted by dviking to football at 04:53 PM - 121 comments

I know there were a lot of Favre doubters out there, some even thought he didn't make the Vikings a better team.

From the way Minnesota played that game...agressive to the very end...it looked like Favre and team wanted to make a statement. Four TD passes, 0 int's, 134.4 QB rating, held Dallas to 3 points, sacking Romo 6 times. Hell, the officials even tried to help Dallas with some very obvious "no calls" on pass interference. Great game from my, very biased, perspective!

Bring on the Saints, should be a good game!

posted by dviking at 05:03 PM on January 17

The statement they made at the end was "we have no class." I'm not sure I see the point of that.

There were a few bad non calls in Dallas' favor, but the refs also missed a pretty obvious late hit against Romo early. Silly to talk about the refs at all in game that ended 34-3.

Favre played well, but the way Rice was playing he just wasn't going to be stopped. His first two touchdowns had some Oscar-worthy acting. On the first bomb, the defender had him covered but Rice gave no indication the ball was coming until it was in his hands. I watched it five times and I still don't understand how he did that. On the second, he fell to the ground as if he was blocking and found an open spot during a Favre scramble.

posted by rcade at 05:19 PM on January 17

How 'bout dem Cowboys? After an entire week of hearing how awesome the Cowboys are, a total ass-kicking beatdown was very satisfying. And the Vikings were able to roll despite quiet games from Peterson, Harvin, and (until late) Shaincoe. Attention Cowboys: I've said it before and I'll say it again, no buttered popcorn on the sidelines.

posted by kirkaracha at 05:25 PM on January 17

The Vikes were able to roll without those offensive players because their defensive front and linebackers dominated. Romo completed only one pass of more than 20 yards and I don't know if he even tried any others.

I like the way the Vikings fans broke out in song in the fourth quarter. NFL teams should all have a team song and others as well that fans belt out during games. And that horn is awesome.

One nit: It's weird that the Metrodome has done nothing to make the swastika look less like a swastika. They even light the thing.

posted by rcade at 05:35 PM on January 17

agressive to the very end...it looked like Favre and team wanted to make a statement.

Well, that's one way to spin it.

Sources: For Phillips, 2 more years likely

Good luck with that.

And ya know, maybe I'm crazy, but Favre sure seemed like a kid out there!

If there's a God the Saints will win next week with Favre shellshocked on the sidelines, but after the Yankees winning the world series I'm not much of a believer.

posted by justgary at 05:43 PM on January 17

Thanks for reminding me of this classic thread, rcade.

posted by NoMich at 05:46 PM on January 17

Favre celebrated in the locker room afterward by singing Pants on the Ground.

posted by rcade at 06:01 PM on January 17

Did not expect a one-way blowout. Neither did my wallet.

Vegas made a killing on that one.

Didn't get a chance to watch the game, but Favre's numbers look great.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:17 PM on January 17

For the Cowboys fans complaining about the Vikings running it up, it reminds me of some sage advice I learned when I was younger: Never tell anyone about your problems; half of them won't care, and the other half will be glad it happened to you. I think most non-Texans are secretly (or not so secretly) experiencing a great deal of schadenfreude.

I was among those who wasn't sure Favre was going to help the Vikings much (epsecially given the last decade of playoff performances), but I'll freely and happily admit to being wrong. I think Favre was taking out some frustrations from those three NFC championship games the Pack lost to the Cowboys in the 90's with that last drive.

posted by TheQatarian at 06:26 PM on January 17

are you sure that axe isn't sharp yet?

posted by scully at 07:31 PM on January 17

The statement they made at the end was "we have no class." I'm not sure I see the point of that.

I think the statement was aimed more at the media than it was the Cowboys, and judging from comments from the Cowboys after the game I don't think any of them took it personally. I will state that I probably would have called running plays myself. Not that the Cowboys were stopping much of anything at that point.

but the refs also missed a pretty obvious late hit against Romo early

Come on, the hit was at most a hair late, the interference (or at least holding) plays both would have been for 1st downs, one of which would have kept a drive alive.

As to the dome's swastika, that is only one of the many traits that make that place the ugliest venue to watch a sporting event ever created. Glad the Gophers and Twins are now out!

posted by dviking at 07:38 PM on January 17

For the Cowboys fans complaining about the Vikings running it up

I'm not complaining. I fault the cowboys for playing a terrible game. I just think the old cliche of 'making a statement' is a copout. What statement does winning 34-3 instead of 27-3 make? What statement does scoring a touchdown when the game is decided and the defense has lost all incentive make? It's meaningless, and pointless.

Do I think its classless? Sure. Just run the ball up the middle. But class isn't the first thing I think about when it comes to Favre, or players in general. They're geared to compete until the gun goes off. It's the cowboys that put them in the position to 'make a statement'.

and judging from comments from the Cowboys after the game I don't think any of them took it personally.

"I thought it was totally classless and disrespectful," Brooking said. "This is the NFL, that's not what this is about. I don't think there's a place for that ... I was looking for Childress. I didn't think it was right, but they've got to see us next year. They've got to see us. You better believe I'll have that one circled on the calendar, but I say that, we get paid to stop them. I don't care what's called, but sometimes I don't think there was much class in that decision to do what he did."

Sounds kind of personal.

posted by justgary at 08:02 PM on January 17

Come on, the hit was at most a hair late ...

The defender took two full steps after the pass. I was amazed, given the way the refs treat quarterbacks these days, that there was no flag on the play.

I think the statement was aimed more at the media than it was the Cowboys ...

The Vikes had already sent the message to anyone who was paying attention that the Cowboys didn't belong on the same field.

posted by rcade at 08:22 PM on January 17

What statement does winning 34-3 instead of 27-3 make? What statement does scoring a touchdown when the game is decided and the defense has lost all incentive make? It's meaningless, and pointless.

Do you really think the Cowboys stopped playing? They just thought at that point in the game, it would be a run. They guessed wrong. If the Vikings were throwing on all the downs, then I could get the complaint, but it was 4th down. I'm sure if the Cowboys offense had taken the field, they would have tried to score to make it respectable. It's the playoffs. No team should be expecting the other team to take it easy, and no team should be taking it easy.

posted by bperk at 08:31 PM on January 17

"I thought it was totally classless and disrespectful," Brooking said. "This is the NFL, that's not what this is about. I don't think there's a place for that ...

Waaaaaaaaa. It's pro football. If you're pissed at the other time running up the score, stop them in the first place.

posted by jmd82 at 08:41 PM on January 17

I loved the outcome of this game. My favorite team is the Steelers(now and forever), and second favorite team is whoevers playing the Cowboys.

posted by Doehead at 08:42 PM on January 17

Do you really think the Cowboys stopped playing?

I didn't say they stopped playing, I said they lost incentive. A defense isn't playing with the same intensity with 2 minutes left and the game completely not winnable.

They just thought at that point in the game, it would be a run.

Yep, agreed. Many, many times that would be the case (a run instead of a pass).

No team should be expecting the other team to take it easy, and no team should be taking it easy.

Didn't say they should.

Again, it doesn't matter. Nothing at that point in the game mattered, including making a 'statement', which was the point of my comment.

posted by justgary at 08:53 PM on January 17

If you're pissed at the other time running up the score, stop them in the first place.

That goes without saying. The issue is whether it's classless to run up the score on an opponent when a game's outcome is certain. I think it's a chump move, regardless of who's doing it, and detracts from the Vikings' accomplishment. I respect teams that hand the ball off in that situation and let the ball go over on downs. When you win a big game, act like you belong there.

posted by rcade at 09:18 PM on January 17

I didn't TIVO the game,, so I can't go back to the hit on Romo, but the official was right there, so I doubt it was two full steps.

I saw another interview that Brooking gave, and he spoke a different tune on that one. Besides, I'd expect a few to get pissed when you get your ass handed to you, and I really have no problem with a sore loser. If losing doesn't make you mad, your heart's not in. The way I see the final drive is this. The Vikings weren't going to just turn the ball over on downs, there was still almost 2:00 left. So, do you kick a field goal? That runs the score up, but takes no time. So, you go for, if you get the 1st, then maybe you take a knee. Dallas didn't stop them and there you have it. I think even Brooking gets that now.

Favre knows that so many are just waiting for him to melt down in order to say "see I told you so". I'm not surprised that he wanted to make the opposite statement. Favre, and the Vikings, have a lot of old Cowboy demons that haunt them, I think they exorcised a few today.

posted by dviking at 09:24 PM on January 17

I'm not surprised that he wanted to make the opposite statement.

Again, how is that a statement? How does a throwaway touchdown making the score 34-3 instead of 27-3 show or prove anything to anyone? Isn't the 27-3 score and then running the ball up the middle when everyone knows you could score if you wanted statement enough?

If you're right, and we're all just guessing right now, then as rcade said it was simply a chump move..

posted by justgary at 09:36 PM on January 17

there was still almost 2:00 left.

