Shanoff's WUC: Favre (Boo), Yanks, Ducks, KU

Today's Calls: Brett Favre vs. Lambeau Cheeseheads, A.J. Burnett vs. Ryan Howard, Oregon vs. USC, Texas vs. Oklahoma State, Derrick Rose vs. Carmelo Anthony, Virginia Tech vs. Oblivion, Kansas vs. the Top 25 and More. ↵

↵Favre fanThe Opening Pitch: Boo! ↵

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↵That's not just the operating principle of Halloween night — it should be on the lips of every single Green Bay Packers fan for Sunday's "homecoming" for Brett Favre at Lambeau Field. Consider Saturday night practice. ↵

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↵Is it unseemly to boo this longtime franchise hero? Hardly. Favre gleefully enlisted with the Packers' biggest rival — you would be a sorry excuse for a Packers fan if you didn't jeer him when he stepped back on to your hallowed frozen tundra. ↵

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↵I love how Favre will reportedly not warm up on the field — what a "fearless" "competitor." Take it like a big boy, Brett. You knew this was coming; you brought it on yourself. As if sequestering himself for an hour before the game will make the in-game boos less intense. ↵

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↵On the Cheesehead side, I'm sure many of them will be conflicted. For so many years, Favre was their hero. It's one thing to yell at him on the couch for leaving for the Vikings; it's another thing to vocally express themselves to his face. ↵

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↵The worst thing a Packers fan can do is repress their natural — and much-deserved — urge to boo Favre. It isn't about Favre himself — does everything always have to be about Favre? — it is about the fans' catharsis. An exorcism, if you will, of their hostility for him. ↵

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↵Boo away. ↵

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↵World Series Game 2: Momentum shift? Not yet. The Yankees HAD to win last night; the Phillies still go back to Philly with a split. But A.J. Burnett DID have the start of his career — 9 Ks, plus first-pitch strikes to the 1st 11 batters. (Helps that Mark Teixeira found his power with that game-tying HR in the 4th.) ↵

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↵Top NFL Week 8 Story lines: Hey, did you hear about this thing where Brett Favre is going back to Green Bay for the first time since abandoning the team for its biggest rival? (There are people out there who have no idea this is a story ... and I envy them.) The ultimate manifestation of this all-encompassing story line? Fox's "Favre Cam" — a camera on Favre the entire game. ↵

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↵Other Sunday Story lines Worth Tracking: ↵

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↵— Rams-Lions: Worst Game Ever? ↵
↵Best chance for a W ... for either team. ↵

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↵— Broncos still unbeaten ↵
↵Off bye week, a test at Baltimore. ↵

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↵— Dolphins-Jets: Wildcatmania! ↵
↵Will Rex Ryan actually be ready this time? ↵

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↵— Giants-Eagles: Philly Mania! ↵
↵Biggest Sunday in Philly sports history? ↵

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↵— Titanfreude: It's VY's turn ↵
↵Same result? At least Jags aren’t very good. ↵

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↵Week 8 NFL Picks: Texans, Bears, Cowboys, Lions, Ravens, Colts, Jets, Eagles, Jaguars, Chargers, Cardinals, Packers, Saints (Last week: 9-4, Year-to-date: 73-31) ↵

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↵Redskins Fan Revolt: Not sure why the NFL is weighing in on the Skins fan-sign ban. Obviously, the league is going to back Dan Snyder — but the institutional support will only galvanize the vocal "fansurgency." ↵

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↵CFB Weekend Preview: ↵

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↵— GOTW 1: Texas at Oklahoma State ↵
↵UT's toughest game of the season. ↵

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↵— GOTW 2: USC at Oregon ↵
↵Ducks can drive stake in Trojans' heart. ↵

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↵— TCU/Cincy BCS Watch: No problem ↵
↵Frogs host UNLV; Bearcats at ‘Cuse ↵

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↵— History: Tebow passing Herschel? ↵
↵What better moment than in UF-UGA game? ↵

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↵— Upset Special: Tennessee ↵
↵Vols at home vs. inconsistent South Carolina ↵

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↵(I'll take Texas, Oregon and Florida to win, by the way.) ↵

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↵Thursday Night CFB: Virginia Tech already had its season ruined when it lost to Georgia Tech two weeks ago — losing to UNC (in Blacksburg!) is just an embarrassment. This team was really No. 4 in the country just a few weeks ago? ↵

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↵NBA Talking Points: Are the Bulls ready to make the leap? Beating a top West contender like the Spurs is certainly a good omen. Derrick Rose with 13 pts, 7 reb and 7 ast is another. Balanced scoring (six players in double-figures) is another. ↵

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↵— Carmelo is unstoppable: 41 is the new high-mark for individual scorers in the 2009-10 season, after Melo torched the Blazers. The Nuggets needed every one of those points to steal a win in Portland — Greg Oden: Practice those FTs (2-for-4)! ↵

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↵— Stephen Jackson trade impending? The Cavs' imperative to do this deal just go much more urgency, what with their 0-2 start and the general panic that a less-than-dominant season almost surely seals the deal that LeBron leaves in 2010. (But would trading Z for Jackson really help? As long as Shaq stays healthy? Yes. If Turiaf is included, this is a no-brainer.) ↵

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↵— Donaghy Scandal, Cont'd: The NBA is investigating. What, you ask? Find the time this weekend to read Deadspin's excerpts from his unreleased book, if you haven't yet. ↵

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↵CBB: AP Top 25 released, and Kansas is No. 1, by a landslide. I can't believe Kentucky is "only" No. 4. Mike DeCourcy has the must-read analysis. (My biggest complaint: Not even a single "also receiving votes" for Northwestern? Come on! Mike D says the same thing about Cincinnati.) ↵

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↵CBB Countdown: No. 12 Tennessee. The SEC is up this year — after the last few years, that ain't a high bar. But even if the Vols really ARE the 12th-best team in the country — heck, they could be No. 2 — they are no better than second in the SEC. ↵

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↵MLB Hot Stove: Short of winning a World Series, Cardinals fans got the best news possible yesterday from Albert Pujols, who said: "I want to be a Cardinal for the rest of my career." ↵

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↵Media: TNT's opening-night double-header (Cavs-Celtics, Lakers-Clippers) was the highest-rated double-header since '96. While that might be more evidence the league is going through a Renaissance, it also underscores that a grand total of three teams move the needle, from a national-audience standpoint, and they all played that night. What about the nights when they DON'T play? (Or does the NBA simply launch the LaCeltaliers Network?) It's like the 90s: Fans wanted to watch Michael Jordan ... and ... well, that's about it. ↵

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↵Worth remembering: Walter Payton died 10 years ago Sunday. Payton was my — and many others' — favorite NFL player of all time. When you set your fantasy football lineups, think of Sweetness when you confirm your RBs, none of whom are as good as he was. ↵

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↵Happy Halloween: Are you trick or treating? I'm going as Tim Tebow. (Kidding.) I'm actually making my kids dress up as Tim Tebow. (Kidding again!) I'm having to TiVo the Florida-Georgia game to accommodate taking my kids trick-or-treating. (Not kidding.) ↵

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↵The Last Word: Turn your clocks back on Saturday night. You don't want to schedule your life around catching your local NFL game at 1, only to find out that it starts an hour later. ↵

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↵Dan Shanoff writes The Wake-Up Call every weekday morning for SportingNews.com and blogs daily at DanShanoff.com. Got any comments, questions or feedback? Email Dan at shanofftsn-[at]-gmail-[dot]-com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/danshanoff. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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