ex-Packer Jets in to Raptourous Vikings’ Camp

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Yes than man who put ‘re-‘ into retirement is back again. Third time retiree QB, Brett Favre, is the new man under centre at Minnesota.

And my only question is … just who ought to be more embarrassed by the whole fiasco:

  • The oh-so desperae Minnesota Vikings for digging-up an aging relic of a by-gone quarterbacking era.
  • The peeing their pants ESPN for serving-up the kind of blanket, reverential coverage normally reserved for Papal visits and Royal weddings.
  • Mr Favre himself, for the most unctuous display of selfishness and outrageous ego since the Prodigal Son sauntered in out of the wilderness for another pop at pa’s fortune.

All hail the hero, Brett. When you do finally retire … just let yourself out quietly.

Actually I lied I’ve way more than one question.

For instance: did anyone in Minnesota watch Favre’s final game as a Jets’ player? It was woeful, toe-curling, cringingly inept. Favre capped a five game spell in which he threw nine interceptions and three touchdowns with a final performance that served-up three interceptions in delivering a single touchdown, completing 20-of-40 passes for 233 yards.

In fact during the ’08-09 season, Favre was 343-522 for 3,472 yards with 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. His longest pass of the season, 56 yards, came in his first quarter as a Jet.

So, after a season that clearly underlined the 18-year old veteran’s vulnerabilities – with the Jets slumping from an 8-3 start to end 9-7 – why do the Vikings think it ‘sensible’ to throw a $12 million dollar contract at the chosen-one’s feet (with a $13 million option in 2010)?

Am I wrong? How is that not barking mad? Even allowing for the uncertainties surrounding the talents and NFL readiness of current Vikings QB options, Tavares Jackson and Sage Rosenfels, this is a massive gamble and one so desperate that it deserves to flounder.

Even if you can ignore Favre’s playing record – which clearly indicates a second-half of the season decline – consider this anonymous quote from a veteran Jets player (source: Newsday), who claimed Favre was a distant team mate who, when at the Jets’ practice facility, spent his downtime away from teammates in an office specially designated for him. “There was a lot of resentment in the room about him. He never socialized with us, never went to dinner with anyone,”.

That’s a ticking time-bomb primed to blow the spirit of the Vikings into the ether at any time.

If the Vikings were so desperate for a playoff proven QB (and Brett’s record is patchy here) then have the balls to take the option to recruit Michael Vick; granted he has his own baggage, but he’s looking for redemption and can deliver playoff wins. It was an equally valid gamble, but one with a significantly bigger upside.

As for ESPN, well they have hours of airtime to fill and will want to keep in with the chosen-one because they fancy him as a key NFL Analyst in the future. But really, inflicting that on our ears is over the top. Even here across the Atlantic, where we were thangfully spared the TV element, the streaming radio was buzzing with talk of when Brett’s jet was taking off, who was on it, where it was now and who he was hugging next. Bleah! Tuned out early. Thanks – but no, thanks. Even avoided my subscription ESPNAMERICA service all night too.

So, what about Favre then? Why un-retire a fourth (?) time? I get he likes football. I get its hard to give up. I get he loves fame and I get its nice to be wanted and yes, I guess anyone would do it if some fool gave you $12 million. But really, enough already, if you were gonna keep playing then cool, don’t say you’re not. No problem. Take up goal kicking if you want to stay involved at 39. Or a backup job mentoring, at least that’s a legit way to contribute when the body is failing. Heck it worked for Vinnie Testaverde for years (an he didn’t antagonise nearly so many people doing it).

Or is our hero so motivated by revenge to ‘get’ at the people in Green Bay that he’ll stoop to anything? Playing for the despised rivals is a low-down trick aimed directly at the fans that idolised him. Not too long ago he owned the cities of Milwaukee and Green Bay, maybe even Wisconsin as a whole. Now? Not so much.

Quite apart from anything else, what bugs me about this whole Viking episode is the damage Favre is inflicting on the potential careers of Rosenfels and Jackson. Both QBs were told they were in a battle to start, even as the Favre rumours simmered then died out after he declined to unretire in June. Now suddenly the chosen-one is here, he changed his mind, so that’s all right then. Seems he just wanted to avoid the rigours of training camp and step right into playing. Now that doesn’t sound selfish and divisive at all; does it?

All hail the hero, Brett.

When you do finally retire … just let yourself out quietly.