Ahead of the Curve

The lure of the Siren's song: never what it appears to be, but who among us can resist?

The Favre / Viking drama reminds me of the Peanuts comic where Lucy (Favre) tempts Charlie Brown (Brad Childress) to kick the football she's holding.  "You can trust me," she says.  He hesitates, recalling Lucy's habit of yanking the ball at the last second.  But driven by the chance to get that which has eluded him so many times, Charlie runs at the pigskin as Lucy pulls it away with a smile and he lands with a thud.  Good grief, he sighs.  

Cartoonist Charles Schulz was part humorist and part psychologist.  We all laughed at Charlie Brown's gullible nature but we also sympathized with his pain and his reasoning.  Lucy may not have been Linus but she was still a friend.

Brett Favre is Brad Childress' friend.  Both men seem to be stand-up guys.  It just doesn't figure for Favre to pull a Lucy number, misleading the coach in such a reckless manner.  As such, I think there's a fair chance (40 / 60) Favre will be wearing purple come fall.

I don't see Favre passing on the royal opportunity Minnesota presents, not for the reason he gave: physically unable to survive the schedule.  He wouldn't have opted for surgery three months ago if he hadn't already come to terms with another season of the rigors in the NFL.  The successful surgery / rehab should've only reinforced this confidence.

And I'm not buying this tarnished legacy talk.  What's his legacy now (outside of Wisconsin where he's loved again)?  He suits up like he planned, gives a good effort and if he breaks down mid-season, at least he tried.  This wasn't exactly Johnny Unitas limping into San Diego.  And even then, no one thought any less of John as a player.

What I do see is a 40 year old QB passing on OTAs and training camp.  He doesn't need that gung-ho crap in the summer heat.  Going public would've set a dangerous precedent for the NFL.  What better way to do it than stay retired and return in the pre-season?       

In his conversation with Steve Mariucci, Favre made a notable comment.  Not that he'd keep throwing the ball (Mariucci prompted that answer), but that he didn't feel the "relief" he'd expected when finally making the hard decision.  Is that the first sign?

Brad Childress' door remains open for Brett Favre.  While bitterness hangs over Mankato like a dark cloud, the QB options are "as flavorless as an invalid's drool" (H.H. Braun): 2009 playoff bust (Jackson); 8-year benchwarmer (Rosenfels) and a near-rookie (Booty). 

Players are another story.  Last year Favre timed it so Rodgers could settle-in at Green Bay and he himself could miss training camp.  This year's different.  He's ready to play and some Vikings may resent the orchestration.  Others may just say, more power to him.       

And then there's the money.  Maybe the opportunity wasn't so royal.  Someone got cute and it queered the deal.  That can be corrected.  We'll have our answer by September. 

Steven Keys


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