The game was completely, and totally out of reach.

I think even Brooking gets that now.

If he changed his tune it's because some one pulled him to the side and said 'hey, this sore loser routine just makes you look bad', not because he believes some unbelievable scenario where the cowboys come back.

posted by justgary at 09:49 PM on January 17

Let's review the Vike's choices.

1) Take a knee and turn the ball over on downs...not a likely choice with 1:55 left.

2) kick a field goal...do you really feel better if they do that?

3) Call a running play.

4) Throw a pass

Both 3 & 4 could have resulted in a TD. Dallas also could have stopped # 3 & 4.

While I hope this doesn't play into it too much, Favre does have some career playoff records that he's chasing. Who knows. It's playoff football, and the Cowboys would be gunning for Minnesota next regardless. Teams always go after the team that knocks them out.

posted by dviking at 09:49 PM on January 17

totally classless and can't believe anyone would defend it as not. The old argument "if you don't like it, stop it" is tired. It's like a big kid punching some little kid in the head and saying "if you don't like it, just stop it". Instead of saying that, how about recognizing that the big kid is a classless bully? How about the big kid having enough class that he realizes he doesn't have to keep punching a beaten kid in the head to prove something?

Thankfully Brooking didn't display the same class, otherwise he might have punched the helmetless favre right in the jaw when they crossed paths at the end.

Here's hoping Peyton and the Saints exact a little football Karma next week.

And no, I'm no Cowboy fan. Hate them in fact, being a Steeler fan.

posted by bdaddy at 10:09 PM on January 17

The play selection at the end was ugly and unnecessary and I didn't like it even though I am a Vikings fan and former season ticket holder.

However, Brookings behavior was pretty damn boorish too.

posted by Tigginator at 10:29 PM on January 17

I'm sorry, but isn't football a competitive game? When did we decide that just because one team is creaming the other, that they should stop playing hard and be "fair?" Wasn't it Dallas's job to stop the Vikings' offense? Let's put it this way, if Favre got hurt and was taken out of the game, should Dallas have taken it easy on them? No. And the analogy that it was like a big kid punching some little kid is off-based. It wasn't a pro team playing a college team. Grow up Brooking.

posted by skippy at 10:29 PM on January 17

It's like a big kid punching some little kid in the head and saying "if you don't like it, just stop it".
Yeah, that's a totally legitimate analogy when discussing competitive teams in a competitive league populated by some of the most gifted athletes on the planet paid six, seven, even eight figure salaries to play.

The Viking are not the Cowboys big brother, and have no moral, ethical, legal, or economic reason to "go easy". Fuck that! This isn't the Special Olympics, everyone doesn't get a trophy for playing, and the goal isn't to make all the players feel good about themselves.

If you're not good enough to stop a team from outscoring you by 31 points in a second round playoff game, then you either shouldn't have been in the fucking playoffs to begin with, or you were just severely outgunned. Good lesson to remember next year, so you don't get humiliated again: review the game footage, look at your weaknesses, and spend the offseason training, drafting, trading, and planning to be a better team next year.

And as dviking hints at above, the alternative to "Continuing to play, and apparently running up the score" because you're just that much better than the other team is "Make a mockery of the sport, and especially the losing team, by blatantly throwing away downs". I think as mad as the Cowboys were to lose by that much, they'd have been livid if say Favre had run on the field and started throwing the ball in the opposite direction because the lead was so big, or if receivers immediately dropped to a knee on every play.

posted by hincandenza at 10:34 PM on January 17

When did we decide that just because one team is creaming the other, that they should stop playing hard and be "fair?"

A long time ago. Most coaches, in the situation the Vikings were in, don't throw into the endzone to score another touchdown. The play was controversial enough that Buck and Aikman made note of it, Bradshaw and Johnson got into an argument about it immediately, and the postgame show led with it.

I think as mad as the Cowboys were to lose by that much, they'd have been livid if say Favre had run on the field and started throwing the ball in the opposite direction ...

You're being absurd. Surely you recognize that most coaches choose to grind it out on the ground in that situation, which is never questioned as bad sportsmanship even if it results in a touchdown.

The NFL's a game where respect among players matters. It would be very easy, in a game where you don't respect your opponent, to permanently injure somebody with a cheap shot. After the game is over, players almost always greet each other and the loser wishes the winner well. I think there's a place for sportsmanship in the waning minutes of games where the outcome's not in doubt. It would not have been difficult for a Dallas Cowboys defender to leave the Vikings a going-away present on their final drive.

Ultimately, this is a tempest in a teapot that will be forgotten until the teams meet next season, and even then I expect the Cowboys will not care as much as their fans do. It won't matter at all when the Vikes go to New Orleans to meet my favorite team the Saints and my entire family is decked out in brand-new Will Smith jerseys (13 sacks this year).

posted by rcade at 10:56 PM on January 17

Really thought all the 'Boys needed was good game management from Romo to win. They obviously didn't get that, resulting in many short field situations putting the game out of reach without much offensive output from the Vikes. (And less money in my wallet ......)

Didn't see the ending, but understand if some Dallas players were miffed. Lots of guys over there who deserved a better fate.

posted by cixelsyd at 11:11 PM on January 17

First, I have stated above that I would have personally called a running play. One designed to at least get the first down. Who knows, maybe you score on that play, and still get Brooking all upset. Who cares?

As to one of the Cowboys trying to intentionally hurt a Viking on the last drive.It would not have been difficult for a Dallas Cowboys defender to leave the Vikings a going-away present on their final drive., we're really only talking about the one play. Up until then what were the Vikings to do? Take a knee with 5 minutes left? That's crazy.

The play was controversial enough that Buck and Aikman made note of it Really, a former Cowboy made a note of it???

posted by dviking at 11:23 PM on January 17

If you're suggesting that Aikman's a Cowboys homer, I've never had any reason to think that since he became a broadcaster.

I mentioned the going-away present to show why respect is important in pro football, not to suggest the Vikings should've taken a knee earlier.

posted by rcade at 11:29 PM on January 17

After thinking about it some more, I still have no problem with it. Living in Minnesota, I enjoy seeing the Vikings win and score. They entertained us fans, until the very last drive of the play. If I'm paying big money to watch it at the Metrodome, that's what I want. If I'm watching my team on TV, I love seeing it. And if and when it's the other way around, I expect no less from the opposition, that they give it all every game every drive (which is why I hate resting players- it gives the fans the shaft).

posted by jmd82 at 12:15 AM on January 18

blowouts : SpoFi :: circumcision : MeFi

I think there's a place for sportsmanship in the waning minutes of games where the outcome's not in doubt.

As I've said here before, the big three American team sports are structurally flawed when it comes to blowouts: it's a two-way tossup between basketball "garbage time" and the second half of a one-sided NFL game for the sporting tedium championship, with baseball blowouts just behind.

If you want an easy way for a team to give up on a game that's "totally out of reach", get the commissioner and rules committee to allow the coach to throw out the towel.

posted by etagloh at 12:16 AM on January 18

In a fairly lopsided result, it appears that America doesn't feel the last TD was a showing of bad sportsmanship.

Note that all 50 states, and the international crowd all voted the same way. Only Texas was somewhat close.

posted by dviking at 01:26 AM on January 18

While I hope this doesn't play into it too much, Favre does have some career playoff records that he's chasing.
posted by dviking

That actually makes more sense than anything else.

if Favre got hurt and was taken out of the game, should Dallas have taken it easy on them?
posted by skippy

No. Nor is that an analogy that makes an sense at all. The Packers could still win the game with Favre hurt. The cowboys were completely out of the game when they went for an extra touchdown.

I think as mad as the Cowboys were to lose by that much, they'd have been livid if say Favre had run on the field and started throwing the ball in the opposite direction because the lead was so big, or if receivers immediately dropped to a knee on every play.
posted by hincandenza

Come on hincandenza. That's a ridiculous statement. There's a middle ground between intentionally missing passes and simply running the ball up the middle on 4th down.

In a fairly lopsided result, it appears that America doesn't feel the last TD was a showing of bad sportsmanship.

Did they ask voters to define sportsmanship first? That would have been entertaining.

Same america that screws up the all-star game every year (pick a league), the same america that would vote pete rose into the hall of fame. The same america that keeps nikelback playing crappy music.

I'm not at all shocked and completely okay being in the minority. Being in the majority doesn't equal being right.

posted by justgary at 01:36 AM on January 18

Being in the majority doesn't equal being right. Did they ask voters to define sportsmanship first?

So, you get to be the one to define sportsmanship for the world? Sportsmanship is a pretty subjective topic, so I kind of do think that majority rule is pretty acceptable. Especially when it's so universally aligned as it is in this case.

Anyway, keep in mind that the pass play was probably the best shot the cowboys had to score a touch down all day. Just man it up a notch and make an interception. Doesn't Brooking get paid to do that?

