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A Marxist Plot

The Fairly Detached Observers

Oct. 29, 2008
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Brett Favre didn’t wear “004” on Sunday, but last week he was depicted as a secret agent in some media. It was learned that Favre, who bitterly left Green Bay for the New York Jets, talked about the Packers with Detroit Lions executive Matt Millen before the teams met in the season opener. It didn’t help the Lions, now 0-7, or Millen, now unemployed.

Frank: If Favre gets a call from the Tennessee Titans this week asking for Packers info, he should hang up. The way he struggled to beat Kansas City, Brett should be calling someone for the dope on Buffalo.
Artie: Brett could tell the Titans, “I know this: You won’t pick off Aaron Rodgers like you would if I were there.” Three interceptions Sunday give him 11 for the season, the most in the AFC. No big surprise, ain’a?
Frank: He threw one right to a Chiefs linebacker who could have returned it 90 yards for a touchdown, but dropped it. And later he threw one to a defensive back who did return it 91 yards for a score.
Artie: Maybe the Chiefs got some tips from Mike McCarthy.
Frank: Apparently, this “just us pals” chatter happens all the time in the NFL. Not that it reveals much; coaches watch so much tape that there are no secrets.
Artie: You get talk among rivals in politics, too. As a candidate for president of these United States, I got a call the other day from Sarah Palin.
Frank: Was she trying to change tickets?
Artie: Well, the call sounded like a recording and I was in a rush, so I cut her off. Maybe she wanted to ask me to go moose hunting.
Frank: You’d be hunting pals like Millen and Favre. In fact, you could hit the woods with Millen; he has plenty of time.
Artie: And the Lions have plenty of losses.
Frank: Favre could have handed Millen the Packers’ playbook and it wouldn’t matter. They couldn’t lose to Detroit if Chico Marx called their plays.
Artie: As a noted Marxist, I know your reference!
Frank: The 1932 movie Horse Feathers, in which the Marx Brothers take the gridiron for dear ol’ Huxley College.
Artie: Before Chico runs his first play he yells to the defense, “Hey, look out there, you want to get hurt? We’re gonna throw a forward pass!”
Frank: And later, he calls the signals in rhyme: “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle, this time I think we go up the middle.”
Artie: As I recall, it takes a little extra rule-bending for the Marxes to win. That’s because they weren’t playing the Lions.

Frank Clines labored almost 20 years in the sports department at the Milwaukee Journal and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and covered the Brewers part-time for most of those years. Art Kumbalek wonders if Brett Favre is familiar with this Groucho Marx line: “Quote me as saying I was misquoted.”

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