Thursday, August 27, 2009
Its been one week and already the stories about Favre being a problem in the Vikings locker room have started. I find this story to be more of the circus that comes with the Brett Favre saga, than an actual issue in the locker room. The report basically states that some players think that either Tarvaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels would give Minnesota a better chance to win. If you ask every single player in camp (remember there are still 80 players in camp right now) I'm sure you'll find a player or three that have a differing opinion. I bet if you ask every player you will find some who think Chester Taylor deserves a few extra carries, or that Percy Harvin should be the number 1 wideout.
This just seems like such a ridiculous story how can anyone say with a straight face that Jackson or Rosenfels would improve the Vikings number in the win column over Favre? Rosenfels has shown himself to be a capable backup and could have been a solid starter, but he's not who I want leading an offense down by 5 with two minutes to go. Jackson has been given opportunities to start and so far its been a mixed bag. His indecision and erratic play, are the reason the Vikes traded for Rosenfels and signed Favre in the first place. Jackson couldn't beat out Gus Frerotte last season, yet now he is suddenly a better option than Favre? Come on, this might not be the Brett Favre of old, but do we really want to bet against him? I'd still have him among the top-10 quarterbacks in the league for this next season.
If this was week 8 and the Vikings were off to a 3-5 start then maybe I buy this story as an actual problem. But one week after Favre arrives in camp, this story seems to be more show than substance. I'm sure there are a few Viking players who have been put off by the hoopla surrounding Favre this off season. But as much if not more blame should be placed on the Vikings organization, than Favre for that debacle. This seems to be more of a sensationalist story, than anything really affecting the day to day activities of Vikings. I mean one person reportedly said Favre had caused a "schism" in the Vikings locker room. Really, a "schism" that's the best way to describe the effect Favre has had after one week? Not a division, disagreement or split, its a 'schism'. This has to be one of the worse cases of hyperbole I've ever seen. There might be issues, but that is way too extreme of a label to use to describe them. I think we should let Favre and the Vikings play football, and stop scrutinizing their every move.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Three weeks ago Vikings coach Brad Childress told the world that Brett Favre wasn't coming to the Minnesota, and Favre said that he was truly retired. Now, after a few weeks of training camp and one preseason game, the savior of the Packers' franchise is lining up behind center for a division rival. How did it happen, apparently one phone call from Childress and a plane ride to Miss. by owner Zigi Wilf was all the convincing that was needed. Now Favre has a 2 year $25 million in hand (and the Vikings have a 39 year old QB who just had bicep surgery, and now has a tear in his rotator cuff).
Look I'm not going to say the Vikings don't benefit with Favre leading the troops, even with the medical issues, he is a better QB than Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels. Also, Favre will add a big boost to ticket and merchandise sales (that might even pay for the $25 million price tag). That benefit will come at a cost though for the Vikings. While press stories were going to follow the Vikings-Favre courtship all year, now the controversy of another Favre comeback (and not the 4th quarter kind that made him great) will reach epic proportions. Every interception and loss will be scrutinized and criticized like we will have never seen before.
On the field Favre benefits as well. He went from a team with a new coach that finished in 3rd place in their division in 2008, to a team who won their division last year and has the league's best running back. If Favre shows some of the magic from the past than the Vikings and him can challenge for the NFC spot in the Super Bowl. However, that's a best case scenario and a lot of things need to go right for that to happen. Favre may make the players on the field better, but what does he do to this team off the field. The preferential treatment given to him by the coaching staff and front office isn't going to sit well with a number of players. The fact that there was so much misinformation, if not out right lying by Childress and the Vikings (not to mention Favre) can only burn bridges at a time when he needs to develop chemistry with a new team. That Vikings' locker room is a powder keg right now, and if Minnesota starts losing (or Favre breaks down) it will blow up in their face and sink their playoff hopes this season.
What's most interesting about this is the legacy issue. Plenty of great players from various sports have returned and maintained their respect league wide. Favre's image was already damaged due to the retirement drama that has surrounded him these last two seasons, but it wasn't irrevocable, until now. Up until this week some Packer fans might have abandoned Brett Favre, but were they really going to ignore him in 5 years when he gets enshrined in Canton? Now, if Favre leads the Vikings to the playoffs, and knocks Green Bay out of the postseason, he will be forever despised by Cheeseheads. Joe Montana and Emmit Smith extended their careers by going to another team, but they didn't go to division rivals and are still loved by San Francisco and Dallas fan bases. Favre will face the team that he led to the promised land twice this season. When the Packers come to Minnesota on Oct. 5th it will be very interesting and unforgettable. However, when the Vikings come to Green Bay on Nov. 1st, Favre will become Judas with his thirty pieces of silver ($25 million dollars).