Looks like the Dallas Morning News is thinking that the Cowboys showed the Vikings disrepect by not taking them seriously enough...food for thought.

posted by dviking at 01:54 AM on January 18

To be honest, I wish the score would have been 80-3 or more. Cowboys aren't exactly the classiest bunch themselves, but always the first to whine and cry when things don't go their way.

Had the score been reversed, Cowboy fans would be saying they were sending a message for the NFC champ game.

If this were college or below ball, then yeah, don't take the guys heart out of the game. But this is the big time and there's bonuses to be made. If the opponent can't handle it, maybe they should go sell some used cars or something.

posted by stalnakerz at 03:04 AM on January 18

If you want an easy way for a team to give up on a game that's "totally out of reach", get the commissioner and rules committee to allow the coach to throw out the towel.

No way do I see any of the major professional sports leagues instituting a "mercy rule" in any way, shape, or form. Besides, if Wade Phillips had thrown such a towel in this game, Jerry Jones would've fired his sorry behind on the spot.

If you're pissed at the other time running up the score, stop them in the first place.

'Nuff said. For whatever reason, Dallas didn't stop 'em. Thanks for playing. Time to go home. Have a nice year, see you next season.

posted by NerfballPro at 05:13 AM on January 18

"I thought it was totally classless and disrespectful," Brooking said. "This is the NFL, that's not what this is about. I don't think there's a place for that ... I was looking for Childress. I didn't think it was right, but they've got to see us next year. They've got to see us. You better believe I'll have that one circled on the calendar, but I say that, we get paid to stop them. I don't care what's called, but sometimes I don't think there was much class in that decision to do what he did."

Brooking is the classless one for making this statement. This isn't high school or college football, where some teams are vastly superior physically to their opponents. This is not only the NFL, but the NFL PLAYOFFS. There's no mercy rule in the NFL Playoffs! Is the argument here that the NFC #2 seed has disrespected the #3 seed by whipping their asses and advancing to the NFC Championship Game? Good for the Vikings. Their offense is on the field, and their job is to score points. That's one more celebration for the home fans.

posted by bender at 09:28 AM on January 18

Sportsmanship is a pretty subjective topic, so I kind of do think that majority rule is pretty acceptable.

That poll is interesting, but I think majority opinion is a piss-poor guideline for deciding whether something is right or wrong. You've said that you would have run the ball in that situation. So you agree that there was something questionable about the decision.

To be honest, I wish the score would have been 80-3 or more. Cowboys aren't exactly the classiest bunch themselves ...

Give some examples about the current Cowboys team. I keep reading comments like this around the web, but I can't think of anyone on the current roster who acts like a chump or has gotten into off-the-field trouble. Some of the players celebrate more than I like to see in games (Marion Barber especially), but it's mostly at the start of the game when it appears they are trying to psych themselves up.

posted by rcade at 09:47 AM on January 18

We get it, dviking, you like your team. But you are not in a position to be unbiased on the classless actions of the Vikings coaching staff. Which is unfortunate.

As someone who was very happy to see the Cowboys lose -- at least another year the Steelers will be the only team with 6 Super Bowl victories -- I thought Childress showed again why he is such a tool.

justgary and rcade made all my other points for me. Seriously, using an online poll as proof?

posted by scully at 09:52 AM on January 18

Give some examples about the current Cowboys team

Let's start with Flozell Adams, you've already mentioned Barber, Brooking, ...

posted by cixelsyd at 10:01 AM on January 18

Flozell's a good example. He's earned a rep for cheap shots and I'd forgotten about his incident with the Giants.

posted by rcade at 10:05 AM on January 18

terrapin, I agree that I'm probably not the best to judge the play. Heck, my first post on this thread pointed out that I have a very biased view of the game.

But, do some folks that were pulling for the Cowboys get to decide it? I thought the poll, with over 57,000 respondents took my bias out of it.

As to naming Cowboys that act like chumps, why should it be contained to current players. Favre has played a lot of Cowboys over the years, and he has not faired well, perhaps he was enjoying his day. Jerry Jones summed up the ending this way "I don't how you hold a competitive Brett Farve back on 4th and 7 when he has a chance to throw a touchdown". Which is odd to say, since it was 4th and 3.

posted by dviking at 10:25 AM on January 18

I'm no Vikings fan (in fact, I watch a lot more AFC ball than NFC ball), but as I wrote above, I've got no problem with the Vikings' actions in this situation.

posted by bender at 11:00 AM on January 18

Why did Favre feel it was necessary to tell us that that his exuberance was "real and genuine"? What a weird thing to say in a post-game interview.

posted by fabulon7 at 11:32 AM on January 18

Their offense is on the field, and their job is to score points. That's one more celebration for the home fans.

Completely agreed.

I'm all in favor of good sportsmanship, but for the fans who spent big money to attend this game, it's more than just the win. They want to see points on the board. Even when the outcome is a forgone conclusion.

posted by MW12 at 12:03 PM on January 18

Why isn't anyone asking why Favre was still even in the game at that point? Is Childress now completely afraid to pull him out, even in a blowout when you could getting Rosenfels or Jackson a little time?

Hell, if one of those two guys had thrown the TD, I wouldn't have any issue with it -- it would have resulted from an honest attempt to knock some rust off in case Favre went down with an injury later in the postseason.

But for Favre to be jumping around and throwing the No. 1 in the air after he changed the score from 27-3 to 33-3? It doesn't surprise me in the least, but that's completely classless.

That poll is interesting, but I think majority opinion is a piss-poor guideline for deciding whether something is right or wrong.

Given that Americans re-elected Dubya in 2004, I agree.

posted by wfrazerjr at 12:13 PM on January 18

Nice gotta bring your politics into it. (how's your guy working out so far? sorry, back to the thread)

With you on pulling the starters at that point. Living here in Dallas I was watching that game with several cowboy fans, I told them all that I was surprised that Favre came back out for that last drive. I would have kept AP and Brett off the field. I think it has to do with there being 5:26 left on the clock, if T-Jack gives the ball away and the boys score it ends the game on a low note. The Vikings didn't want that, so Favre it was.

posted by dviking at 12:25 PM on January 18

Well I just want to take this moment to say, I told you so, when it comes to Brett Favre. The last 10 quarters of football he has played may possibly have been the best of his career. New Orleans in NO will be a great challenge and personally I would love to see him do well. He has proven that he wants to and can still play Hall of Fame caliber football.

It wasn't just that his passing was beautiful but that he had to take some lumps, scramble to keep plays alive and then throw perfect passes.

The only classless thing about the final score was the way the Cowboys handled it. Do they really want to be remembered for saying " hey you guys should have gone easy on us"? Note to all football fans, the goal for every offense in football is to score as many points as you can, the goal for all defenses is to prevent every score and even every yard if possible.
The game is 60 minutes and the Vikes did their jobs and played for a full sixty minutes. I suppose the Cowboys might complain that Minnesota should have pulled their starters as leaving them in also contributed to the beating those Cowboys endured. The only ones they should be directing their anger at is themselves.

posted by Atheist at 12:27 PM on January 18

Interesting analysis of that first TD pass to Rice.

posted by cl at 12:30 PM on January 18

I would have kept AP and Brett off the field.

If Childress pulls Favre, what are the odds that Favre pouts and the team has a distraction going into the championship game? Pretty good, I'd think.

posted by rcade at 12:32 PM on January 18

You know that Favre didn't want to come out of that game, and I can't say as I blame him.

Remember, the situation in Minnesota is a bit different this year.

If the Vikes win the Super Bowl, Favre most likely is gone. So, he's playing his heart out this year, having a great year, so why would he want to come out?

Would have I, with MN's longer term interests at heart, pulled him, sure, but I can also see why they didn't.

posted by dviking at 12:41 PM on January 18

But, do some folks that were pulling for the Cowboys get to decide it? I thought the poll, with over 57,000 respondents took my bias out of it.

Yes, 57,000 ESPN sports nation respondents. Try reading a few of those comment threads on ESPN and enjoy your laughs....thousands of references to "cowgirls" and "Tony Homo", etc. Yep, those guys have your back, Vikings fans!

posted by bdaddy at 12:47 PM on January 18

come on bdaddy, you think there aren't a ton of Cowboy homers on ESPN as well? Why wouldn't ESPN fans be a decent group to ask this question to? They watch more sports than your average citizen...who should they have asked?

Every poll has respondents at the extremes. I'd throw out Minnesota votes in a heart beat, however, even Texas voters had the same outcome.

There's been plenty of Favre bashing on this site, so not sure why some Cowboy/Romo bashing would seen so harsh. BTW, my Dallas friends are the first to throw out the Cowgirl tag whenever their team loses. The homophobic name calling is not worth justifying, however, Vikqueens gets thrown out as much as the one regarding Romo.

posted by dviking at 01:17 PM on January 18

You've said that you would have run the ball in that situation. So you agree that there was something questionable about the decision.

