And so The Favre Dance begins again.
Back on August 1, 2008 I wrote a piece about Brett Favre and the Packers. Namely, that I believed the Packers and Favre were better off together. The flurry of talk at the time was the idea Favre and Green Bay might work out a deal for him to join the Minnesota Vikings. But instead of going west to the Metrodome, he headed east to the Meadowlands.
Now, nearly one year later, Favre is once again in retirement saying he’s not coming out of retirement. Well, he may not be saying anything of the sort. It all depends upon which source you choose to believe.
In the span of one hour today, I heard the following reports – from sources – on two different syndicated sports talk shows and one local one here in Minneapolis:
- Vikings owner Zygi Wilf has no interest in Brett Favre coming to the Vikings.
- Vikings owner Zygi Wilf would be elated to have Brett Favre in a Vikings uniform.
- Brett Favre has no interest in coming out of retirement.
- Brett Favre would like to come back and play for the Vikings.
Who are these sources? If the Huffington Post came out and said “Sources say Brett Favre considering playing soccer for Argentina,” half of America would believe it. Maybe slightly more than half.
I used to have great admiration for Brett Favre. If there’s two things I love in the NFL, it’s the Chicago Bears and watching Brett Favre. I’ve shortened the list to just the Bears.
While many fans had already grown tired of Favre during last off-season’s tango with the Packers, Vikings and whatever other teams sources listed as possible destinations for the future Hall-of-Famer, I wasn’t in that camp. I am now.
Favre has become a professional boxer in shoulder pads. It’s the retirement tour that never ends. He’s retired. He’s back. He’s retired. He may be back. Nope, he’s staying retired. Wait, he’s back. Or is he?
What’s most interesting in this, like last year, is the reaction from Vikings fans. Last year there seemed to be a fairly even split between those suggesting they’d burn their season tickets and those salivating for Favre in purple. The ticket-burning bunch . . . please. You’re telling me you’ll spend thousands of dollars on season tickets only to burn them? Strong statement! Well done. And who loses? Not the Vikings. They’ve already got your money. Remember fans: Please burn responsibly.
This year, however, there seems to be a markedly different reaction coming from many of those same flame-throwing Vikings fans. The Vikings offense looks to be missing one primary piece: A great quarterback. Incumbent Tarvaris Jackson and incoming Sage Rosenfels fall short of great. Some here will say they don’t reach adequate. Others insist Sage Rosenfels is an exotic spice.
In the shadows you’ll hear “pssst……hi there……hey, I hope I’m not being a bother and please tell me if I am……whattaya hear on Favre? Is he coming here? Boy, I sure hope so. I threatened to burn my tickets but I really didn’t mean it.”
So the real questions here . . .
- Does Brett Favre still qualify as great?
- Is Brett Favre the answer for the Vikings?
Favre’s days of being great are behind him. While a healthy Favre is still a better option than either Jackson or Rosenfels, no one is going to confuse the 2009 Brett Favre with the one from 1996. But with the weapons he’ll have at his disposal, perhaps all the Vikings need is someone with experience, poise and leadership to guide this franchise back to being a Super Bowl contender.
Having said all of that, I’d like nothing better than seeing The Favre Circus come to town. I’m a fan of great theatre. And in a town known for remarkable theatre, Favre would shine brighter than the Guthrie.
Will Favre’s almost certain arrival be tantamount to Henry V? Or will it be more akin to Coriolanus?
It’s definitely not The Importance of Being Earnest.
About the Author: Christopher Gabriel is the host of the cleverly named Christopher Gabriel Program on AM 970 WDAY in Fargo, North Dakota. You can hear him weekdays from 9 to Noon. As a writer and humorist, his work has been been published online by the Chicago Sun-Times, Reuters and publications within the Sun-Times News Group.