Favre’s streak ends at 297

As all things must come to an end, Brett Favre’s record of consecutive games has ended at 297.

Will there be a weepy press conference?

Will the Vikings ever recover from the twin swaths of destruction that have befallen them this week?

As a slightly cranky Packers fan, I hope the answer to both questions is “no.”

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That said, I remember when Favre started with the Pack. It was a few years after my mother and i had moved back to Wisconsin after an unwelcome annum in New Mexico, something that I was happy about in part because Wisconsin had a professional sports teams. Sure, the Harlem Globetrotters came to Albuquerque once while we were there, and UNM’s basketball team can be a force to be reckoned with. But there were no Brewers. Or Packers. A few tumbleweeds here and there, but no Packers.

Our return happened when Don Majkowski was on QB, and like many things about our state, the Packers were something that we loved almost in spite of themselves. So when this handsome new Favre came to the team, we could amuse ourselves with folks stumbling over his name, just as we had before with Majkowski. But soon, we saw that Favre represented the start of a new era for the Packers. And with him, some day, we just might even make it to the Super Bowl!

The rest, of course, is history. As were many things about Favre’s days with the Pack. It was a special time, when we had heroes like Reggie White and Mark Chmura, still untainted in the public eye. And when Favre throwing an unbelievably risky pass to Antonio Freeman would start with a gasp and end with wild cheers.

I had the pleasure of taking in a few games up at Lambeau Field. My favorite was the deep freeze the Pack put on the Miami Dolphins in a frigid December game. Also notable was when the whole stadium breathed a sigh of relief during the opening ceremony of an October 2001 game, in which, perhaps unwisely at the time, an Air Force jet did a low flyover of the stadium, giving the crowd a collective oh-shit-are-we-gonna-die? moment.

But, like all things, that ended. It’s a little sad Favre didn’t make it to 300 games. But if he had retired, and stayed that way, he wouldn’t have gotten this close. Which seems to make it more pathetic than saddening. Go figure.

Either way, rest assured, we’ll never forget you, Brent.

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Tommy for Senate is as Favre is for QB

As the honest and upright (if not slightly evasive) Terrence “Terry” Wall has dodged paying state income taxes, there’s been some mumbling (if not slurring) to get Tommy Thompson, the self-described man from “the great state of Wiscons” to run for Senator Feingold’s seat.

The future mayor of Elroy may want to pause before attempting to make himself into Wisconsin’s next Brett Favre.

Like the quarterback who can’t help but drag (or hurl) himself back in after one or two retirements, Thompson has tried to run for president, but was out in 2008 after the Iowa caucuses. (Tommy Thompson President Gifts still available through CafePress; act now!) Prior to that, he served as U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services under the George W. Bush administration. And he went to that job after setting up his home state of Wiscons’ to have a muddled morass of welfare “reform,” lower-quality schools, and a record budget deficit. In true politician style, he left town before the shit hit the fan, leaving his successor Scott McCallum to take the blame.

Tommy started to make big money while he was in D.C. Not all of it came from his post as Secretary of H.H.S. That didn’t pay too shabbily, earning just under $200,000 annually. But the real cash came from Thompson’s stock holdings in the VeriChip Corporation. Amid the destruction and overall corruption of the Bush II administration, Thompson’s dealings got little attention. Thompson had at least 150,000 shares of stock in Applied Digital, the one-time makers of the VeriChip, and oversaw FDA approval of their device. He would later join the company’s board of directors. Thompson demurred on his pledge to “absolutely” have an RFID chip implanted in his arm. Can’t blame him; there’s already enough ways to track people. And there are cancer concerns as well. Good stuff!

Tommy’s come a long way since being seen as a man of the people. His long record firmly argues against that sentiment. We have to remember that his administrations are responsible for leaving Wisconsin with its lowest bond rating ever and a $3.5 billion deficit. His time at HHS hardly seems to have been examined. And if he ran for the U.S. Senate, his financial disclosure forms would make for very interesting reading. His ties to the medical-legal-healthcare-industrial complex are deep. His résumé shows him now as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld law firm, an “independent chairman” at the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, and president at Logistics Health. While the salaries at those firms are not known right now, you would hope that with all the cash he’s making there that he’s been able to find a few cents to contribute to the state of Wisconsin.

Stay in the private sector, Tommy. They’ve been very good to you. Don’t be another Favre.

And we’ll love you 4EVER Brent!

Newest “Bay View Compass” hits the streets

Indeed, the newest issue of the Compass is out, and my latest entry of the award-winning column “On the Street” is In it. To compose that column, I walk about the neighborhood of Bay View, find people on the street, and ask them a question. It matters not if theyr’e from Bay View, or even Milwaukee. We take all comers.

This month’s question was simply, “Brett Favre.”

You can see people’s responses over here.