Most teams run because they want to run out the clock. But, the occasional short pass especially to get a first down is not out of the ordinary at all. That's pretty much how the Vikings were playing. They weren't airing the ball out or anything.

posted by bperk at 02:36 PM on January 18

I'm just not sure that "unnecessary" and "classless" are synonymous. I was surprised when they threw the last TD pass and thought it probably should have gone unthrown, but the first instinct wasn't to see it as a low class maneuver. I'm sure that Childress and Favre had their reasons for adding one more score, but I'm just not sold on the idea that they were trying to rub the Cowboys' nose in anything. But isn't speculating on the motives of another always an exercise in futility?

posted by tahoemoj at 02:57 PM on January 18

As I said before it all comes down to the time remaining on the clock.

Vikes weren't going to just take a knee and give Dallas the ball, so they went for it. If they score on a running play I doubt Brooking is any happier.

posted by dviking at 03:10 PM on January 18

The Vikes handed our asses to us, plain and simple, their D-line dictated the terms of the whole game. And, I suspect that Drew Brees will throw on the run a little more than he is used to Sunday.

I'm pullin' for the old man.

posted by mjkredliner at 03:15 PM on January 18

If they score on a running play I doubt Brooking is any happier.

Wrong or right if they run the ball we're not having this discussion. Sportsmanship wouldn't be a topic.

posted by justgary at 03:25 PM on January 18

Jesus, Dviking. You're. Just. Not. Getting. This. At. All. If the Vikes hand the ball off and score, neither Brooking nor anybody else raises a peep about it. The thing that raises people's hackles is throwing into the end zone when a game's over.

posted by rcade at 03:30 PM on January 18

if they run the ball we're not having this discussion.

Tell you what, call up the defensive co-ordinators and propose the "uncle" formation for blowout games, where the D-line stays five yards from the ball at the snap. You can have all the credit.

posted by etagloh at 03:30 PM on January 18

I'm just not sure that "unnecessary" and "classless" are synonymous.

They aren't. "Unnecessary" would be leaving Favre in the game at that point. "Classless" would be throwing the ball and jumping around like a fucking tool after you move the lead from 20 to 27 points.

Like I said earlier, if you're using the end of the game to give some work to your second string, I get throwing into the end zone. It's the same principal as my dreaded Dallas Academy defense -- you're using the time constructively, so the other team has to suck it up.

What the Vikings did, though, just makes them look like asses, but given their quarterback and head coach, it fits.

Nice gotta bring your politics into it. (how's your guy working out so far? sorry, back to the thread)

"My guy" would be Jack Layton, seeing as I'm Canadian. I left the U.S. in 2004 partially because it became obvious to me Bush was going to be re-elected.

posted by wfrazerjr at 03:36 PM on January 18

Looks like Wade Phillips won't lose his job in spite of yesterday's result.

posted by NerfballPro at 03:45 PM on January 18

So, you get to be the one to define sportsmanship for the world?

Nope. Where did you read that? I said that 'being in the majority doesn't equal being right', and it doesn't.

I don't think sportsmanship is valued much today, and I don't think most people that voted care about sportsmanship. They voted on 'did it bother them', and that's not the same thing. If you presented the poll as entertainment, fine. But if it's to prove right or wrong, it fails.

I agree that the cowboys should play a full 60 minutes, that the cowboys shouldn't be whining about it, that the vikings should play hard the entire game. But running the ball on 4th down with less than two minutes to go and a 24 point lead seems to me to be paint by numbers sportsmanship. It had zero to do with strategy. The game was over.

Had the score been reversed, Cowboy fans would be saying they were sending a message for the NFC champ game.
posted by stalnakerz

I can't speak for all cowboy fans, and neither can you, but I would tell you that I'd feel the same no matter the teams. There's at least two members here that hate the cowboys but have said it was the wrong thing to do. Some fans can separate allegiance when discussing sports.

Why did Favre feel it was necessary to tell us that that his exuberance was "real and genuine"? What a weird thing to say in a post-game interview.
posted by fabulon7

I'm sure he's well aware of his legacy of being 'just like a kid out there' and wants to make sure everyone knows its real. A weird statement coming from anyone but Favre, who I actually do believe is a kid in an adults body.

Tell you what, call up the defensive co-ordinators and propose the "uncle" formation for blowout games, where the D-line stays five yards from the ball at the snap. You can have all the credit.
posted by etagloh

I have no idea what you're going on about, so I'll assume it's 'blahblah insult'.

posted by justgary at 03:55 PM on January 18

Jesus. rcade. you're. just. not. being. realistic. The Cowboy homers I know...I know lots, and have had personal conversations with about 15 today...all are saying that they understand the Vikings going for it on 4th down, and most feel that any type of score would have had the same result.

So, what, I'm supposed to agree with you, or. i. just. don't. get. it? when did that start on this site?

Nope. Where did you read that? I said that 'being in the majority doesn't equal being right', and it doesn't.

I think it was implied in how you felt that 57,000 opinions carried more less weight than yours. On a subjective topic...hard to get more subjective than this...I think what most people feel is probably at least somewhat valid.

I guess we're all free to our own opinions. Looks like nobody is in the mood to change.

Bring on the Saints.

posted by dviking at 04:13 PM on January 18

"My guy" would be Jack Layton, seeing as I'm Canadian.

You can take the hoser out of the Hoosier state, but you can't take the hoosier out of the hoser. (As a funny aside, my wife is from downstate Illinois/St. Louis and they refer to country bumpkin types as "Hoosiers." I have no idea why they use this as a denigrating term, but it's real rich to hear in pot-kettle kind of way.)

As to the whole brouhaha about the last touchdown, it's worth noting that the Saints did not even attempt to move the ball on their last possession against the Cardinals, taking three straight kneel-downs, followed by delay of game and punt after getting the ball back just before the two-minute warning. It was different in the sense that the Saints were in their own half (around the 30, I think) and took possession at a different point than the Vikings, but does anyone here who supports what the Vikings did on a "you-have-to-try-on-every-possession" theory find what the Saints did to be classless, unsportsmanlike, or an affront to the game?

posted by holden at 04:51 PM on January 18

"My guy" would be Jack Layton, seeing as I'm Canadian.

Jack Layton? Now, he is a socialist.

My guy is Stephen Harper.*

*Best of a very bad lot.

posted by tommytrump at 05:40 PM on January 18

So, what, I'm supposed to agree with you, or. i. just. don't. get. it?

No.

You've offered at least six defenses for Childress' decision -- the Vikings were sending a message to the media, there was almost 2:00 left, the Cowboys didn't mind, Favre may have had records to go for, America agrees with me, and 15 Cowboys fans agree with me -- so it's not like I expect to change your mind.

I just thought that your last statement, "if they score on a running play I doubt Brooking is any happier," showed willful blindness to the idea there are two sides to this debate.

This argument comes up every time a team throws to score a touchdown after a game's no longer in doubt. It happened after the USC-UCLA near brawl, it came up after Alabama-Texas, it's one of the main things people remember about Steve Spurrier's run at Florida and it will come up next weekend if another team goes for FU points.

Woody Hayes was asked once why his Ohio State Buckeyes went for two late in a 50-14 win over Michigan in the '60s when they had a 34-point lead. His answer: "Because I couldn't go for three!"

posted by rcade at 05:46 PM on January 18

As a Cowboys fan, I'm deeply disappointed that the Cowboys forgot that they were playing in the 2nd round of the playoffs. What the Vikings did to my 'Boy was what I was hoping for the 'Boys to do to the Vikes so I can't be mad.

All this questioning about whether or not the Vikings ran up the score isn't even that serious because if it was the other way around, I think that alot of people would be singing a different tune...but that's just me. Here's to another year of Wade Phillips.. ugh!

posted by BornIcon at 05:58 PM on January 18

I don't think the Cowboys were unprepared for that game. They were just the weaker team. The Vikings played like the team that went 10-1, not the one that went 2-3 the final five weeks when they had less to play for. The Saints will have their hands full against that defensive front and Favre and his wideouts.

posted by rcade at 06:06 PM on January 18

What?!? Harper?!?! Layton!?!

Oh you are both so on the shit list.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 06:12 PM on January 18

Liz May* fan, Weedy? Please tell me it's not Iffy.

*Disclaimer: I voted for Liz when she ran in my riding.

posted by tommytrump at 06:22 PM on January 18

rcade, my first post was in regard to the complete game Favre, and the Vikings, played. They clearly wanted to make a statement, and they did. It had nothing, well, not much to do with the final score. They did not let up for a second on defense, nor did they let up offense. If they score had ended up 27 to 10 the statement isn't the same even though you and I might fully understand that the Vikes controlled the game.

I do think the time plays into it. That last drive started with too much time to just go three and out, and for the reason I just mentioned the Vikings weren't going to take a knee.

