Today's electronic conversation between Sports columnists Gary Shelton and John Romano:
GS: Last time we paid attention to Green Bay, the Packers were throwing Brett Favre away, and the Bucs didn't catch him. John, do you think either team regrets that now?
JR: I'm assuming the Packers are very happy. Aaron Rodgers has yet to throw an INT, and he clearly has more games in his future than Favre. As for the Bucs, who knows? I thought Favre was a risk for this offense. Should the Bucs regret not being more aggressive in trade talks?
GS: Not with a two-game winning streak. Any team bringing in a new quarterback is asking for a slow start, and slow starts have been devastating for the Bucs.
JR: Now that Jon Gruden is committed to Brian Griese as his for-this-moment savior, should the Bucs entertain the idea of trading Jeff Garcia?
GS: No, they shouldn't trade him. Ask yourself this: What do you think another general manager would be willing to give for Garcia?
JR: Chris Simms?
GS: That might be too much. The point is, I don't think anyone gives more than a fourth- or a fifth-round draft pick. At that price, Garcia is worth more to you than to other teams. If Griese's arm falls off, or if Gruden forgets why he's mad at him, Garcia might ride again.
JR: I still think Garcia starts later this year. I just can't understand why he's the No. 3 quarterback. I also can't understand how people watch Dancing With the Stars.
GS: Can you figure out a world where the Bucs offense is seventh in the NFL and the defense is 26th? It's like we've landed in some bizarro world where Buffalo is undefeated and the Patriots just got clobbered.
JR: Stop clowning around. Next thing you'll tell me is the Rays are AL East champions.
GS: Strange things are happening, dude. The moon is in the seventh house, and without Matt Millen to pick on, you may have to change your Monday column to Gimme 4.
JR: I've been thinking about changing it to Gimme 5 beers. Barring that, what kind of stories do you suppose we will be writing later today? The NFC is looking stronger these days. Are the Bucs built to keep up?
GS: It's too early to tell. If the Bucs can hold homefield advantage against a team such as the Packers, I think they might be pretty good. Do you think that's possible?
JR: Absolutely. And you know I'm a lock 53.3 percent of the time. The question, I suppose, is how did a mediocre Bears offense shred the Tampa Bay secondary? Does that make you uncomfortable?
GS: Of course it does. When it comes to the Bucs, no one is ever comfortable seeing the defense give ground. Don't forget, if not for the world's dumbest penalty, the Bucs might have lost last week. If so, you would be a pit bull with lipstick.
JR: I thought we were going to keep the lipstick thing between you and me. Seriously, I believe you were of the opinion that the Packers erred by not taking Favre back. Have you grown to love little Aaron?
GS: I confess, I thought they would be better with Favre. But Rodgers' start is impressive.
JR: Okay, let's make a wager. Rodgers, Favre or Griese: Who finishes with the higher passer rating? You pick first, and I get the other two. Loser buys lunch for the boss.
GS: That's the worst proposition bet I've ever heard. I get one of the three quarterbacks, in a rating system I don't like, and if I win, I only get to watch you buy lunch for someone else? That said, I'll take Rodgers. He won't throw as many interceptions as Favre, and he has more than a 30-point lead on Griese. And by the Boss, you better mean Springsteen.
JR: Actually, I meant your wife.
GS: For your information, she prefers the term "Omniscient Ruler of the Universe."