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August 18, 2009

Before I start, I just want to introduce you to a new friend of ours here at FireRickReilly:

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Now, let’s get angry.

The vibe at Vikings camp: Favre could come back

Oh good. I don’t know about you, but life just hasn’t been the same for me without my daily deluge of speculative Brett Favre columns by hack journalists who are too lazy to do research and interview and write about actual topics that actual football fans care about. Thank you, Mr. Glazer, you have filled a void.

If I were a betting man, I’d swear Brett Favre would be joining the Vikings in the next few weeks, or at least attempt to join the team in that time frame.

Note the particularly weak and utterly non-committal intro. I’d bet that I’d swear that Favre will attempt to join the Vikings. This is tenuous at best.

Wait a minute, I am a betting man.

All right, so you’re a bit more sure of yourself? Or less? I can’t tell. Or are you just trying to get a little joke in there so people will forget you’re writing a stupid article about Brett Favre that has no basis in reality whatsoever.

Now, first off, this is not one of those “ has learned …” news scoops. Instead, it’s a picture that has been painted for me and a prediction I’m making after spending my time with Zygi Wilf’s squad. My prediction couldn’t be more emphatic.

So…it’s worse than a FOXSports has learned…you made it all up. This is complete conjecture. At least “FOXSports has learned is kind of journalism. This is more like a shitty short story. (Side note: Zygi Wilf is the owner of the Vikings. I had to look that up, so I thought I’d save you some precious google seconds.)

After visiting the Vikings for two days, I am convinced — positively convinced — that Brett Favre will soon have talks with the Vikings to return to the team and could be joining them for this season after all. If my instincts are correct, all those purple Favre jerseys will have a home on Minnesota store shelves.

Agh. The guy throws out all these “convinced”s and “certain”s and then follows them up with things like “will soon have talks with the Vikings to return to the team and could be joining them.” In that case, I’m absolutely positive, that the Pirates, given the perfect conditions, and three or four small miracles, and the death of Albert Pujols, will have a shot at maybe winning the World Series next year. OK, it’s not quite that bad, but you get the idea. Glazer’s supposed to be like the down-and-dirty, investigative, interviewing NFL guy for FOXSports, and he churns out this crap?

Granted, my camp stop occurred before Sage Rosenfels lit up the Colts in the preseason opener to the tune of 10-of-13 passing for 91 yards. And if Rosenfels can continue like this, he could squash this prediction as the preseason continues.

But until I see it more consistently, I’m absolutely convinced. Why? For starters, because everyone else on the Vikings seems to be convinced of the same thing. I mean damn near everybody!

During my two days in Mankato, nearly everyone I talked to within the team talked about Favre joining not as an “if” but rather a “when.”

Who? Which everybody? I want names, Glazer!

Players, coaches, team employees … you name it, they seem to believe it. The case for a Favre-Vikings marriage seems more likely than not when we look at the overall picture of clues.

Hey! I didn’t know there were going to be clues involved! Hang on, I have to run and get my calabash pipe and my deerstalker hat. Wait up, Glazer…

….OK, I’m back, let’s get on the trail, gumshoe!

Exhibit A) Acceptance within the team that it’s pretty much already done.

Jay, I don’t want to rain on your parade, but this really isn’t an exhibit, it’s kind of like a feeling. But, you know what, go on. I’m intrigued.

When I say nearly everyone I talked to on the team is convinced he’s coming, that is not an exaggeration. People from all walks of life within the organization talk about it as if it’s no secret, almost an afterthought.

Who? Again, who? Please name names. It would give you at least a shred of credibility if you noted who said these things, then I wouldn’t think you were making the whole damn thing up.

“I’m telling you it’s already done,” said one Viking. “Right after the Indy game (first preseason game). I don’t think anyone here doesn’t think that.”

One Viking…

Another Viking said, “I don’t know if it’s done, but I think he’ll be in by the third preseason game.”

Another Viking….

You know, it’s odd that he got all of these anonymous Vikings to sound off on it, but stalwart journalist that he is, couldn’t even get an unnamed exec to drop a hint or two. Curious. Curious indeed.

If it happens, when is a good question. While the one source says he thinks it will happen this week, I don’t. If it happens, getting him in by the third preseason game would have been ideal, but waiting until the season starts to see if the Vikings starting quarterback falters could be another route. That way Favre can come riding in on his white horse.

Our humble host of FOX NFL Sunday, Curt Menefee, also made the trip to camp when I did, and upon our exodus from Mankato, Menefee brought up how matter-of-fact the issue seemed to be around the club. Everyone acted as if they already knew something (even if they didn’t) and even Menefee said he was floored by how open it seemed and how accepted it was as more than an opinion.

