The NFL is about winning but there are several parties in virtual no-win trick bags heading into the 2009 season. It isn't that they can't win in terms of victories. It's just perception has a nasty habit of becoming reality and the perception is they have been handed the keys to a Ferrari. If they win the race, it's the car. If they lose, it's their fault.
Is it fair? What's "fair" got to do with it?
Follow the logic: If the Colts win the Super Bowl, the credit goes to
The Colts have had 7-0, 9-0 and 13-0 starts in recent seasons. If they open 3-4 under Caldwell, the grumbling will start, never mind that they started that way last season.
Complicating this a bit is that too often the first to put out their side of a sticky situation gains the high ground, whether intended or not. Manning was perceived and quoted as being concerned about communication and organizational direction in the wake of procedural departures of assistants
So there it is: Caldwell has the staff after all that Manning and the organization want. Caldwell has Manning. He has the No. 1 pick that President
So, if he doesn't win, where does the blame fall first?
The Bears sent two No. 1's, a No. 3 and
After all, the NFL's charter franchise already had a franchise running back in
"I don't need the credit," Turner said. "Let Jay and the players have it. That's fine with me."
A complicating factor for Turner, and others like Caldwell, is that significant NFL forces are always at play that are beyond the control of the no-win'ers. Turner's 1994 Chicago offense ranked 23rd but the Bears reached the playoffs. The Bears even won a road wild-card game as Turner guided an offense with afterthought
"That's just the nature of the business," Turner said. "All you can do is focus on what you can control and not worry when they say good things or bad things."
If Favre becomes a Minnesota Viking, he will be drifting into his own private no-win situation and taking the Vikings with him.
Actually, Favre's no-win'ers are on two levels. If he doesn't come back, his career ended with him playing one year too long. If he does return at 39, he likely makes that two years.
But if the Vikings with Favre succeed, the reason will be
If the Vikings do not repeat as division winners (a distinct possibility with the arrival of Cutler and the development of
The Vikings won four of their final five by giving the ball to Peterson 120 times. Favre's Jets lost four of their final five, and a playoff berth, when Favre gave a disgruntled
The Vikings won the division with more running than pass plays. Only once (2003) in Favre's 16 Green Bay seasons did the Packers run more than he passed, and the 2008 Jets' pass plays outnumbered runs by more than 100. Does Minnesota sound like a Favre fit?
Is Favre better than
For both player and team, Favre in Minnesota is a no-winner.