The Surreal Land of Sky Blue Waters


Jul 17, 2005
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I found this interesting article. It's sort of a mixture of the Badger situation and the Packer situation regarding Minnesota. I think the Favre decision will come real soon.

The Surreal Land of Sky Blue Waters

May 6, 2009
Written by Bob Fox - PackerChatters Staff

I feel like I'm living a dream. A Rod Serling type of dream. Here is why.

When I went to college, I ended up meeting a buddy by the name of Kevin Cosgrove. Cos ended up getting in the coaching profession. Cos started at Illinois under Mike White (with his buddy Bill Callahan), then Southeast Missouri State (a guy named Jon Gruden was also on that staff) and finally Colorado State under Earl Bruce.

Then in 1990, Barry Alverez was hired as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers. Cos ended up on Alverez's inaugural staff, as Cos was LB coach from 1990-1994. Cos then became defensive coordinator for the Badgers from 1995-2003. The Badgers won 3 Rose Bowls and 3 Big 10 championships during the Alvarez era and were 7-2 in bowl games while Cos was there.

Cos led a couple of defenses that were both top ranked in 1998-1999 when the Badgers won back to back Big 10 titles and back to back Rose Bowls.

I felt like a kid in a candy store then, growing up in Wisconsin and then experiencing the Badger and Cosgrove connection. However, the Badgers have never reached that pinnacle again and Cos moved on to Nebraska in 2004 to be reunited Callahan. Alverez also retired and gave the head coaching reins to Bret Bielema in 2005.

At Nebraska, the Cosgrove led defenses were the best part of the Husker squad for his first couple of years there. During his four seasons with the Huskers, Cosgrove mentored seven first- or second-team All-Big 12 defenders. Nebraska won the Big 12 North Championship in 2006 and played in the 2005 Alamo and 2006 Cotton Bowls with Cosgrove as defensive coordinator.

Under Cosgrove, Nebraska led the nation in sacks (4.17 per game) and tackles for loss (10.33) in 2005. He led the Husker defense to top 25 rankings in scoring defense and pass efficiency defense in both 2005 and 2006.

The Husker offense finally got better under Callahan, but then Cossy's defensive squad took a major step back in 2007. The move to Lincoln ended up badly as Cos received death threats from a fanatical idiot and the entire coaching staff was fired after the 2007 season when the Huskers finished 5-7.

Cos took the 2008 season off as he was a consultant to his son Connor's high school football team in Madison. Cos also got a nice honor in 2008, as Cos was also inducted into the Wisconsin Football Coaches Hall of Fame.

I knew Cos would get back into coaching in 2009. I had a feeling in would be in college football, because Cos just loves the atmosphere and environment, but Cos has had opportunities in the pro game as well, as Gruden offered Cos a job in Tampa Bay a few years back, and Brad Childress offered Cos a job with the Vikings as LB coach when Childress took over in Minnesota.

Then I heard this announcement in January...“We are very excited to announce Kevin Cosgrove as our new co-defensive coordinator,” Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster said. “Coach Cosgrove brings a wealth of experience in the Big Ten as both a coach and recruiter. Plus, he possesses a long track record of developing outstanding defenses. But, perhaps more importantly, Kevin is a great person and an outstanding fit on our staff.

I had heard rumors of Cos perhaps going to the University of Florida, where former Badger coordinators Dan McCarney and Brian White are on the staff. But Minnesota?

But it all fits. Cos is a Big 10 type of guy. He has coached in the Big 10 for 22 years and with great success. The Gophers also now have a new outdoor football stadium to play in. All I can say is that the Paul Bunyan Axe game will never feel the same for me as long as Cos is at Minnesota. It will be very surreal for me to see Cos patrolling the Gopher sideline, especially vs. the Badgers.

Plus now we have the strong rumors of Brett Favre going to Minnesota as well, as Favre will be meeting with Childress later this week to discuss a future in Minnesota. I believe that Favre will definitely go to Minnesota and play in 2009 if he thinks his biceps tear injury to his throwing arm is healed.

Favre has definitely taken Packer fans on quite a soap opera with all the retirement talk his last few years in Green Bay. Will he or won't he retire? Then in early March of 2008, Favre actually retired.

Favre's agent Bus Cook told Sam Farmer of the LA Times that Favre was staying retired in 2008 when rumors were flying about a possible return.

"That's news to me," Cook told Farmer in early April of 2008. "I don't think that has anything to do with anything. He's retired, period, point blank."

