Ross Tucker
Wednesday October 22nd, 2008

Brett Favre has done it again. He's involved in yet another controversy with his former team. Only this time he may be losing the respect of some of the guys who used to be his teammates, to say nothing of other NFL players and officials.

What Favre did, allegedly sharing tactical information with Lions GM Matt Millen before Detroit faced the Packers in September, is not customary and will not be looked upon favorably in league circles. Several of Favre's former teammates have already expressed their dismay, and rightfully so. If Favre has a vendetta against Packers management over the way his unretirement was handled over the offseason, that's fine, but he has to find a way to deal with that without making it appear as if he's hurting his former teammates in the process.

If the Jets were scheduled to play the Packers this year and Favre told his new teammates and coaches everything he knew about Green Bay's tendencies, etc., that would be fine. That happens all the time in the NFL. Why do you think you have to turn in your playbook when you leave an organization? But to share information with a team that you're not even employed by comes across as sour grapes. What if the Bears were to call Favre tomorrow seeking information about the Packers, or if Minnesota were to call a week from now?

Favre's smarter than that. Unfortunately, he didn't think things through before he spoke with Millen.

Intent is important in this one, and it appears as if Favre was calling Millen back to discuss hunting, which is innocent enough. I highly doubt he specifically called to hurt the Packers in their game against the Lions. But the subject came up, and I am sure Favre didn't hesitate to let Millen, and whoever else might have been listening, know some of the main staples of the Pack's attack. I don't think a great deal could be gained from the conversation, but Favre has to realize that such conversations are not a good idea and could portray him in a negative light. He simply has to be more careful now about anything related to the Packers.

I was all set to blast Kellen Winslow and his former teammate from "the U", Jeremy Shockey, after the typically prima donna tight ends spoke out in anger at their current teams after losses on Sunday. But then a funny thing happened. I understood where Winslow was coming from and sympathized with him a bit. Just a bit.

I still don't think that he handled his latest ailment, this one an illness that evidently led to a staph infection, in the right way. There is very seldom a reason to go public with these types of things, and that's why Shockey's claims of misdiagnosis by the New Orleans Saints generally fell on deaf ears. Even if what Shockey says is true, which is indeed possible, team doctors miss things all the time in the NFL and it shows a lack of class for him to say that to the media. But Shockey is just continuing the selfish behavior and sense of entitlement that led the Giants to trade him in the first place

Winslow's situation, however, is a tad different. Winslow was forced to sit out the game against the Giants and his illness remained a mystery, which led to all kinds of rampant speculation. He was told by the organization not to let the fact that he had contracted staph be known publicly because of the damage that it would cause to an organization that has been plagued with staph cases in recent years.

The Browns didn't want the information out there, and that is certainly understandable. For them to say that it was because they wanted to protect Winslow's privacy sounds disingenuous. There is no doubt that they don't have to share Winslow's health information if they don't want to or if he asks them not to. It is another thing altogether if Winslow desires to end the rumors and let people know what is really going on but is restricted from doing so.

The problem is that health information has become a strategic tool in the game today, and players are told not to divulge anything about how they are feeling or what their injury may be. Sometime in the very near future there will be a significant backlash by the players, who are bound to get frustrated that people have no idea what their true health status is as they miss games or play through the pain.

Redskins wide receiver Antwaan Randle-El made a great tackle on Sunday that nobody other than those who were at the game at Fed Ex field witnessed. The only reason I was able to see it is that I was calling the game for Sports USA Radio and saw it with my own eyes.

A couple of fans, no doubt inebriated, decided to run onto the field during a critical juncture late in the Redskins game against the Browns. As the police officers and other security personnel chased after the culprits in vain, Santana Moss and Randle-El decided to help out with Randle-El bagging one of them.

It was great entertainment for the fans and they cheered loudly as the runners were getting taken away in handcuffs, but I think all the fun and frivolity sends a very bad message. Situations like these are a nightmare for league officials in every major sport because there is always that possibility that the guy running on the field has bad intentions.

I know that might seem unlikely, but you never know, and the safety of those in the stands and on the field should be of utmost importance. I hope those two are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and made an example of in order to dissuade others from doing the same thing in the future.

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