Even the players loved NFL Madness

Thoughts while wondering whatever became of the brainless reports that the Eagles would lure Brett Favre off his muddy tractor in Mississippi to back up Michael Vick. Or want to.

KEEP IN MIND. Remember the name Brett Wallace. It’ll come up later.

THE NFL's NEW TOY. Am I the only one who thinks the NFL should shut down for six months every year? The week of sustained excitement from the end of the lockout on Monday, July 25th through Sunday the 31st was the best football entertainment in this town since Donovan McNabb gave a new meaning to chunky soup.

Even the players were caught up in the free-wheeling player movement last weekend. SI.com’s Peter King was visiting Atlanta’s practice facility, and noticed Roddy White and a few other Falcons glued to a TV.
The announcer was detailing Nnamdi Asomugha’s shocking emergence in Philadelphia and, according to King, “you could hear a pin drop.”

Let’s do it again next year.

THE PLAYERS' NEW TOY. Reports from training camps say the players are absolutely ecstatic over the new rules limiting practices. (Hey: less work, more pay; gotta love it, right?).

The players are rightly happy about less heavy hitting in the camps, mainly due to a new rule allowing only one session a day in helmets. Another rule allows only 14 practices in pads once the regular season starts.

SI's King reported that John Abraham of the Falcons actually started giggling with glee when asked about it. Abraham is 33 and said he thinks the new rules will add a year to his career. Teammate Dunta Robinson added, “I'm sure guys will play longer. Guys who normally played 10 years, now they'll play 12.”

If that turns out to be true, it’ll benefit the teams more than they expected when the players forced it into the new collective bargaining agreement.

CYNICAL ASIDE. I think this is where a cynic would point out that Brett Favre will be in his 30th season when the new CBA expires in 2021.

GET REAL. Who came up the notion that Randy Moss is gonna retire and feed his enormous ego in upscale night clubs or guesting on TV? Moss is one of the neediest players ever to cross the stage and won’t be able to abandon the star-worshipping media spotlight any more than Favre or T.O.

THOSE MID-SEASON PHILLIES' DEALS. For those of you who asked, here are the minor leaguers surrendered by Ruben Amaro, Jr., in his three seasons as GM.
For Cliff Lee in ‘09: Triple-A righthander Carlos Carrasco, single-A righty Jason Knapp, catcher Lou Marson and shortstop Jason Donald. (Note: the Phillies refused to include lefthander J.A. Happ or outfielders Michael Taylor or Domonic Brown).
For Roy Halladay prior to ‘10: Triple-A righthander Kyle Drabek, reliever Travis D'Arnaud, and Michael Taylor; Taylor then was traded to Oakland for first baseman Brett Wallace.
For Roy Oswalt in ‘10: Lefthander J.A. Happ, shortstop Jonathan Villar and outfielder Anthony Gose. (Gose then was traded to Toronto for the same Brett Wallace.
For Hunter Pence in ‘11: First baseman Jonathan Singleton, righthander Jarred Cosart, righthanded reliever Josh Zeid, and a player to be named.

Keep in mind we won’t know how good these prospects are for a few years and, most likely, you won’t care. Who remembers now that the cost of Joe Blanton in 2008 was Gio Gonzalez, a 2010 all-star? You probably recall that the price of Brad Lidge before that championship season was Michael Bourn, also a 2010 all-star. But how many of you, given Lidge’s critical contribution to the World Series Championship, really care?

SO WHO IS BRETT WALLACE, ANYWAY? The 25-year-old first baseman probably has a part of more trades involving big names than anyone in recent memory.

Selected in the first round (13th overall) by St. Louis out of Arizona State in the June 2008 draft, he was traded to Oakland for outfielder Matt Holliday in a deadline move in 2009. He was sent to Toronto for Michael Taylor in December as an extension of the Roy Halladay deal. He was traded again, this time to Houston for Gose, who had just been obtained by the Astros in the Roy Oswalt trade last summer.

He was hitting .268 with 26 RBIs in 101 games for the Astros through Sunday, but was sent down to Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday.

FINALLY. Before you judge the worth (or lack of same) of the players who changed unis prior to Sunday’s non-waiver trade deadline. remember this: the most significant move made last season was on August 21st, when the Giants got Cody Ross from Florida on the waiver wire.  Phillies fans remember him from the NLCS.

Contact staff writer Don McKee at dmckee@phillynews.com.