Posted by ESPN.com’s Kevin Seifert
I’m pretty convinced that current Minnesota and Green Bay players aren’t nearly as affected by the rivalry between the teams as their predecessors were. Free agency, business arrangements and other modern-day advents have softened the emotions involved in such things.
But the feelings remain strong among alumni from both sides. We’re already well aware what former Vikings quarterback Fran Tarkenton thinks of Brett Favre’s arrival in Minnesota. Thursday, Greg A. Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published the reaction of former Packers players.
Hall of Fame defensive end Willie Davis said, “I just don’t understand why he went to Minnesota.” Former safety LeRoy Butler, meanwhile, said he cringes at the thought of watching ESPN highlights of Favre beating the Packers.
“It's going to be on every station, if they lose to the Vikings, for four days,” Butler said. “I don't want to see that. I don't want to see the four-letter network have Brett's picture up and the lovefest. 'Ah, he's this. He's that. He just loves playing the game.’ Nope, sorry Brett. You're on the other side now."
Former guard Jerry Kramer blamed the Packers’ handling of the situation last summer for creating the vengeance he believes Favre feels now. And former receiver Antonio Freeman believes vengeance is the sole reason Favre decided to play this season in Minnesota.
Favre is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon at the Vikings’ training facility. I’ll be there and will relay you the latest. For now, let’s take a spin around the NFC North:
Former Tampa Bay coach and current ESPN analyst Jon Gruden believed Favre would end up with the Bucs last summer, writes Jason Wilde of ESPN Milwaukee.
The Vikings have long been aware of Percy Harvin’s history of migraines, writes Judd Zulgad and Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune. They have bothered him since he was in middle school.
Minnesota officials are scheduled to make an economic impact presentation on the potential for a new stadium Thursday, writes John Shipley of the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
So far, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune, the decision by Bears coach Lovie Smith to get more involved in the defense has paid off.
Bears receivers are averaging four more catches per game than they did last year, notes Bob LeGere of the Daily Herald.
Jeff Dickerson of ESPN Chicago takes a look at linebacker Jamar Williams, who likely will make his second career start Sunday against Detroit.
Detroit defensive coordinator Gunther Cunningham acknowledged the Lions benched cornerback Phillip Buchanon for performance reasons last Sunday against Washington. John Niyo of the Detroit News has more.
The Lions aren’t a good matchup for Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, writes Tom Kowalski of Mlive.com.