We're Black and Blue All Over:
Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton returned to Minnesota last Sunday for the Vikings' 50th anniversary celebration. But Tarkenton left town before Monday night's game against the Chicago Bears, skipped an on-field halftime ceremony and clearly still hasn't come to grips with Brett Favre's two-year tenure as the Vikings' quarterback.
During a radio interview on 97.5 FM in Philadelphia, Tarkenton slammed Favre for pushing his way into the lineup Monday night and said Favre has "set the franchise back."
Tarkenton: "It's absolutely selfish. With Brett Favre -- he talks about the team, and I'm for the team and I want to play for my home fans and my teammates. It was "Monday Night Football" last week. He hadn't had enough publicity in the last week. He had been on the bench for two weeks. It's not right. He ought to take himself out of the equation and say 'This is not best for the team.'"
I would agree with that sentiment if Favre had actually leapfrogged a more worthy candidate. I'm not sure if Joe Webb, a rookie whose future could well be at another position, qualified under what was "best for the team" Monday night. But I think we all know where Tarkenton has stood, continues to stand and will forever stand on this issue.
Continuing around the NFC North:
Quarterback Rhett Bomar is with the Vikings two years later than he thought he would be, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe on getting booed for intentionally kicking the ball out of bounds for most of Monday night's game, via Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune: "The game plan for that was pretty much the epitome of being a team player because I sacrificed my stats to make sure that he didn't return it, and then they boo me. So I was like, 'Sweet, thanks, guys.' But there's a reason why you don't see a lot of punting out of bounds in the NFL. It's so hard to get the ball out of bounds to where you want it to go, especially if you're making sure that it gets out of bounds. I can aim for a spot 40 yards up the field, but there's like a 50-50 chance that it's going to stay in bounds."
Vikings tailback Adrian Peterson (knee) still hasn't returned to practice, notes Bob Sansevere of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Mike Martz on whether he would be interested in another head-coaching job, via Michael C. Wright and Jeff Dickerson of ESPNChicago.com: "Sure, if the opportunity were to come up again, who knows? Shoot, I'm 59 years old. I'm very happy with what I'm doing right now, and if that's it for me, I'd be the happiest guy in the world, too."
The Bears are a rare team that improved itself by spending premium cash in the offseason, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.
Green Bay Packers right tackle Bryan Bulaga made a rare mental mistake during the team's final possession last Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, notes the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Sunday's matchup between the Packers and New York Giants is a de facto playoff game, writes Jason Wilde of ESPNMilwaukee.com.
The 2010 season has been a huge disappointment for Packers safety Atari Bigby, notes Kareem Copeland of the Green Bay Press-Gazette.
Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press: "The Lions have dragged their feet in putting Matthew Stafford on season-ending injured reserve, but coach Jim Schwartz said that reluctance has nothing to do with wanting Stafford to avoid the stigma of going on IR each of his first two years."
It appears that Shaun Hill will replace Drew Stanton as the Lions' starting quarterback this week, according to Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.