I told myself I wouldn't weigh in on this argument. I said it was hardly relevant until the guy actually makes up his mind to play or not play—once that happens, we can all make our collective arguments as to how he will or will not make the Minnesota Vikings a better team.
However, some recent comments by Fran Tarkenton on 790 The Zone in Atlanta, Tarkenton's current place of residence, has some people questioning Tark's loyalty.
You can hear the interview here if you are interested, but a pretty good recap of it can be seen here.
Some are saying that it could be Fran's jealousy that a former Packer could likely lead his former team to a Super Bowl and win. Hogwash!
On the contrary, it's nice to see that someone has finally come out to present the not-so-rosy side of this situation. The side that doesn't have Favre as the possible savior of the Vikings.
It's a fact that Brett Favre is one of the greatest quarterbacks of all-time. His spot in the Hall of Fame is there and waiting when the time comes for him to be inducted. He's a first-ballot guy. No doubt.
However, that does not make him untouchable in terms of criticism or disdain for the way he has allowed this situation to play out.
The fans, the media, and to some extent, the NFL world are all waiting on Brett.
Brett Favre apologists like to talk about how Brett is a tough guy. He played through pain. He was a fearless leader—the guy is a god in some circles. So, he deserves the right to be prudent and take his time in making a life/legacy-altering decision.
That's nice and all, but not everyone sees Favre through those lenses.
Favre also was the guy who for several years before actually deciding to "retire", flirted with the idea of retiring—holding the Packers hostage to his decision and delaying the development of Aaron Rodgers (the guy the Packers drafted because Favre continually made overtures towards retiring).
Even more than that, instead of being a bit classy and playing the mentor, he chose to publicly state his intention to not help Rodgers in his maturation into the next Green Bay starting quarterback.
Favre is not an angel. He was as much the architect of his treatment by the Packers as he was the victim.
Sure, the Packers weren't blameless towards the end there either, they went a little too far with delaying his release despite repeated requests by Favre. That was unfair to Favre and left room for the resentment that has likely led to this most recent flirtation to play again for the rival Vikings.
However, that has nothing to do with the Vikings. He's strung them along for nearly a month now and should know at this point if he will or won't play for them—bad shoulder or not, he knows if he can play.
Therein lies the problem with this situation. Brett is the only guy who knows anything and he's the only guy not talking. He hasn't come forward to end the speculation which has led to even more speculation—leaving news outlets no choice except to spin it how they choose.
Does that mean that Favre has been unfairly portrayed as a self-centered, publicity seeking, monster by the media? No.
Brett Favre has a radio and a television like the rest of us. If not, his agent has a mouth to tell him what the general view of this continuing saga has been—if that fails, his circle of friends is likely large enough that someone may have asked the question, "what's going on?".
The point is, if Brett wanted to clarify his position and explain why he has handled this situation in this manner, he could and would have.
Since he has not, he has left himself open to criticism. Period—he is not above reproach simply because he is Brett Favre.
Fran Tarkenton may have been out of line to share his thoughts on Favre in the way he did, but he is hardly alone.
There is a segment of the population that feels that Favre has tarnished his Green Bay Packer legacy simply by flirting with the idea of playing for the Vikings.
There are also those who believe that his last season with the New York Jets should have been a wake-up call to him that he can no longer be effective as a starting quarterback—I'll say that I disagree with that because the Jets did not run an offense Favre was familar with, unlike the Vikings who would be nearly identical to the Packers.
Favre would probably be substantially better if he played for the Vikings, provided he is healthy, and would be a great addition to the Vikings who are in need of a passing game to balance out their offense.
The Vikings already have a pretty solid defense and if Favre played like many know he can, it would be difficult to deny the possibility of them making a run at the title next season—say what you want about age, Kurt Warner is nearly 39 coming off his Super Bowl appearance, and John Elway was 37 when he won his championship.
Age ain't nothing but a number.
However, Favre's insistence on letting the decision take this long is not making him a popular guy.
Everyone has something to say about Favre. Tarkenton's own teammate has stated he doesn't agree with Fran's take and offered one of his own:
if Brett Favre was here with the Vikings it automatically makes them a contender for a Super Bowl. We have everything. We have a defense, we’ve got Adrian Peterson. … Now don’t misunderstand, I respect and I care a lot about Fran and all that. But I don’t agree with his statement.”-Chuck Foreman
It's called having an opinion, we all have one, we are all entitled to have one. If you are in the camp that feels that Brett is not doing anything wrong. then there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
However, there are some of us who feel that Brett is milking this and acting like a prima donna in the process. Until he comes out and does something other than that, we can't truly believe anything else except that...at this time.