Maybe we should blame it on the hot sticky weather in Minnesota, but some of the sports writers covering the Minnesota Vikings training camp in Mankato are beginning to sound surly. Normally I don’t read the Star Tribune. There isn’t a good reason for it, I just don’t feel like I have time to read both the Minneapolis and St. Paul papers. So imagine my surprise yesterday upon reading it to find just how wrathful the Star Tribune writers were becoming about Favre-a-palooza 2010.
Reading the remarkably cranky coverage in Minneapolis’ Star Tribune it sounded as if their collective undies were in a serious bunch. Honestly, I haven’t heard that much angry rhetoric outside of politics or a throw down between Team Edward and Team Jacob. To quote Jack Sparrow, after reading Chip Scoggins, Judd Zulgad, and Jim Souhan, I felt “sullied and unusual.”
I guess I just don’t understand why the late summer dance Favre does with retirement should provoke so much anger in the Trib’s writers. Shoot, if anyone should be irritable it is the Vikings players and organization, and they seem to be managing Indecision 2010 just fine.
More to the point, all the Favre drama with the annual “will-he-won’t-he play” stuff drums up reader interest. It makes for a much more interesting story than Albert Haynesworth not passing his conditioning test, or Adrian Peterson wanting to start talking new contracts already, or how Terrell Owens is fitting in with the Bengals.
Characterizing Brett Favre’s indecision as selfish, drama-queen behavior seems overly simplistic and petty. Football is not a sport that favors age, making Favre’s string of consecutive starts nothing short of epic. You’d have to wonder at his intelligence if he wasn’t weighing his desire to play against his body’s ability to handle another punishing season of football.
And it isn’t as if we don’t know what happens if he doesn’t return to play for the Vikings this season, Tavaris Jackson will start at quarterback. Coach Brad Childress keeps telling us that Tavaris Jackson is continuing to take steps in learning the system and running the offense. Seriously, Childress repeats it like a mantra. While T-Jack has displayed good athleticism, he has yet to show that he has the mental toughness to be a premiere NFL quarterback. Maybe that is simply inexperience, or maybe he was never as good as Childress thought when they drafted him. At any rate, it is likely that Jackson will be the starter this season if Favre doesn’t return.
With Favre taking the snaps on a Vikings team that is largely unchanged since last season, the Vikings are a major threat. With Jackson taking the snaps the Vikings will not have as good a chance to win the NFC north or anything else. Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler both are better than Jackson, and I might even be tempted to add Matt Stafford to that group too—the rookie got pummeled last season and rather than looking panicked when he’d take a hit, he looked annoyed. That’s the kind of crazy an NFL quarterback needs to have.
Whatever Favre should decide, I beseech the embittered writers at the Star Tribune to remember, it’s not personal, it’s business. And as long as people want to know what Brett Favre is doing, business is good.
This post as well as all my other Vikings posts are also available at http://vikingsmix.com/ under the name Skol Girl.