Friday, July 24, 2009

Not remotely conflicted

I was meaning to talk about Antoine Winfield and his new contract today, but that was before the really important news about the Vikings hit yesterday.

Oh, the agony.

Favre already might have decided not to play this season, but he has had a tough time walking away because Vikings stars Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen and Steve Hutchinson have been encouraging him to sign.

Casting aside the sanity levels of Peterson, Allen, and Hutchinson, why should any of this matter? Oh wait, that's right: Brett Favre is a glory hound who wants everyone to love him and adore him and probably worship him, and gosh darn it, with the support of those three, that leaves 50+ Vikings who haven't begged him to come play for them! How could he possibly come play for the Vikings if everyone doesn't love him and want him to be there?

Fine, Brett, let me make it perfectly clear to you, because I want you to know at least one person is certain of where he stands, a concept you seem unable to grasp: I don't want you. You're not sure if you want to come play with us? Then don't. There are a lot of guys who do, they've all been to mini-camp and off-season practices, they're all ready for training camp. If you're not sure that want to be one of them, then don't. Go away.

Oh, sure, you want to be sure that your arm is 100%, that you can hold out for the whole season. Guess what? So does every other player. Football's a rough sport. Every player realizes that the next play could be his last. Of course, you might not be in this situation if you'd decided back in February that you'd wanted to come back, had your surgery then, and spent four months rehabbing it. For that matter, you might still be with the Jets, but that's beside the point.

Yes, the Vikings are partially to blame for this, as Brad Childress has had a man-love for Favre that rivals anything Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal could have come up with. But I'd wager that every newly retired once-great player gets overtures from his former team (and others) once he calls it quits. The Lions wanted Barry Sanders back (and the Patriots asked about him, too). The Bengals wanted Boomer Esiason back. The Vikings tried to convince Dan Marino to come back the year after he left the Dolphins. I'm sure the Broncos tried to coax John Elway to come back for one more year. And a few guys, like Cris Carter and Deion Sanders, did give in to temptation and come out of retirement. Neither of them were very good. But at least they came back (as far as I know) out of a desire for competition or just to play again, rather than a perverse and spiteful wish to get back at their old team and to have their new teammates beg for them to return.

I've tried to avoid venom and bile in my discussions of Brett Favre, tried to use rational arguments and facts to support my views, but I just can't any more. In the words of someone only slightly older and more twisted in his loyalties than you, Brett, "We don't need you...leave now and never come back!"

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