NFC North weekend mailbag

Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert

Jason of Wisconsin writes that “I haven’t seen a single article written about any other team/player” than Minnesota/Brett Favre. “Perhaps you should rename your site from NFC North to NFC-Favre’s Vikings.”

Nick from Idaho asks: “How many teams are in the NFC North? From your blog, I would guess just one.”

Jeff of Chicago asks me to be “a bit more unbiased when it comes to writing your blogs. I seem to notice that you talk A LOT about the Vikings and what’s going on with them. I understand, truly I do, I am a DIE HARD Bears fan and can talk about them all day, but you are a professional sports writer and your views and articles are supposed to be unbiased. I do love what you write, I would just like to see more about the Bears, Packers, and Lions and less on the Vikings.”

Drew of Phoenix suggests I “apparently have a whole lot of man love for Favre.”

Steve of Ohio wants to know why “you liberal media people have such a petty hatred for Brett Favre.”

Homer J. Simpson of St. Paul suggests a new name for this blog: “Minnesota Vikings and Their Competitors.” Between naps at the switchboard, Homer adds: “Do what they pay you to do, you bum.”

Jacob of San Diego writes that “I can’t get enough of your coverage of the Vikings!”

Kevin Seifert: Trust me, I’ve read your notes and comments, heard your complaints, accepted your compliments and taken them all to heart. I know you think we’ve devoted both too much time to Brett Favre and not enough. You think I hate him and love him. You want more coverage of the Vikings and less.

As we’ve discussed before, Favre’s courtship with and arrival in Minnesota has shaken up our coverage a bit here on the Black and Blue blog. It’s also strengthened my belief that, collectively, the NFC North has the most passionate fan base in the league. Along the way, it has reinforced that we have four diverse audiences who sometimes associate word count with respect for their individual teams.

So I wanted to take advantage of this relative break in the action to reiterate what I want this blog to be -- and what it can’t be -- as we head into our second season.

  • I hope to be a one-stop destination for all NFC North news. I can’t be in all four cities at once, so at times coverage of one team will be more thorough than others. That’s life. But through reporting and links, I will account for all daily news in a timely fashion. That doesn’t mean every scrap of information will be given the same treatment. But if you read carefully, you’ll find it all.

  • I hope to bring you a divisional angle that’s less relevant for local media coverage. I don’t want to only tell you about Green Bay’s shift to a 3-4 defense. I want you to know how it might match up with Minnesota, Chicago and Detroit -- who account for almost 40 percent of the Packers’ games. I hope that some of the Favre coverage has helped fans of the Bears and Packers grow familiar with what stands between their team and the division title. I want to take division-wide themes -- say, the influx of young quarterbacks and new tight ends -- and develop them through the season to see how they impact the race.

  • I want to spread myself around the division as best I can. There’s no getting around the fact that I live in Minnesota, but that in itself won’t impact where I devote my attention. We have phone lines and quick flights here in the Upper Midwest. We also have ESPN Chicago, which features the excellent work of Bears beat reporter Jeff Dickerson. With that said, you should know it will be rare when all four teams get the same percentage of coverage on any given day or even a week. More than anything, news will dictate my daily focus. But over time, each team will get a fair shake.

  • I had some fun with a few of your mailbag notes above, but I really do want to hear from you and for all of us to interact. We have a pretty good core group of commenters on the site, and we’re starting to get some good conversation going over on Facebook and occasionally through Twitter. If you’re not into social networking or public debates, you can always send a note to the mailbag. I do my best to get back to people either through e-mail or mailbag posts. (I expect these will run on Saturdays this season.) You might be surprised how many blog ideas originated with a question or suggestion from a reader.

  • One of my biggest challenges this year will be incorporating the historic nature of the Favre story into a blog dedicated to the entire division. I expect to make mistakes and there’s no chance everyone will be happy. But I promise to work on it, as long as long as you make one promise to me: Remember that football is supposed to be fun. Reading about football should be fun, and so should writing about it. Let’s not get any deeper than that.