Welcome to the Wednesday edition of The Cooler, where we would be nothing if not for overcorrections. Let’s get to it:
*Brett Favre made his reputation in the NFL with big-time throws, taking chances and, yes, durability even in the face of physical damage. He started 297 consecutive regular-season games and withstood a barrage of illegal hits with the Vikings against New Orleans in the 2009 NFC title game that turned his ankle an awful color.
If Favre was still playing today, though, he would find things quite different. He might never, in fact, retire.
Rules designed to protect the quarterback have increased over the years, and this year officials are being even more strict and enforcing penalties for roughing the quarterback that look like perfectly legal plays.
And Favre, retired since 2010, thinks the NFL has overcorrected in its hopes of protecting quarterbacks.
“I think they have gone too far. It hasn’t been that long since I retired but in some ways it’s like light-years away,” Favre said this week on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
He talked specifically about the penalty on Clay Matthews that gave the Vikings new life in an eventual 29-29 tie with Green Bay on Sunday.
“This call was so bad and I think this call is a result of all the hype and the pressure to protect the quarterbacks,” Favre said. He added: “Clay’s had a history of those type of plays. This one was textbook, and if you’re going to use it as a teaching video, you teach that this is the way we expect you to tackle, and that’s the way I saw it. And that’s neither being a Clay Matthews or Packer fan, or a Minnesota Viking fan or hater, you know, that was a bad call. And to me, why not be able to review that?”
The NFL has disagreed, re-affirming it was the correct call while asserting Matthews (and the Vikings’ Eric Kendricks on a similar play) executed a “scoop and pull” technique that is illegal.
I think Favre is right, of course. And I think he stumbles into the perfect barometer of how to judge a penalty as a fan: If it was called on your team, would you be upset? Imagine if the Kendricks hit had happened in the same scenario as the Matthews play, costing the Vikings a win?
In fact, I’m still not sure which team should be more upset that it didn’t win Sunday.
*Speaking of the Vikings, Stefon Diggs made an appearance a while back on Celebrity Family Feud, and the episode just recently aired. Diggs was part of the fast money round at the end, and he helped his team win $25,000 for charity. He also gave an answer that left host Steve Harvey positively flummoxed and howling. I’ll just set this right here and leave it … alone:
*CBS Sports took a crack at listing the top 100 NBA players, putting four Timberwolves in the top 100: Jeff Teague at No. 82, Andrew Wiggins at No. 69, Karl-Anthony Towns at No. 19 and Jimmy Butler at No. 13. Former Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio, by the way, was No. 71.