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Resting Michael Vick, judging the NFL’s decision on Favre, and Philly losses a legend

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After Tuesday night’s meltdown against the Joe Webb-led Minnesota Vikings, I What will Andy Reid do?started to wonder to myself if I was the only one who thought Eagles QB Michael Vick was getting beat up after every play over the last several weeks. Obviously, I wasn’t and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out, so pardon the sarcasm.

I spoke to a lot of football people over the last couple of days and they were surprised to some extent that Eagles head coach Andy Reid was even thinking about starting Vick against the Dallas Cowboys Sunday in a meaningless game.

Perhaps that was just Reid not showing his hand, because ultimately he announced that a limping Vick and his bruised quad will be on the sidelines, as Kevin Kolb gets the start against the hated Cowboys. It is the smart and right thing to do not only for Vick, but for the team, and it also gives Kolb a shot to audition for a future employer in 2011.

On Tuesday night during the Eagles 24-14 loss to the lowly 6-9 Vikings, Minnesota practically blitzed from every position on the field almost every other play, and they got to Vick time and time again.

The second defensive play of the game for the Vikings set the tone.

Vick was quickly gobbled up for an eight-yard sack by Antoine Winfield, who would get to Vick again with the hat trick, a sack, forced fumble, recovery for a TD that turned the game around late in the first half, making it a 7-7 contest and giving the Vikings confidence heading into the locker room.

In reality, Minnesota blitzed on roughly 50 percent of Vick's dropbacks, an unusually high percentage for them, while sacking Vick six times. They also hit Vick seven more times and repeatedly forced him to scramble from the pocket.

But give credit to Fred Pagac, the Vikings interim defensive coordinator, who came up with a great game plan against the high-powered offense of the Eagles and its ring leader Vick.

The loss was crippling considering the Eagles, who are 10-5, could’ve secured a first-round bye with a victory over the Vikes and Dallas and with a loss by either Chicago or Atlanta in the regular season finale for both squads. But they didn’t, and now a gimpy Vick will still get some rest but it could have been two weeks, figuring the Birds would have beaten Dallas with Kolb, which they should anyway.

Most alarming is that many are hoping that the Eagles performance was an aberration and not a sign of things to come, as the Eagles’ defense made Webb look like Joe Willy and Vick couldn’t handle the onslaught of blitzes that he faced.

One former NFL defensive back told me that teams are blitzing Vick early to rattle him and make him hesitant to go deep under duress, which is where some of his bad decision making is coming from. In the first seven games that Vick started this season, he threw 11 TD’s to zero interceptions. Over the five games, Vick has tossed 10 TD’s and has thrown 6 picks. A week should help Vick rest up, but it also gives the Packers, Giants or Bucs to start to game plan for him.

Throw a red-flag at the league and Goodell and challenge this play…Jenn Sterger and Brett Favre. Photo: www.beergoggleson.com

The NFL finally came down hard on Brett Favre, and this time it will cost him. I mean wow, down to the last few days of the season and Favre’s career, the NFL ended a snail-paced investigation into gaudy allegations against Favre with a $50,000 fine and a rebuke for basically pleading the fifth and not being candid with the shield.

Sure, the league and commissioner Roger Goodell punished the “Golden Boy” one of its marquee players for failing to cooperate with investigators who were trying to determine whether Favre sent inappropriate messages and pics of his genitals to Jenny Steger in 2008, when both worked for the New York Jets. So this starts out with a bang and ends with a whimper.

I am missing something. I get the league had little evidence here, and all the NFL can do is call you, ask you to come in, and answer some questions and cooperate, which Favre did eventually. But what is the fine really going to do? The only thing this fine does is demonstrate that Goodell’s “TOUGH TALK” about player conduct was blinded by Favre’s iconic status, and that to me is soft and weak.

Was it a fine to make everyone feel better? Or was it a fine because the league felt that Favre did not cooperate with Goodell and the shield? You be the judge. Talk it over with your friends if you want, or you can text them. Just be careful what you write and send or you might get a slap on the wrist.

Briscoe never won a championship, but boy was he a “Bad Man”ennie Briscoe photo: www.findagrave.com

I was sadden to hear of the passing of one of the finest boxers to ever step in the ring coming out of Philadelphia, a man simply known as “Bad Bennie” to those within the boxing community.

Bennie Briscoe passed away last Tuesday at the much too young age of 67. If you follow boxing in Philly, you know the names of Eugene “Cyclone” Hart, Bobby “Boogaloo” Watts, Willie “The Worm” Monroe and of course “Bad Bennie.”

And man, he was indeed bad when he stepped into the ring, and if that left hook of his connected to the body, well just says “good-night.“ For a fighter that never won a world championship, Briscoe just might be Philadelphia’s greatest middleweight.

I am sure my friend Bernard Hopkins  would strongly disagree and that is ok, but you can’t argue the quality of opponents that Briscoe had the chomps to step into ring against, or maybe that is the other way around.

You can’t always judge a fighter by his record, and Briscoe is the perfect case. He came to Philly as a teen from Georgia, turned pro at 19 in 1962, and then proceeded to win his first 12 bouts – 10 by way of KO.

His best shot at a title came in 1972 when he was working his way to a clash with Argentine’s great champion Carlos “Escopeta” Monzon. Before a tune-up fight, Briscoe developed hepatitis, and lost a bout against a journeyman fighter named Luis Vinales, who won just 20 fights, while losing 14 straight bouts to end his boxing career.

Briscoe, the warrior, still made plans to fight Monzon, and in Round 9 of that bout, landed a devastating right to the Argentina’s jaw, nearly ending the bout. Monzon was able to regroup, kept his balance and just hung onto Briscoe. It should be pointed out that Monsoon got some assistance from the referee, who allowed the grabbing and holding to continue, as the bell saved Monzon, who would go onto to win by decision.

Years after that fight Monzon would go on to say that Briscoe was the toughest fighter he ever faced. Briscoe had several more shots at the title in 1973 and 1974, but he lost both bouts to Columbia’s sadly underrated Rodrigo Valdez, who was a great fighter in his own right.

One bout that people still talk about is his match against Hart in 1975, which ended in a brutal draw. In 20 years of boxing, Briscoe was stopped just once. Think about that for a moment. From 1962 to 1982, Briscoe fought everyone the boxing world asked him to fight.

That to me, is a bad man.

Rich Quinones is a freelance sports broadcaster and sports writer. He has over 13 years of broadcasting experience, most recently spending the last three as afternoon drive-time host for 1290 The Ticket, a Fox Sports Affiliate in Delaware. He has worked for various news and sports radio stations in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Ohio and the “First State,” where he won numerous awards for his own-air work. A national freelance sports correspondent for several different media outlets across the country, Rich has covered every sport over the years as well as the local teams in our backyard, and is known for his “hard-hitting,” passionate style behind the microphone. His work has been published online as well as in SJ Magazine and South Jersey Magazine. He is also play-by-play voice for the NAFL and served as lead blow-by-blow announcer for Dave Tiberi’s T.N.T Boxing.

“Q” covers the sweet science on a daily basis and is set to launch his own show online. Rich is also an advocate for retired NFL Players, who are struggling in life since leaving the game and need some guidance. He has partnered up with several former NFL players, who also believe in this cause.

Contact Rich at rquinonesmedia@hotmail.com