This is an age in which a majority of American’s consider the term “large corporation” to be synonymous with the term “evil.” If you are on that side of the political spectrum, then perhaps the NFL’s ultimate Everyman, Brett Favre, should be regarded as a hero to the commoners for the manner in which he has taken a multi-million dollar corporation hostage in its own house.
For those of us that are simply Vikings fans, whose own passions and dreams can be directly linked to the success of this giant organization, then the recent actions of Brett Favre could easily be viewed as unforgivable.
Either way, facts are facts. And the facts tell us that Favre has his team’s (foot)balls in a vice grip.
To me, the answer is simple. This whole thing has been orchestrated carefully dating way back to when the photos of Favre’s disgustingly injured ankle were mysteriously “leaked” to the media.
From that point, the annual “will he or won’t he” drama took its all-too-familiar course all the way up until today. Everyone expected Favre to come back. Favre never just simply does what everyone expects. So, here we are today, doubting that Favre will return for his 20th season.
Right where he wants us.
Or, more accurately, he has the Vikings right where he wants them.
Where is that exactly?
Well, for starters he has the Vikings brass interrupting practice to discuss how much more money they can and will offer him to return. How many players in this league can boast that he caused that to happen?
Secondly, he has the Vikings listening to hundreds of media personalities discuss how the Vikings do not have any viable quarterback options behind Favre. Whether or not you personally believe that to be true, there is no doubting that the perception is there. And when ticket sales hang in the balance, perception is all that matters.
And, assuming that perception is indeed true, why is that perception there in the first place? Well, that brings us back to the beginning of our story… because Brett Favre orchestrated it to be that way. Through his actions ever since the Packers drafted Aaron Rodgers, he managed to convince the Vikings not to hop into the Donovan McNabb trade talks. He effectively forced the Vikings to pass on Jimmy Clausen… twice. In both cases, one could suspect they passed on those opportunities out of fear for how Favre would react.
The Vikings don’t have a viable enough quarterback option to sell tickets at a rapid pace outside of Brett Favre. Any option that could have existed to change that, has long since disappeared.
So here we are, almost a week into training camp. Sage Rosenfels has thrown enough interceptions in camp to make us wonder if he’s the one that should be retiring. Tarvaris Jackson could go nuts in camp, but it still wouldn’t matter because nobody has faith he can do it on game day. Joe Webb? Well, he’s a raw prospect that must be given time to learn before being thrown to the wolves.
That leaves the Vikings, a team in desperate need of solid ticket sales and momentum towards a new stadium, looking at each other knowing that they only have one option. That option is to offer Brett Favre as much money as the rules will allow them and also to offer him as much time to sit on his tractor before the start of the season as he wants.
A team without options. A player with all the leverage.
I have no doubt that the player will win with those odds 100% of the time.
The Vikes will do whatever he asks, and Brett Favre will be back in purple in 2010, whether you like it or not.
If I’m wrong? Well, that’s a whole other article that is yet to be written.