Friday, September 10, 2010

Clemens and Favre: Separated At Birth?

Lisa Swan of The Faster Times and the blog Subway Squawkers has an interesting theory: Roger Clemens and Brett Favre are the same person. Or, at least, sharing the same brain. (See the link to Subway Squawkers off to the side of this screen.)

How can they be using the same brain? When have we ever known Roger Clemens to use his own brain, let alone anybody else's?

It would explain why Favre always seems unsure in the summer of whether he's going to be playing football in the fall: He's still playing baseball in the summer!

And, let's not forget, Clemens is 7 years older. And he's always been a bit chunky, while Favre has usually been fit. And while "everybody" hates the New York Yankees (makes it easier to hate Clemens if you don't think of him as a Boston Red Sock or a Houston Astro, unless you're a Yankee Fan, as I am), hardly anybody hates Favre's main team, the Green Bay Packers. Sure, fans of the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings (Favre's current team) hate them, and maybe Dallas Cowboy fans don't like them much. Still, it's hard to hate the Pack. Unlike the Cowboys, who made the name up for themselves, the Packers really are "America's Team."

Still, there are similarities. Both were stars early in their careers. Both slumped during what should have been their prime. Both had big comebacks at the point when lots of players in those sports retire. Both make unreasonable demands. Both dither about whether they're going to retire. (In fact, while no team will ever sign Clemens again, he still hasn't officially announced his retirement, as far as I know.) Both are divas who revel in the media's "mancrushes" over them.

The big difference is that most people, in the wake of the steroid investigation that has now gotten Clemens indicted on federal perjury charges, have decided to stop honoring Clemens. Favre remains "untouchable."

I couldn't find a list of every game Clemens has ever pitched, but I found a postseason game log, in the hopes of being able to say, "Aha! See? They were both playing their respective sports on the same day! They can't be one and the same!"

Clemens pitched Game 1 of the 1990 ALCS for the Boston Red Sox on a Saturday, when Favre would have been the starting quarterback at the University of Southern Mississippi. He pitched Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, Game 4 of the 2001 ALCS, and Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, for the Yankees; and Game 4 of the NLDS in both 2004 and 2005, for the Houston Astros. These were all on Sundays, when Favre would have been quarterbacking the Green Bay Packers. Unless the Packers played each of those weeks on Monday Night Football, it would invalidate the theory.

Maybe they were separated at birth. Or, at least, separated from the same birth-parents. We know of Clemens' complicated history, his father leaving early, and his mother issues. We know Favre had perhaps his best regular-season game the day after his father died -- certainly doesn't sound like Clemens. On the other hand, if they were brothers, and both adopted... And, while we would never believe Favre would make something up about his father dying and then playing his best game, wouldn't it be just like Clemens to do that? Maybe they're not the same person, but there are some curious parallels.

Then again, I might not want to leave this post up on the Internet. It would be the perfect defense for Clemens: "It was temporary insanity! When I took the steroids, I was possessed by Brett Favre!"

*

High school football starts tonight in New Jersey. My alma mater, East Brunswick High School, opens the season at Monroe Township tomorrow night, not tonight as my previous "countdowns" have erroneously had it.

Both teams won their respective sections of the State Championship last season (EB in Central Jersey Group IV, Monroe in Central Jersey Group III), and the two teams played a classic in the regular season that EB won with a late field goal, and it turned out to be Monroe's only loss of the season.

But both were hit hard by graduation, so, even though the game is going to be at Monroe's Walsh Field (like EB is gonna be intimidated by that place, after going through the lower life forms that populate Old Bridge and Sayreville), it's anybody's guess as to who's going to win.

*

The Yankees open up a long roadtrip tonight: 3 in Texas against the Rangers, then a big 3-game series in Tampa Bay against the Rays that could go a long way toward deciding the AL East, then 3 in Baltimore, before coming home for 3 against the Rays and 3 against the Red Sox that WILL decide the AL East.

This all-important homestand will be followed by the roadtrip that closes the regular season, 3 in Canada against the Pesky Blue Jays, 3 in the most foreign country of all, Red Sox Nation.

Javier Vazquez goes against C.J. Wilson tonight. Uh-oh...

*

Could be worse: The Yankees could have their ace starter out for the season. The Great Johan Santana is having shoulder surgery, and he's not pitching again for the Mets this season. That's 3 years in Flushing, and...

I'm not happy that he's injured. I don't believe in karma, especially since he also had a season-ending injury last year, before the incident in which he admitted to cheating on his wife... as a defense against a far more serious allegation, a la Kobe Bryant. Aside from that, he has seemed like a decent guy.

But the way Met fans went on and on about getting him, thinking he was the best pitcher in baseball (if he ever was, he's not even the best lefty pitcher in New York anymore), thinking he was going to make the difference... 2008, missed the Playoffs by 1 game; 2009: 2008 is starting to look great by comparison; 2010: Another season in which M-E-T-S stands for My Entire Team Sucks.

*

Last night, the NFL season opened, with the defending champion New Orleans Saints beating the Minnesota Vikings (including the aforementioned Favre), 14-9 at the Louisiana Superdome. Good.

Football before so much as a single baseball team has clinched a postseason berth? Bad. I'm not ready for some football!

*

Unless it's... futbol! Tomorrow is a big day for Arsenal fans. At 10:00 in the morning (3:00 in the afternoon their time), Arsenal take on Bolton Wanderers at home. Then, the New York Gooners head over to Red Bull Arena, where Arsenal's U.S. partner club, the Colorado Rapids, will take on the New York Red Bulls, featuring Arsenal's greatest player ever, Thierry Henry. After the match, we get to have a meet-and-greet with Henry.

I've SEEN lots of sports legends, due to regular games, Old-Timers' games and 3 Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies. But Henry will be the biggest star I've ever actually met. And the thing is, he loves his fans. He knows we put the money in his account. He knows the money is nice, but that this is what it's all about.

He's not perfect... but then, he's no Roger Clemens, either!

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