My friends here in Dallas, one of which is sitting 20 feet away from me wearing my #4 jersey, didn't see a problem with that final score. The poll is what it is, 57,000 with a collective opinion. I can't ask all 57,000 if they'd care if the score was on a running play or a pass, but those here in the office didn't seem to give a hoot either way. Probably would have needed to ask them immediately after the game for it to be valid, as most are already moving past this game. (Except the ones that will be wearing my AP and/or Favre jerseys the next few days.)

As to Favre going after records, I believe I'm on record as saying that I hope that doesn't play into the decision. I do not think it's sportsmanship to run up scores simply to chase some obscure record. (not that playoff TD passes is all that obscure).

posted by dviking at 06:24 PM on January 18

You can take the hoser out of the Hoosier state, but you can't take the hoosier out of the hoser. (As a funny aside, my wife is from downstate Illinois/St. Louis and they refer to country bumpkin types as "Hoosiers." I have no idea why they use this as a denigrating term, but it's real rich to hear in pot-kettle kind of way.)

I grew up outside of St. Louis and attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (a nice place to visit, but you wouldn't want to learn there). "Hoosier" seems to be a pretty common pejorative through the Midwest, but having lived last in southern Indiana, I wore it proudly.

Woody Hayes was asked once why his Ohio State Buckeyes went for two late in a 50-14 win over Michigan in the '60s when they had a 34-point lead. His answer: "Because I couldn't go for three!"

Then he sucker-punched a player and ran screaming out of the locker room.

Or at least that's how I imagine it.

posted by wfrazerjr at 07:02 PM on January 18

I think it was implied in how you felt that 57,000 opinions carried more less weight than yours.

They're individual opinions. They carry no more nor any less weight. You put great weight in the majority proving your point (I have 15 cowboys friends that agree with me...etc) so we'll just agree to disagree. I don't think it holds any value. The quality of an opinion stands on its own.

and most feel that any type of score would have had the same result.

Well, they're wrong.

Vikings kneel - no controversy. Vikings put in second team - no controversy. Vikings run the ball - no controversy. Vikings kick a field goal - a little. Vikings throw the ball - and here we are.

I do think the time plays into it. That last drive started with too much time to just go three and out, and for the reason I just mentioned the Vikings weren't going to take a knee.

The controversy isn't about the last drive. It's about the last play. Under two minutes and 4th down.

Look, in that situation most teams run the ball, or kneel, or whatever. That the Vikings didn't is why we're talking about this. So the Vikings went against conventional play, that's a given. That's why we're talking about it.

So what happened? I'm sure Favre knew what the expected thing to do was, and it wasn't passing the ball. For whatever reason, he decided against the expected and to throw the ball in a game that was over except for the final statistics. Why? I don't know, and we'll never know. Maybe it was to make a 'statement', whatever the hell that means. Maybe it was because the Cowboys had always given him trouble. Maybe one of the Cowboys called his mother a name. Maybe Favre thought 4 touchdowns passes sounded better than 3.

But whatever the reason, he chose to throw. He was not going to let another chance for a touchdown pass him by. I don't think he should be condemned for it, but I don't think it was the right thing to do. But Favre being who he is, I don't think that should come as a surprise.

I don't think the Cowboys were unprepared for that game.

Wow, I couldn't feel more different. The vikings may be the better team; they're not 34-3 better. The cowboys looked pitiful. I'm amazed there's going to be no changes.

posted by justgary at 07:16 PM on January 18

Having been born and raised, and still living, in the Dallas area, I will say that I have absolutely no problem with the late touchdown. I guess the question is: at what point should the players in the game decide that the game is in fact over, and how should they signify this? Should they start waving white flags indicating that we will not try to stop you from getting the first down, we will not try to score if by some chance we get the ball back, we will not tackle you hard or defend you closely if you agree to just fall down or intentionally throw the ball wide? And at what point in the game should that decision be communicated? Two minutes to go is apparently too late in the game. So, should the Vikings have stopped trying with four minutes to go, six minutes, when? Plus, how do you communicate this without letting the fans catch on and the TV networks that have put so much money into the product with the hope that the players keep playing until the end of the game?

We need rules, not whining.

posted by graymatters at 07:50 PM on January 18

I guess the question is: at what point should the players in the game decide that the game is in fact over, and how should they signify this? Should they start waving white flags indicating that we will not try to stop you from getting the first down, we will not try to score if by some chance we get the ball back, we will not tackle you hard or defend you closely if you agree to just fall down or intentionally throw the ball wide? And at what point in the game should that decision be communicated? Two minutes to go is apparently too late in the game. So, should the Vikings have stopped trying with four minutes to go, six minutes, when? Plus, how do you communicate this without letting the fans catch on and the TV networks that have put so much money into the product with the hope that the players keep playing until the end of the game?

In almost every single NFL / College/ High School game there is a point where the winning team decides to pull back, even in games that aren't blowouts, but that the game's outcome is determined. Somehow they answer all your questions with ease. I'm guessing with common sense. 4th down, 24 point lead, less than 2 minutes... doesn't seem like rocket science.

(and can we quit with the 'intentionally falling down' strawman nonsense? No one has even come close to giving that opinion. We're talking about one play call.)

posted by justgary at 08:04 PM on January 18

can we quit with the 'intentionally falling down'

But isn't that what you, or others, or saying? The Vikings should have stopped trying.

posted by graymatters at 08:26 PM on January 18

I'm sure Favre knew what the expected thing to do was, and it wasn't passing the ball. For whatever reason, he decided against the expected and to throw the ball in a game that was over except for the final statistics. Why?

If the expected is to run the ball, and thus the defense is prepared for that, thereby limiting the possibility that the Vikes gain a first down, isn't a pass play the smart thing to do in order to retain possession, in spite of the dreaded possibility that they score?

posted by MW12 at 08:33 PM on January 18

But isn't that what you, or others, or saying? The Vikings should have stopped trying.

Teams stop trying every week that football games are played. They take a knee when the opponent doesn't have enough timeouts to stop them. They also run the ball exclusively in blowouts, even when it means turning the ball over on downs instead of putting a field goal on the board. The blown-out defense also shifts to a lower gear and stops blitzing.

Here's an example of end-of-game sportsmanship from our own Dviking, found when I was looking for something else: "I returned punts and kickoffs in high school, and was told many times to 'just take it straight up the field, no heroics, no fumbles'. A few of those times were at the end of games that were out of reach for the other team."

Gregg Easterbrook has a "Running Up the Score Watch" feature in which he regularly bangs the drum for not scoring FU touchdowns. "Running up the score is a big problem in high school football, somewhat of a problem in college football and rare in the pros, which itself suggests that the more sophisticated the coach, the less likely to run up the score," he writes. "Coaches who run up the score on a regular basis have character problems, their ideal being not sportsmanship but standing over a humiliated opponent and laughing."

posted by rcade at 08:59 PM on January 18

rcade, bit of a difference between telling a 17 year old in a high school game to just run the return up the middle, and not fumble, and what the Vikings were facing. But, you know what, part of it was the same...don't give the other team the ball.

Do the Vikings, or Favre, really have a history of running up scores?

posted by dviking at 10:06 PM on January 18

Teams stop trying every week that football games are played. They take a knee when the opponent doesn't have enough timeouts to stop them. They also run the ball exclusively in blowouts, even when it means turning the ball over on downs instead of putting a field goal on the board. The blown-out defense also shifts to a lower gear and stops blitzing.

None of that is about sportsmanship. It is about game strategy. Teams trying to run out the clock quicker to prevent the other team from mounting a comeback or trying to prevent injuries. Teams trying to avoid passes and going of bounds because it stops the clock. College teams do that less often because they have an altogether different strategy because of polls. The amount they win by actually matters at least to pollsters even if it has been removed from official BCS rankings (when Spurrier was at Florida margin of victory was a factor). I think you are conflating good sportsmanship with strategy. I see zero indication that other teams run out the clock out of some sense of sportsmanship rather than because that is what is best for their team. And, imputing some noble motive to a professional sports team is just silly.

And, really, Flozell Adams got an unnecessary roughness penalty last week long after the game was decided. The week before that Dallas was up 24 to zip with just over two minutes on the clock, Romo lined up in the shotgun, but he was sacked. Any guesses why he was lined up in the shotgun? The whole premise that the Vikings scoring was violation of sportsmanship is just bogus with only Brookings complaints to back it up.

posted by bperk at 10:44 PM on January 18

The whole premise that the Vikings scoring was violation of sportsmanship is just bogus with only Brookings complaints to back it up.

Peter King did not like it, and I suspect the reason has less to do with the potential injury risk and more about the sportsmanship aspect: "Yes, it did bug me to see the Vikings first offensive unit in the game in a 27-3 blowout in the final five minutes, scoring another TD with less than two minutes. It's not a federal case, but I didn't like it." I think saying this is just Brookings complaining is off-base; I thought it was bush yesterday when it happened and was unaware of Brookings' comments until reading this thread.