“It was crazy, it was like it was accepted as fact … by everybody,” said Menefee during a conversation while we were en route to the airport. “It wasn’t even like it was a secret. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Well, if Curt Menefee says it on the way to the airport then it must be true. Shit. Good work, Jay.

Exhibit B) Favre has not closed the door on his decision.

Those close to Favre told he is still contemplating what he wants to do and is still eliciting advice from people he trusts regarding his decision. Those sources say his decision either way is far from set in stone.

Now, wait just a gall-durned second. You said that this WASN’T one of those “FOXSports has learned…” scoops. This is starting to sound suspiciously like just one such story.

Favre is still working out (at least according to what he’s told others) and is still keeping in touch with members of the Vikings via text. If Favre wasn’t planning to keep the door open or planning a full-on return, why would he have indicated that he would continue to throw and work out? Was that simply to make sure we all keep wondering and talking about a potential return?

The guy has been working out everyday for his entire life. It’s a habit for him now. To say that a recently retired professional athlete still works out, gives us no insight into the man other than that we can say with confidence: “Perhaps this man is a recently retired professional athlete.

Exhibit C) Best available option.

Neither Sage Rosenfels nor Tarvaris Jackson has done anything to make the Vikings feel either is the answer at quarterback. Jackson had been hurt this summer, but even when healthy he and Rosenfels have actually been outplayed during training camp by third-stringer John David Booty.

To listen to Brad Childress, one would think an open door to Favre would be in order. While I was at camp, Childress was quoted as being unhappy with the passing game. While he wanted more out of that phase of the offense, he was quick to point out that the receivers were doing well. So if the receivers are doing well but the passing game is struggling … hmmm, who does that leave?

Do we really know if Favre is the best available option? I mean, it was supposed to be the end of the world when Favre left Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers did just fine, and the guy he displaced in New York last year had a better year in many regards, so…

Exhibit D) Favre hates camp.

It’s far from a secret that the NFL’s version of Lou Gehrig dreads the rigors of living at a college campus, working out in the stifling sun with a bunch of kids who won’t be in the league in three weeks. If he could miss camp, he would. In this case if the Vikings would take him back after camp, Favre gets his wish.

Ah, that wiley old Favre.

I think any NFL jury would award the verdict to a Favre return. However, while I may be completely convinced he will at least attempt to join the team now that camp has broken, the question that now arises: Will owner Zygi Wilf give Favre the go-ahead despite previously being spurned?

Sure, they’d let him come back, and Vikes owner would probably take him, but c’mon, man…this is hardly journalism. You’re just stoking a fire here. You know America either loves Favre to a creepy degree (small percentage) or hates the guy now and will jump at a chance to gripe about his constant waffling. You have no idea if he’s coming back. You have no sources. Agh. This is aggravating.

Some Vikings people vehemently attempted to convince me that the Vikings’ ship has sailed to other waters. Childress has said they are fine with what the Vikings have. But until the final game of this season is played with no sign of No. 4 in sight, I’m not going to buy it.

Wait, I thought everybody in the whole damn state of Minnesota was convinced Favre was coming to the Vikings?

The Vikings know they would be a better team with Favre at the helm. But some inside the organization believe the Wilfs could have been put off by how Favre Fiasco ’09 unfolded. It dragged on past soap opera drama levels and in the end, they were left jilted at a very public altar.

However, I’ve got to believe that if Rosenfels and Jackson do nothing to conjure images of Fran Tarkenton, having Favre ride his mower up to the Twin Cities will begin to look awfully tempting to the Wilfs.

Man, that whole Brett Favre riding his lawnmower gag never gets old does it? I mean, it sends me into guffaws every time I hear it! Am I right, or am I right?

Again, I’m a betting man and if I had to lay a bet down right now … I’d be willing to bet my farm.

I’d like to take this bet, Glazer. Can we bet? Please? I’ll bet my laptop against your farm… and you’re job. OK? Shake? Good. Nice doing business with you.

[UPDATE]: Glazer turns out to be right. I still say this was crappy journalism.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. SMoL permalink
    August 27, 2009 12:39 am

    Amazing! I found someone who I hate to read more than Rick Reilly. But wait, maybe it’s just me. No, I showed this dribble to some friends and colleagues and sorry, 100% negative.

    At least you are smart enough not to put your name up there. Your ego might drive you to write almost funny lines but it doesn’t get in the way of your invisibility.

    Tapps, you are boring.


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