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Brett Favre: I’m not worried about Packers fans booing

Packers-waiting-to-retire-Brett-Favre-jerseyBrett Favre knows there could be a mixed reaction from Green Bay Packers fans when he eventually returns to Lambeau Field, but he claims he is not concerned about it. Earlier this month, Packers president Mark Murphy said the team is not planning to retire Favre’s No. 4 jersey just yet because Favre “wouldn’t want to come back and get booed.” Favre said on Monday that Murphy does not speak for him.

“I’ve heard that was a concern of mine, and I’m here to tell you I’m not,” Favre told ESPN 1000 in Chicago. “I’m not worried about that. I’m well aware that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone’s going to like you regardless, and you know what, so be it. But I think the 16 years that I had in Green Bay speaks for itself.

“Yeah, you’re right, I have played with other teams, but I will be remembered as a Packer. I feel that. I think the true Packer backers, which there are tons out there, feel the same way. I’m not the first player to play for other teams or rivals.”

That almost sounded like Favre challenging the “true” Packers fans to cheer for him, and they probably will. It has been six years since Favre left Green Bay. That should be more than enough time to forgive and forget, especially for a player who was the epitome of toughness and won a Super Bowl championship.

“In spite of what people may think — and I really don’t pay attention to what people are saying — I just know the facts, and the facts are that I feel like the relationship is a good relationship,” Favre said. “I’ve had contact with Mark Murphy on a regular basis in regards to how we’re going to do this, the ceremony.”

Former NFL tight end Mark Chmura, who was teammates with Favre, also said recently that Favre was scheduled to appear at Lambeau Field last season but backed out because he was afraid of being booed. Apparently Chmura’s sources are misinformed, because the Ole Gunslinger sounds like he is well on his way to a return.

Zach Mettenberger allegedly sucker punched by Alabama fan

Zach Mettenberger LSUZach Mettenberger is no longer the starting quarterback at LSU, but that does not mean he is free from the psychotic nature with which some SEC fans worship their football teams. Over the weekend, Mettenberger was reportedly sucker punched by an Alabama fan at a bar in Nashville.

Steve Ford, the owner of Losers Most Wanted Bar & Grill, told Jim Wyatt of The Tennesseean that Mettenberger did nothing to antagonize the man who hit him.

“Here’s the truth: The guy said something about ‘Roll Tide!’ to Zach, and Zach turned around and said ‘Good luck with that,’” Ford explained. “And the guy’s buddy then sucker-punched Zach.

“I promise you that Mettenberger did not throw a punch. He didn’t do anything. The guy sucker-punched him in the eye, that’s the bottom line, and the guy that punched him started running out the door. My door guys had to chase him down.”

Mettenberger, who was drafted by the Tennessee Titans in the sixth round, has supposedly visited Losers multiple times with first-round pick Taylor Lewan. Ford said they have never caused any trouble. Mettenberger also had to clear up what he called a “bogus rumor” that was started on a message board Sunday night about him injuring his hand in a bar fight.

[Video: Zach Mettenberger taunts Alabama fans with cell phone gesture]

While bar security was able to chase down the alleged sucker puncher, Mettenberger has chosen not to press charges.

“It is what it is and it’s over. No one is pressing charges,” Ford said. “It shouldn’t have happened to begin with. The guy said ‘Roll Tide.’ He tried to provoke him. But Zach did not throw one punch, period. I was standing right next to him.”

Mettenberger started 25 games between his junior and senior seasons at LSU, so he is plenty familiar with the rivalry between the Tigers and Crimson Tide. Still, you never expect someone to take it that far. If the incident happened like Ford said it did, I’m surprise Mettenberger is letting the guy off the hook.

H/T Dan Wetzel

Tony Dungy: I would not have drafted Michael Sam

Michael Sam RamsMichael Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams more than two months ago, and we have heard very little about his sexual preference since then. With the exception of his touching speech at the ESPYs, the fact that Sam is gay has seemingly been a nonissue. Tony Dungy must not have taken note of that.

Dungy recently said he would not have drafted Michael Sam if he was still an NFL head coach.

“I wouldn’t have taken him,” the former Indianapolis Colts coach and current NBC analyst said, via Ira Kaufman of The Tampa Tribune. “Not because I don’t believe Michael Sam should have a chance to play, but I wouldn’t want to deal with all of it.”

Not wanting to “deal with all of it” is undoubtedly the reason several teams passed on Sam. While all has been quiet to this point, Dungy doesn’t believe it will stay that way.

“It’s not going to be totally smooth … things will happen,” he added.

The most interesting thing about Dungy’s stance is that he tried to go down the politically correct road when asked about Sam back in February.

“The NFL has always been based on merit and I think that will continue to be the case whether it’s Michael Sam and the issue of homosexuality or anything else,” Dungy said at the time. “Guys who produce and play well will be welcome in the league.”

I guess what he meant was Sam will be welcome in the NFL, but he wouldn’t be welcomed by me.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and Dungy’s is one that is shared by many but bottled up by most. Fortunately, the Rams were willing to deal with whatever distractions might come with drafting Sam if it means potentially improving their football team. If everyone felt the same way Dungy feels about Sam, an openly gay player would never be drafted.