But it didn't last. Favre and Cook tried to get Favre's outright release from the Packers last summer in Green Bay when it was apparent that the Packers had taken Favre at his word and moved on to the Aaron Rodgers era. But the Packers weren't going to just release Favre.

The Packers were worried that Favre would sign immediately with the Minnesota Vikings and try to stick it to General Manager Ted Thompson, who Favre obviously despises.

In fact, the Packers accused the Vikings of tampering with Favre. The NFL ruled that there was no evidence of tampering, although the evidence did show that Favre had lengthy conversations with offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell and head coach Brad Childress on a cell phone.

Favre ended up getting traded to the Jets and out of the NFC North and out of the NFC all together. Favre proved he could lead the Jets to excellence before he hurt his arm. Favre did that by learning a brand new offense. Favre had the Jets at 8-3 at one point (and in 1st place in the AFC East), including back to back wins on the road at New England and Tennessee.

But then the air went out of the tire. Or the air went out of Favre's golden arm. The Jets went 1-4 in their last 5 games and missed the playoffs. Favre threw just 2 TD passes to 9 interception in those 5 games and ended up with 22 TD passes for the 2008 season to go with 22 interceptions.

Favre then retired again in February of 2009. But not before asking for his outright release from the Jets. That should have put up a BIG red flag right there.

Then after the Jets drafted QB Mark Sanchez in the 2009 NFL draft, the Jets finally released Favre from reserve/retired list after yet another request by Favre and Cook to be let go.

Cook said that there was nothing sinister about the release. "He's retired, he doesn't have any desire to come back, and that's the way it is with Brett," Cook said. "He's mowing his grass. He's working on his farm. He enjoys that stuff."

Cook also added this, “Brett wants to retire as a Packer and that’s just part of it.”

Some of us knew better. I think the biggest reason for Favre wanting to come back and play for the Vikings is because of his hatred for Thompson. Favre basically said the same thing a couple of months ago. "Part of me coming back last year, I have to admit now, was sticking it to Ted," Favre told in February.

In fact a Jets executive said at the Senior Bowl in January that Favre's feelings toward Thompson were well known around the organization. "Boy, does Favre have it bad out bad for Thompson," the source said then. "He talked about the Packers all the time. He's obsessed with them. I don't know if he's ever going to let it go."

Yes, there are other reasons that Favre would want to go to Minnesota. The Vikings desperately need solid QB play to go with their many dangerous weapons on offense like RB Adrian Peterson and wide receivers like Bernard Berrian and the just drafted Percy Harvin. The Vikings have a very tough defense, especially up front.

Favre would also get to play in an offense that he knows very well under his friend Bevell, who was his QB coach in Green Bay for a few years. IF Favre was healthy, the Vikings would be a definite contender to win not only the NFC North, but also advance to the Super Bowl.

But that is a BIG if. Reportedly Favre's biceps tear has not improved that much over the last couple of months. The injury definitely affected his play in the 2008 season, especially the last five games. There is NO doubt about that. Arthroscopic surgery might be his best option, if he truly wants to play.

We also know Favre has no love lost for Thompson. But a lot of the love and affection that most Packer fans have for him would be lost if Favre does indeed move on to Minnesota, based on recent polling by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Over 60% of the respondents would NOT root for Favre if he becomes a Viking and the same amount of people would hate him even more.

Favre's legacy is still intact, even with the bad stretch of late 2008 for Favre and the Jets. The all-time best starting streak, the MVPs, the Pro Bowls, the Super Bowl ring and all the passing records will never leave the greatest iron man in NFL QB history.

But seeing Favre as Viking may be too much and too surreal for a lot of Packer fans. And too much for Favre fans that are Packer fans first and foremost. That is what Favre must think about before he moves on to Minnesota.

There are questions that Favre has to consider. Is it worth losing a large legion of Packer fans for a chance to stick it to Thompson and to move on to the Vikes? Will Favre be healthy enough to have success with his torn biceps situation?

This situation is like the Twilight Zone to me. I would have NEVER imagined both my buddy Cos or Favre EVER in Minnesota trying to beat the Badgers and the Packers. But Cos is now the co-defensive coordinator for the Gophers. And I think Favre will indeed move on and become a Viking.

This is all too surreal.

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Bob Fox is a Staff Op/Ed Writer for Wisconsin Sports Online

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Sep 4, 2008
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Favre should bone up on his history if he's seriously thinking of playing in Minnesota just to spite the Packers.

Brett should consider what happened to the legacy of the best battlefield general on the
American side in the Revolutionary War. A guy by the name of Benedict Arnold.

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