Archive for August 19th, 2009
Straight from ESPN: “Fran Tarkenton, who previously has expressed his loathing over Brett Favre’s inability to make a decision, spoke out again Wednesday, a day after Favre decided to sign with the Minnesota Vikings.
“I really have no interest in what Brett Favre does. He kind of lost me a few years ago by retiring and un-retiring and here and there,” Tarkenton said on “The Opening Drive” on Sirius NFL Radio.
“I asked a few friends here, maybe 10 or 12 people we were out with last night. I said, ‘What do you think about Brett Favre going back to the Vikings?’ You know who cared? Nobody. It’s good news for you guys. It’s good news for television and so forth but the last time I heard … football was a team sport, isn’t it? It’s not just about the quarterback.”
Favre, who first retired in March 2008, came out of retirement and forced the Green Bay Packers — with whom he had starred for 16 years — to trade him to the New York Jets in August when the Packers declined to accept his un-retirement.
He played one season for the Jets, then retired again in February.
But rumors started bubbling again in May that Favre wasn’t fully committed to retiring. Vikings coach Brad Childress communicated regularly with Favre. And Tarkenton — a Hall of Famer who spent five seasons with the New York Giants, but is remembered for his 13 seasons with the Vikings — made clear he was disgusted by the team’s flirtation with Favre.
“I think he has been a great flamboyant quarterback, but he has made more stupid plays than any great quarterback that I’ve ever seen. Look at his final game in a Packers uniform. He blew that game [NFC championship] against the Giants,” Tarkenton said in late May on KFAN-1130 in the Twin Cities.
At first, Favre said he would remain retired. Then he wasn’t sure. He said he would let the Vikings know by July 30. Then he decided he’d stay retired. Then on Tuesday, he flew to Minnesota and signed a two-year deal worth $25 million.
“I really think the whole Brett Favre saga of retiring, un-retiring, three weeks ago [saying] ‘I can’t play,’ the Vikings said, ‘We’re moving on,’ it’s a circus,” Tarkenton said Wednesday “The Opening Drive.” “It’s an absolute circus, and it takes away from all the other things that are going on with the Vikings, with the NFL. We’re getting ready for a football season and this is a circus and I just have no interest in it.
“Wouldn’t you be upset if you’re a Packer fan? I think you’re going to have Packer fans burning the No. 4 Favre Green Bay jersey. I think the Packer fans have every right to be outraged.”
Packers fans might be upset, but Vikings fans have embraced their new quarterback, as evidenced by the Vikings’ ticket sales.
The team has sold more than 3,000 season tickets in 24 hours, and about 10,000 single-game tickets during that time. Seats for the Oct. 5 game against Green Bay are available only through a season ticket. There are roughly 7,000 season tickets remaining.
Last season, the Vikings had to race to beat the blackout deadline for several games.
Merchandise also is moving. Team chief marketing officer Steve LaCroix said several hundred pre-orders for Favre jerseys were placed online Tuesday. The purple No. 4s were scheduled to begin showing up in stores Wednesday.
Tony Dungy, the former Indianapolis Colts coach who retired — and has stayed retired — in January, was on “The Waddle and Silvy” show on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, and said Favre has a limited window in which to win over his new teammates.
“I would be very worried about that if I were the Minnesota Vikings and their head coach,” Dungy said on “The Waddle and Silvy” show. “He’s going to have to let them know he’s as committed as they are. And get that across to them. If that happens, it could to be a big boost. If it doesn’t happen, if players feel you weren’t in this from the beginning … is he really in this with us? If there were feelings for quarterbacks who were already there … it’s going to be interesting to see how this plays out.”"
Oh, and the Brett Favre Career Interception Record Watch page as been updated. I couldn’t pass up this fabulous quote from Mr. Tarkenton, or withhold my excitement with the knowledge that Mr. 310 will be slinging interceptions once again in the very near future!
Straight from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: “There’s an entertaining clip from Glenn Beck’s Fox News program making the rounds on the Internet lately, featuring this language from the Terms of Service for the “Cash for Clunkers” program:
This application provides access to the [Department of Transportation] DoT CARS system. When logged on to the CARS system, your computer is considered a Federal computer system and is the property of the U.S. Government. Any or all uses of this system and all files on this system may be intercepted, monitored, recorded, copied, audited, inspected, and disclosed… to authorized CARS, DoT, and law enforcement personnel, as well as authorized officials of other agencies, both domestic and foreign.
While this language was accessible only by registered dealers, and not the public (and has apparently now been removed), it nevertheless is a shocking example of the kind of problems that can come with click-through agreements written by faceless lawyers and basically imposed on the rest of us. No one should ever try to force you to “agree” that accessing a government website turns your computer into a government computer or gives up your privacy rights in the other contents of your computer.
This hopefully careless language demonstrates the concerns that EFF has long raised about the creeping reduction in user privacy and rights online that we see through various means, including terms of service, cookies and even the “phone home” nature of some of our devices like the Amazon Kindle. This sort of contracting away of our privacy and rights is bad enough when companies do it — it should be off limits for government.
Unfortunately, the commentary of Fox anchor Kimberly Guilfoyle was also wrong about the scope of the privacy issues:
They are jumping right inside you, seizing all of your personal and private information, and absolutely legal, Glenn, they can do it… They can continue to track you, basically forever, once they’ve tapped into your system, the government of course has, like, malware systems, and tracking cookies, and they can tap in any time they want.
Clicking “continue” on a poorly worded Terms of Service on a government site will not give the government the ability to “tap into your system… any time they want.” The seizure of the personal and private information stored on your computer through a one-sided click-through terms of service is not “conscionable” as lawyers say, and would not be enforceable even if the cars.gov website was capable of doing it, which we seriously doubt. Moreover, the law has long forbidden the government from requiring you to give up unrelated constitutional rights (here the 4th Amendment right to be free from search and seizure) as a condition of receiving discretionary government benefits like participation in the Cars for Clunkers program.
The problems with overreaching terms of service are real, and EFF has been working hard to combat them, especially when your privacy is at stake. Companies and government departments repeatedly sow the seeds of confusion, concern and outrage when they sneak catch-all terms into the small print. Our ToSBack site tracks these agreements and allows the public to find out what they say and track their changes over time. But terms of service agreements don’t go as far as allowing the government ongoing, free range into your personal computer with a single mouse click. At least not yet.
Sega shook the very foundations of the newly reborn U.S. gaming industry on August 14th, 1989, when the Sega Genesis made its North American debut in New York and Los Angeles. Due to a trademark dispute, the console that was known as the Mega Drive to the rest of the known world was rechristened, the new name evoking conflicting notions of biblical import and small, balding British musicians.
While the Mega Drive trailed behind the Super Famicon and NEC’s PC Engine in Japan, it gave the Super Nintendo a run for its money in the states, with titles starring big-name sports celebrities like Pat Riley, Joe Montana, and James “Buster” Douglas. Even the late Michael Jackson put in an appearance, saving the children of the world with his dance moves.
In 1991, the Genesis birthed Sonic the Hedgehog, one of the most recognizable and beloved video game characters in the world, despite a run of rather dismal games as of late.
The Genesis eventually gave under the weight of its own add-ons, with the Sega CD and 32X selling far worse than expected. Sega moved on to the Saturn and finally the Dreamcast, but they never quite recaptured the level of support they saw with the Genesis, eventually giving up the console business altogether.
A testament to cartridge-based console reliability, my original Sega Genesis sits on a shelf behind me, ready to be hooked up and played at a moment’s notice. They just don’t build them like that anymore.
Happy 20th, Sega Genesis! Long may your lovely red LED shine.”