H/T The Big Lead

Bengals WR Marvin Jones eyeing huge season, wants to double his stats

Marvin Jones BengalsMarvin Jones quietly put together an excellent season for the Bengals last year, and the third-year player is eyeing an even bigger season this year.

Jones caught 51 passes for 712 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and told Larry Brown Sports in an interview last week that he has some “huge goals” and aims to double his stats this season.

“Two-times better than I did last year,” Jones said with a laugh when LBS asked him about his goals for this season. “Near 100 (catches). I have some huge goals. My confidence in just me going out there and doing what I’m supposed to do no matter how many plays I get — whatever my opportunity is — just go capitalize on that.”

The Bengals have a new offensive coordinator now that Hue Jackson was promoted to replace Jay Gruden, who left to take the Redskins job. Jones told me about some of the differences between the two.

“I would have to say the attention to details. Coach Jay had great attention to detail, but it’s even more heightened with Hue. And we love it,” Jones said.

“One big thing is our running. Everybody runs. Everybody runs downfield after a play, helps out your brothers, stuff like that. That aspect of the game is a difference.”

There has been a lot of talk that Jones will be the team’s No. 2 receiver behind A.J. Green. Jones says he is looking forward to having an increased role.

“Definitely,” Jones said when asked about an increased role. “All of us are ready for an increase (in our roles). And I can’t wait to get an increased chance. I’m just happy that (the season is) nearing.”

Jones also said it’s the team’s mindset and goal to repeat as AFC North champions.

If you’re playing fantasy football and looking for a good, fairly late-round wide receiver to draft, keep Jones in mind. It sounds like he could be in for a big season.

Julius Thomas on contract talks: I want to be in Denver long term

Julius ThomasJulius Thomas had a breakout season for the Denver Broncos last year and is entering the final year of his deal with the team. There has been a lot of talk about his contract status, and matters were not helped when team executive John Elway said last week that he does not consider Thomas to be in the same class as Jimmy Graham, who signed a 4-year, $40 million deal with the New Orleans Saints. Thomas only has played 23 career games, while Graham has scored 36 touchdowns over the past three seasons, so Elway’s remarks were understandable.

LBS caught up with Thomas at a pre-ESPYs red carpet event at the Montrian Hotel in West Hollywood last week and asked about his contract talks with the team. When asked if he wanted to stay in Denver longterm, Thomas said yes.

“Absolutely. I love Denver. It’s a great city. I really love that franchise, fan base, I would look forward to being there for a long time,” Thomas told Larry Brown Sports. “But it’s business. We’ll see what happens.”

Thomas also said he has been working hard all offseason on improving what he felt were weaker parts of his game.

“I’ve had a lot of fun trying to improve my run blocking and pass blocking,” Thomas said. “Also just certain parts of my routes. I was able to do some good things in the passing game (last year), but it wasn’t always easy to execute some routes. So I’m just trying to be a little bit more cleaner and overall do more to help my team.”

Though the Broncos were the highest-scoring team in NFL history and broke all sorts of records, Thomas told LBS he believes the team can do even better this season.

“We think we can,” Thomas said when asked about the offense this year. “We’re working towards that. That’s our goal.

“We went back and looked a lot of film from last year and saw all the different areas that we missed on. We have a perfectionist leading us and he’s definitely going to push us to be that much better this year.”

AJ Hawk lights up willing fan (Video)

AJ Hawk is one of the better linebackers in the NFL. Being able to hit hard is part of his job description, so the Green Bay Packers star has gotten pretty good at it over the years. And if you don’t believe us, just ask the fan Hawk lit up on Friday.

Hawk was walking down the 7th hole at the American Century Pro-Am championship when a fan asked him if he would mind dishing out a tackle. Most fans probably ask Hawk to sign an article of clothing, but this guy wanted to be laid out. He got his wish.

AJ-Hawk-fan-tackle

I hope he signed a waiver first. Hawk obviously didn’t hit the guy as hard as he could, but I’m sure it hurt more than it appeared to. That’s a different type of thrill-seeker right there.

H/T Shutdown Corner

Chris Kluwe fires Twitter bombs at Vikings, says players were caught with underage girl

Chris KluweChris Kluwe went scorched earth on the Minnesota Vikings over Twitter Friday because of his dissatisfaction with the way they’ve handled negotiations regarding his lawsuit.

Kluwe is suing the Vikings and alleging he was cut by the team over his political/same-sex marriage views. He was in negotiations with the team over a possible settlement, but that fell through, and he plans to sue the team next week for $10 million.

The Vikings released a statement Friday regarding the case, which included a summary of an investigation’s findings. The team says the investigation concluded there was no sufficient evidence that Kluwe was discouraged from sharing his political beliefs. They also concluded that Kluwe was released because of declining performance and the distraction his outspokenness caused.

Kluwe wanted the Vikings to release the entire findings of the investigative report for public consumption, rather than a summary/condensed version of the findings. He was also upset that stories about him making fun of the Jerry Sandusky rape case were publicized and felt the need to retaliate via Twitter.

Below is Kluwe’s Twitter strike against the Vikings, which included an allegation that some notable players were caught with an underage girl.

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