I mentioned it above and will state it again, but upon receiving the ball just before the two-minute warning for the second half, the Saints (leading 45-14) took three kneel downs and then punted. I am having a hard time seeing that through the lens of pure game strategy as opposed to reflecting some sort of "code" of football in terms of closing out a game in a manner that is respectful of your opponent. Is it a hybrid of some sorts (i.e., game strategy plus some aspect of sportsmanship)? Perhaps, but to suggest that end-of-game decision-making is purely about strategy is to overlook years of football history and how norms (both within and outside of sport) develop and are followed/enforced.

In the grand sportsmanship scale, I would put what the Vikings did at about a 7 on the 1-10 scale (with 1 being Boy Scout and 10 being throwing a Hail Mary on the last play of the game when leading the proverbial team from a school of retarded kids 140-0).

Here's an interesting article some historical info about teams passing for touchdowns in the fourth quarters of blowouts. Turns out Favre is a serial offender, being the QB to throw a TD pass with 6 minutes or less left in the fourth quarter with his team up by 24 or more the last three times it has happened.

Brett Favre's touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe with the Vikings leading the Cowboys 27-3 - was the first ever in the final two minutes of a playoff game by a team leading by 24 or more points and only the 10th in NFL history at any point of the fourth quarter by a team leading by 24.

I would be curious to see the breakdown of how many games are actually in this sample (i.e., team leading a game by 24 points or more), but the fact that this happens so rarely is presumably evidence of something. And I personally believe that that something is more than mere strategy.

posted by holden at 12:13 AM on January 19

But isn't that what you, or others, or saying? The Vikings should have stopped trying.

No, I'm saying that on 4th down deep in the opponents side of the field with less than 2 minutes left and a 24 point lead kick a field goal, or run up the middle, or run a sweep. I can understand disagreeing with that, but what I'm suggesting isn't on par with throwing the ball away.

If the expected is to run the ball, and thus the defense is prepared for that, thereby limiting the possibility that the Vikes gain a first down, isn't a pass play the smart thing to do in order to retain possession, in spite of the dreaded possibility that they score?
posted by MW12

Yes, if you're concerned with keeping possession of the ball with a 4 touchdown lead and less than 2 minutes to go thus preventing the dreaded 28 point comeback throwing is a fantastic strategy.

I see zero indication that other teams run out the clock out of some sense of sportsmanship rather than because that is what is best for their team.

We're not talking about running out the last 3 minutes. We're talking about one play. You haven't seen a quarterback take a knee at the end of a game that's already determined? It happens all the time. Again, the game was over. Attributing a 4th down pass to strategy, or a lack of strategy, does't make any sense.

The whole premise that the Vikings scoring was violation of sportsmanship is just bogus with only Brookings complaints to back it up.

Players shouldn't complain after losing 34-3. Brookings shouldn't have complained. I'm sure he knows that now. I fail to see the logic between the number of players complaining to the validity of the complaint.

Here's an interesting article some historical info about teams passing for touchdowns in the fourth quarters of blowouts. Turns out Favre is a serial offender, being the QB to throw a TD pass with 6 minutes or less left in the fourth quarter with his team up by 24 or more the last three times it has happened.

Wow. Thank you for that. Again, being Favre, that doesn't surprise me. He's just so damn competitive! :)

Brett Favre's touchdown pass to Visanthe Shiancoe with the Vikings leading the Cowboys 27-3 - was the first ever in the final two minutes of a playoff game by a team leading by 24 or more points and only the 10th in NFL history at any point of the fourth quarter by a team leading by 24.

Again, not surprising at all.

posted by justgary at 12:20 AM on January 19

In Week 17, the Cowboys were leading the Eagles 24-0 and had a 4th-and-2 from the Eagles' 35-yard line with about 2:30 on the clock. The Cowboys had their starters in, went to pass on fourth down, and Romo got sacked. So was it classless for the Cowboys to throw on 4th down with about two minutes left in a game where they had a 24-point lead, or is it only bad when the Vikings do it?

posted by kirkaracha at 12:28 AM on January 19

So was it classless for the Cowboys to throw on 4th down with about two minutes left in a game where they had a 24-point lead, or is it only bad when the Vikings do it?

I can't speak for others, but I think it is classless for the Cowboys to have done that. Does not excuse the Vikings, though. Would have potentially excused the Eagles if they had found themselves in a similar situation in the Wild Card Round game against the Cowboys.

posted by holden at 12:35 AM on January 19

So was it classless for the Cowboys to throw on 4th down with about two minutes left in a game where they had a 24-point lead, or is it only bad when the Vikings do it?

I don't have a problem with trying to keep possession of the ball, I have a problem with running up the score. I have trouble with Favre throwing for a touchdown. In the cowboy game was the call for a screen play to pick up the first down? Or was it a deep pattern? We don't know.

If it's a short route to keep possession, I don't think it's a fair comparison to a pass IN the end zone where a catch is a touchdown.

But would I rather the cowboys simply call a running play with that kind of lead? Definitely.

posted by justgary at 12:44 AM on January 19

So was it classless for the Cowboys to throw on 4th down with about two minutes left in a game where they had a 24-point lead, or is it only bad when the Vikings do it?

The Cowboys were on the Eagles' 35. If they were throwing a short route to make two yards, that's different than going for the end zone from the 11. We don't know what they were going to do, because Romo got sacked.

posted by rcade at 12:54 AM on January 19

From the article holden linked to: With 6:12 left and the Cowboys up by 24 points, Tony Romo threw a 22-yard TD pass to Terrell Owens for a 34-3 lead.

What comes around goes around, Wade.

What???? The Cowboys did almost the exact same thing two years ago??? And, then again this year???

Anyway, I can see how someone on the short end of the play could feel slighted, but I don't see this as anything that going to stick with the Cowboys. 34-3 or 27-3, either way the season's over. Brooking probably takes a cheap shot at the Viking's QB next year, whoever that might be.

posted by dviking at 01:04 AM on January 19

If we were taking a Sportsfilter vote, I would be on the Vikings side. It could take as little as 48 seconds to score three touchdowns so I'm not against adding some insurance points. And yes, the Cowboys are professionals not little leaguers. Add in the risk of injury and (as rcade mentioned) an unhappy Brett Favre for getting benched, I don't see any classlessness on the part of Minnesota. Well, that was until I read the link, and it only took until the third sentence:

"Probably the most fatigued I got today was celebrating," Favre said, smiling.

I still don't have a problem with the Vikings play calling or personnel desicions in a playoff game it seems they have already won, but I'll be rooting for the Saints on Sunday.

posted by MrFrisby at 04:18 AM on January 19

We're not talking about running out the last 3 minutes. We're talking about one play. You haven't seen a quarterback take a knee at the end of a game that's already determined? It happens all the time.

How does taking a knee indicate sportsmanship vs. strategy? The point I'm trying (and probably failing) to make is that you can't take running the ball or taking a knee as a sign of sportsmanship over strategy at least not without some kind of supporting evidence. Plus, isolating this one pass is pretty unfair. The Vikings had been running out the clock. At 4th down, they made a different call rather than turn the ball over on downs. Who knows why? Maybe their defense was tired. Maybe they wanted to take more time off the clock. The prior series when they ran the ball on the first three downs, they weren't even able to take 30 seconds off the clock. Obviously, they wanted to try something different, so they went with passes and running the ball. At the 11 yard line, there aren't that many pass plays that won't score a TD. Sure, it could be that Favre wanted to pad the scores, but it certainly isn't the only possible explanation. I don't see it as particularly notable except that Brookings made a scene, so everyone pondered the sportsmanship of a late, meaningless score.

p.s. Please don't think I am defending Favre as a good sportsman. This is the same guy that gifted Strahan with a sack to help him break a record. That was a disgrace.

posted by bperk at 07:26 AM on January 19

"Running up the score is a big problem in high school football, somewhat of a problem in college football and rare in the pros, which itself suggests that the more sophisticated the coach, the less likely to run up the score,"

I guess you could come to that conclusion. OR, it could be that the playing field becomes increasingly leveled as you go up in levels, and the difference in physical talent between the best team and the worst team isn't anywhere near as large.

posted by bender at 09:08 AM on January 19

I don't think the Cowboys were unprepared for that game.

I didn't say unprepared, I said that they forgot because that's sure as hell the way they played. As if they simply forgot that they were in the 2nd round of the NFL playoffs and the following week, they would have a chance at redeeming themselves for this loss, which they don't.

I was totally dissatisfied with their performance and any Cowboy fan should feel the same way. It was a pathetic showing and Wade Phillips isn't the one to change my opinion on that.

posted by BornIcon at 09:08 AM on January 19

Teams stop trying every week that football games are played. They take a knee when the opponent doesn't have enough timeouts to stop them.

