On a gloomy and dank Sunday morning I opened the Kenosha News to read the ambiguous headline, “Homeless Youth Need Help: Panel”. Located on the same front page was a tease for the Sports section, “Sports Take: For Favre or Against Him” Wow! What a concept, a column getting the reaction from the unwashed masses regarding the most polarizing athlete in the history of Wisconsin sports. Too bad this discussion has been ongoing in both print and on sports talk radio since July of 2008. Needless to say I did not rush to check out this article located on C7.
Instead, with the rain continuing to fall outside my window, I decided to see what was happening in facebbook. Wouldn’t you know it? More “discussion” and “debate” on whether or not you are pulling for #4. Therefore, in an effort to stay clear of all the Favre-hysteria, I have decided to write about athletes that I enjoy even though they once played for teams that I despise.
At present, my list of teams that I loathe is made up of the Chicago Cubs, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Bulls. Pretty much in that order. Here are my favorites from the hated:
Chicago Bulls – Center Tom Boerwinkle. Boerwinkle played for the Bulls from 1968 to 1978 and was largely unappreciated, although he was regarded as one of the best passing centers in the game. That is why I liked him.
You knew that as soon as “Long Tom” entered the game he was going to throw that little over-the-shoulder backdoor pass to Bob Love for an easy sore.
St. Louis Cardinals – Jack Clark. Although he was an accomplished hitter, the reason I have regard for Clark is for what he has done recently. Clark, who spoke whatever was on his mind when he played, had this to say about Mark McGwire and the steroid issue:
"A lot of them should be banned from baseball, including Mark McGwire. All those guys are cheaters - A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez). Fake, phony. Rafael Palmeiro. Fake, a phony. (Roger) Clemens, (Barry) Bonds. (Sammy) Sosa. Fakes. Phonies. They don't deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.” They're all creeps. All these guys have been liars."
Minnesota Vikings – Joe Kapp. In 1968, Kapp led the Minnesota Vikings to their first ever playoff appearance, losing to the Baltimore Colts, 24-14. This is significant because it set the tone for what is now a long history of the Vikings losing the big game.
Way to go Joe. It this and his wonderful cinematic work in The Longest Yard as the Walking Boss that has made him a longtime favorite of mine.
The Chicago Bears – Doug Buffone and Ed O’Bradovich. O’Bradovich was a defensive end on the 1963 NFL champion Bears, while Buffone played outside linebacker from 1965-79. The two former Bears do a post game show on WSCR The Score 670 sports radio station.
What makes their show so appealing to this Packer fan is that they show more passion than the current Bear players do. They rant and rave so much that sometimes I begin to have concerns for their health. Then I just remind myself that they were once Bears and no longer care.
Chicago Cubs – Randy Hundley. I am announcing it to the world; Hundley was the first baseball player I was ever a fan of. Yes, I was even a Cub fan. There I said it. Then in 1970 the Milwaukee Brewers were born and shortly thereafter, the Cubs began dismantling the team I had grown so fond of. When they traded “The Rebel” to the Minnesota Twins before the 1974 season, that was it; the Cubs were officially dead to me.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my strong dislike for former St. Louis Cardinal Carl Taylor. I remember it like it was yesterday, I was watching Ray Raynor before leaving for school. Ray was showing Cub highlights. There it was, the violent collision at home plate between Taylor and Hundley on April 21, 1970. The play would put the Cub backstop out for several weeks and ended his iron-man streak. Yet another reason to hate the Cards.
Okay it’s noon now. The #4 show doesn’t start until 5:30, giving me plenty of time to proofread this a couple of times before I post it. I might even have enough time to play a game or two in Pogo with my good friend from England, Bev. She doesn’t even know who Brett Favre is. Imagine that. Until next time…from the booth.