That doesn't equate to a team stopping, that just means that the game is over. A team doesn't take a knee with over 2 minutes remaining, they usually wait for at least a minute or under and if the game is out of reach, then they take a knee. It has nothing to do with running up the score but for a team to just end the game.

posted by BornIcon at 09:24 AM on January 19

The prior series when they ran the ball on the first three downs, they weren't even able to take 30 seconds off the clock.

Because the Cowboys used their timeouts to stop the clock and extend the game.

posted by kirkaracha at 09:47 AM on January 19

A team doesn't take a knee with over 2 minutes remaining, they usually wait for at least a minute or under and if the game is out of reach

What? Of course they do. In fact, holden has pointed twice in this thread to the saints game where they kneeled 3 straight times starting with over 2 minutes to go.

New Orleans Saints at 2:06

1st and 10 at NO 29 D.Brees kneels to NO 28 for -1 yards.

2nd and 11 at NO 28 D.Brees kneels to NO 27 for -1 yards.

3rd and 12 at NO 27 D.Brees kneels to NO 26 for -1 yards.

4th and 13 at NO 26 (Punt formation) PENALTY on NO, Delay of Game, 5 yards

4th and 18 at NO 21 T.Morstead punts 29 yards to 50

DRIVE TOTALS: ARI 14, NO 45, 3 plays, -8 yards, 1:48 elapsed

Arizona Cardinals at 0:14

1st and 10 at 50 J.Wright right guard to NO 47 for 3 yards

End of Game

I just took 30 seconds and glanced at a couple of blowout games during the regular season when the lead team had the ball at the end of the game and both times they started taking a knee at 1:45. I'm not sure what you're watching.

posted by justgary at 09:51 AM on January 19

What???? The Cowboys did almost the exact same thing two years ago??? And, then again this year??? posted by dviking

Wow. It's hard to believe you read that article with open eyes and came away with that as the key point.

It could take as little as 48 seconds to score three touchdowns

You know, I gave that some honest thought, if there was anyway for the cowboys to come back, and I don't see it. Your example happened in the 3rd quarter, not at the end of the game when one team is trying to protect the ball. But even so, with 2 minutes to go the vikings had a 24 point lead and were at the end zone. If they run the ball and turn it over the cowboys have to score 3 touchdowns and convert the 2 point conversion on all of them. If the vikings had simply kicked a field goal, then the cowboys are going to need to score 4 times in 2 minutes, starting at their end zone for the first drive.

Maybe anything is possible. But I'm guessing the odds are out of this world, unbelievably small, as in it would have been the greatest comeback and collapse in sports history (it also seems that a pass play, which could be intercepted and returned for a touchdown, was more dangerous than a chip shot field goal).

Sure, it could be that Favre wanted to pad the scores, but it certainly isn't the only possible explanation.

Sure, agreed. Maybe they had a reason that we'll never know. I just don't buy that the vikings were worried about a cowboys comeback (you lost me on what anything that happened previously had to do with this one play, but I haven't had much sleep, so that's probably why).

And my opinion of Favre being what it is, and now looking at the history of Favre, I think he simply wanted a 4th touchdown, or to rub it in, or maybe he just gets so into the game he can't turn it off, whatever. Again, doesn't make him a bad guy. I just don't agree with it.

I don't see it as particularly notable except that Brookings made a scene, so everyone pondered the sportsmanship of a late, meaningless score.

I'll have to disagree with that. When I saw the highlights I immediately thought it was bush league before ever hearing of Brookings statements. And according to rcade:

The play was controversial enough that Buck and Aikman made note of it, Bradshaw and Johnson got into an argument about it immediately, and the postgame show led with it.

Brookings certainly didn't help, but it was out there before he said anything.

was the first ever in the final two minutes of a playoff game by a team leading by 24 or more points and only the 10th in NFL history at any point of the fourth quarter by a team leading by 24.

I mean, come on, right or wrong, it obviously wasn't my imagination that the game ended differently.

posted by justgary at 10:22 AM on January 19

I didn't say unprepared, I said that they forgot because that's sure as hell the way they played.

I have no idea how "unprepared" and "forgot" are supposed to be different -- it's another pointless semantic quibble over what your words mean.

The Cowboys played the way they did because their offensive line couldn't keep the Vikings out of the backfield. Romo was hurried or sacked on half of the passing plays they attempted and rushing plays were frequently stopped for a big loss. Although some of that involves schemes and preparation, a lot of it is simply the result of being outmatched. If you're still holding on to the idea that the Cowboys could have "remembered" they were in the second round of the playoffs and won that game, I think you underestimate the talent of the Vikings.

posted by rcade at 10:36 AM on January 19

I have no idea how "unprepared" and "forgot" are supposed to be different -- it's another pointless semantic quibble over what your words mean.

I feel as bad as you do that our 'Boys lost against the Viking but I said that they "forgot" that they were playing a 2nd round playoff game while you said that they were "unprepared" for their 2nd round playoff game, same difference I guess but no one is quibbling with you.

The better team won and we move on. End of story.

posted by BornIcon at 11:15 AM on January 19

same difference I guess but no one is quibbling with you.

We're getting really close to a black hole here. Clarify that two more times and we might beat the LHC people to the Higgs' Boson.

I eagerly await you reposting this in another thread in response to something I said.

posted by yerfatma at 12:48 PM on January 19

Wow. It's hard to believe you read that article with open eyes and came away with that as the key point.

I was joking....thought the multiple ?'s would show faked astonishment.

The play was controversial enough that Buck and Aikman made note of it Keeping in mind that Aikman's comment was 'if the Cowboys don't like it they should stop the Vikings"

We're getting really close to a black hole here

I think we passed critical mass a long time ago. Maybe a thread about Tiger entering sex rehab is in order? Or, not, I've almost lost interest in him.

posted by dviking at 03:12 PM on January 19

I was joking....thought the multiple ?'s would show faked astonishment.

Gotya. Hey, some people love question marks.

Keeping in mind that Aikman's comment was 'if the Cowboys don't like it they should stop the Vikings'

My point in bringing it up was that it was a topic before Brookings talked to the press (since obviously I disagree with aikman.

posted by justgary at 03:29 PM on January 19

I suppose if the game were so out of reach why were the Cowboys still trying to move the ball when they had possession just before the last Minnesota possession. Now if the Cowboys were willing to take a knee to allow the clock to run out quickly then the unsportsmanlike argument might hold water but a few seconds before the Vikes got the ball, the Cowboys were still trying to move the ball and score. Now if they wanted to concede the game they had every opportunity to take a knee and run out the clock before the Vikes got the ball and the opportunity to score any more points. At no time did the Cowboys run one play to hurry the finish. Every play they ran, and time out they called, they did to extend the playing time and give themselves a chance for a miracle. All the Vikes did is FINISH strong. In the playoffs, no matter how big your lead, good teams FINISH. That is how you avoid being on the wrong end of a miracle comeback.

This stuff goes both ways. If you are in a fight, you keep fighting until the other guy taps out or can't continue. Yes if he concedes you stop the fight, if he continues to fight, then so do you. You might even say that continuing to play hard is a sign of respect to your opponent and acknowledges that they are always dangerous even when down.

posted by Atheist at 06:48 PM on January 19

Gregg Easterbrook's take: "Why was Favre even still on the field with Minnesota ahead 27-3 with five minutes remaining? It seems pretty obvious Brad Childress wanted to pad Favre's stats. Why was Favre not only still throwing but play-faking at the two-minute warning, with Minnesota leading by 24 points? Bad sportsmanship, which always comes back to bite you. It's not just that Minnesota's bad sportsmanship makes the Vikings hard to root for. Their behavior, followed by boasting after the game about the margin of victory, is immature, which always comes back to bite you."

Here's hoping.

posted by rcade at 07:35 PM on January 19

Now if they wanted to concede the game they had every opportunity to take a knee and run out the clock before the Vikes got the ball and the opportunity to score any more points.

We're not watching the same league. You can disagree with the strategy as a whole, but it is common practice when a game is clearly won for the the lead team to kneel, run the ball on passing downs, etc, regardless if the offensive team still tries to score points. It happens ALL the time, but not this time. And again, maybe you wouldn't coach that way, but it's common practice in the NFL.

That is how you avoid being on the wrong end of a miracle comeback.

If the vikings had run the ball and not scored the cowboys would have had to score 3 touchdowns and covert a 2 point conversion each time to tie the game. If the vikings were honestly worried about a miracle comeback a chip shot field goal would have required the cowboys to score 4 times (3 touchdowns plus 3 two point conversions plus a field goal to tie).

But they didn't take the field goal. They threw on 4th down when the percentages would clearly show the field goal was a far surer bet than throwing on 4th down. Why? Because the idea that the Vikings were scoring to prevent the mother of all comebacks is ridiculous.

It seems pretty obvious Brad Childress wanted to pad Favre's stats.

Even more than when this thread started I believe that also. Nothing else makes sense.

posted by justgary at 08:46 PM on January 19

What's so obvious is that one's perspective on this is so driven my what one thinks of the Vikings/Favre or the Cowboys.

Obviously, I like the Vikings...care very little for the Cowboys, not my least favorite team, but they're way down the list. When I watched that game, and then posted this thread, I was surprised that the Vike's stayed that aggressive at the end, but didn't for a second really consider it over the top. Pretty obvious that people that like the Cowboys, and/or don't like the Vikings/Favre feel completely differently. Brooking's reaction is of no meaning to me, he was caught up in the game, and I personally have no problem with a sore loser. I want my players to be pissed about losing.

Dallas gets a lot of media attention, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised that a few writers have made comments. However, even ones like Easterbrook buried it pretty far down in his column, not like he lead off with it. The local Dallas rag is over it, not that they gave it much press to begin with. I just don't see this as anything that will turn into a rallying cry for the Cowboys next season. They've got bigger things to worry about...a kicking game for starters.

As to padding stats, my gut tells me that Favre wanted to pad stats, not so much Childress. Childress isn't going to mess with his QB anymore at this point (why would he?). I think Favre may already be considering whether he's coming back, and if not, he's so close to the playoff TD record that he may have figured "why not?"

posted by dviking at 01:28 AM on January 20

I don't know how you can conclude that this is all just homerism, Dviking. You're saying that if Tony Romo threw that late touchdown in the same circumstances against the Vikings, you'd be against it. I find that hard to believe.

Personally, I hate bad sportsmanship more coming from my own team because it cheapens victory.

posted by rcade at 09:52 AM on January 20

Pretty obvious that people that like the Cowboys, and/or don't like the Vikings/Favre feel completely differently.

No, that's not true. I'm a huge Cowboys fan and feel the way that you do, I didn't think it was over the top at all, I only wish it was the other way around to be honest with you. It's football, you play the game for 60 minutes and if a defense can't stop the offense from scoring, then why would that be the team that's scoring fault?

posted by BornIcon at 12:46 PM on January 20

What's so obvious is that one's perspective on this is so driven my what one thinks of the Vikings/Favre or the Cowboys.

I hate both teams. This just made me hate the Vikings and Favre a little more.

posted by wfrazerjr at 04:22 PM on January 20

What's so obvious is that one's perspective on this is so driven my what one thinks of the Vikings/Favre or the Cowboys.

I disagree. I'm a lapsed cowboy fan. I watch 1 or 2 games a year. I hate Jerry Jones. And until this season I actually like Favre.

I think it's a pretty fair assumption, and I've given my reasons, that Favre either wanted to stick it to the cowboys or pad his stats. Add to that his history and to suddenly mark the whole discussion as one of homerism seems to be wishful thinking.

You said earlier that sportsmanship is subjective. I disagree. While maybe not completely concrete, I think running up the score because of either of those reasons is by any definition unsportsmanlike. No, it's not in the same league as intentionally hurting a player, but it's unsportsmanlike all the same.

It's football, you play the game for 60 minutes and if a defense can't stop the offense from scoring, then why would that be the team that's scoring fault?

This is what I meant about not trusting the ESPN poll. This has nothing to do with whether you feel it was over the top or not, or if you enjoy watching when its your team running the score up, or if you're a cowboys fan. I simply don't believe bornicon understands what's being discussed here.

posted by justgary at 07:22 PM on January 21

This is what I meant about not trusting the ESPN poll.

I don't trust an ESPN poll either but what does ESPN have to do with my opinion?

I simply don't believe bornicon understands what's being discussed here.

Why do you think that I don't understand what's being discussed here? Is it because I don't believe the Vikings scoring towards the end of the game was over the top and you do? I'm curious as to why you would think that.

posted by BornIcon at 09:16 AM on January 22

Alright, let me try to explain my last post...posted at 1:28 AM after a late night "work" session that involved finishing a few bottles more than us getting any work finished....sorry, got a bit carried away in my thoughts.

My point was supposed to be: one's prior perspective plays into how one views that last TD. I'm very inclined to overlook it, and I can see how a Cowboy fan might be very inclined not to.

I'll stand by my other points:
1) Brooking's reaction is fine...expect a player in his spot to be pissed.

2) I don't see this as anything that is going to turn into some sort of grudge match in the future.

3) While the ESPN poll is far from scientific, I think it holds some water given the large number of votes cast. Sportsmanship is very subjective, with this thread as pretty good proof. The universal agreement on the matter is all I was using the poll to point out. I do agree that there are some absolutes on sportsmanship: no spitting on the other team's logo, no eye gouging, no cheap shots, etc. When to stop scoring in a playoff game is a bit more subjective.

4) As to padding stats and sportsmanship: Is it really all that unsportsmanlike for Favre to want to throw another TD pass if he knows two things. 1) that he's not coming back next year. 2) That he's just a couple of TD's short of the all-time playoff TD record. I think there's a pretty good chance he's not coming back, if they win this week I think that's a given. Players are driven by those records, and I think it would be hard to tell a competitive player like Favre to not go for it. Ten years from now, no one is going to say "well, yea he got the record, but remember that one he threw with 1:56 left, while up by 24 in a playoff game against the Cowboys".

On to the Saints...if my Vikes can bring the level of play they showed against the Cowboys we'll be fine.

posted by dviking at 11:17 AM on January 22

You said earlier that sportsmanship is subjective. I disagree. While maybe not completely concrete, I think running up the score because of either of those reasons is by any definition unsportsmanlike.

I don't really agree with your definition of unsportsmanlike either. I don't think sticking it to the other team is bad sportsmanship. In fact, the hatred of your arch rival is what makes divisional games so great. And, really, I doubt I would call one extra score running up the score anyway. College teams used to run up scores by winning 52 to zip. This was one throw away, unnecessary touchdown. Even if Favre did it to pad stats (which I don't like) or just because they thought it was fun (which I do like in moderation), I don't think one score is a big deal. If they started kicking an onside kick and were trying to score again, then I would start wondering what they were trying to do.

posted by bperk at 12:01 PM on January 22

Is it really all that unsportsmanlike for Favre to want to throw another TD pass if he knows two things. 1) that he's not coming back next year ...

I think Favre is incapable of knowing whether he's coming back next year or not. He will go back and forth like a metronome until there are no teams willing to offer him a starting job.

posted by rcade at 12:32 PM on January 22

I don't think sticking it to the other team is bad sportsmanship. In fact, the hatred of your arch rival is what makes divisional games so great.

What part of hatred of your opponent is consistent with sportsmanship of any kind? Most players in any pro sport don't hate their opponents. The second the game's over they're collegial and friendly. Even after the Cowboys/Vikings game, the exchanges between players and coaches on the field were not hostile.

posted by rcade at 12:34 PM on January 22

What part of hatred of your opponent is consistent with sportsmanship of any kind?

Yeah, while I like that part of sports at both the amateur and pro levels, I wouldn't consider it good sportsmanship.

posted by yerfatma at 01:31 PM on January 22

Even after the Cowboys/Vikings game, the exchanges between players and coaches on the field were not hostile.

Those teams aren't divisional rivals. I also don't expect individual players to hate individual players. Post-game sportsmanship is great, but I don't want them laughing together in the middle of the game. I do like it when coaches and players express the depth of emotions that fans feel towards other teams (see Brandon Jacobs). That is what is great about the NFC East. Okay, maybe I just don't care that much about sportsmanship because when Buddy Ryan talks about how much he hates the Cowboys, I love it. When Jimmy Johnson freaked out because he thought Ryan had put a bounty out on players, that was just pure entertainment.

posted by bperk at 02:23 PM on January 22

rcade, Favre has hinted pretty strongly that if they win the SB he's probably not coming back. I, personally, think that if he makes it to the SB he's not coming back. I think he wants to retire on top, who doesn't?

He knows how hard it is to put SB teams together back to back, (last year's winner didn't even make the playoffs), so I think he's done if they make it. Might even be done if they don't, though I think he had enough fun this year that he might do one more. I don't see him going anywhere else. He wanted to go to the Vikings two years ago, however, the Packers made sure that didn't happen. BTW, I don't blame the Packers for that, not one bit. Favre got to make his point, and he erased the horrible ending to the Jets season that he had last year. He beat the Packers, twice, and the Cowboys, added to his stats, so I won't be shocked if he hangs them up. Hope he cames back, because I totally disagree with those on this site that believe he hasn't made MN better.

posted by dviking at 03:45 PM on January 22

I don't really agree with your definition of unsportsmanlike either. I don't think sticking it to the other team is bad sportsmanship. posted by bperk

Okay, maybe I just don't care that much about sportsmanship posted by bperk

I think one of these statements is true, not only for you, but most people.

posted by justgary at 04:12 PM on January 22

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