Hock's Take: Brett Favre, I Take Back Nearly Everything I Said About You
Just last week, I bemoaned the end of my consecutive Favre-less streak, but I stand here before you a changed man.
Actually, I’m sitting here, and I’m not really before you, but the point still stands. I have seen the light!
No matter what happens this year, I’m glad that Brett Favre is a Minnesota Viking.
Now I can hear all the “haters” out there, who'd want defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to punch Brett in the jaw. “He’s too old, he’s washed up! Didn’t you see him at the end of last year? And now he’s got a torn rotator cuff on top of that?”
It’s all true, of course. He’s a washed-up shell of his former self coming into a team and system he doesn’t know as much about as he thought he did, but ultimately, it doesn’t matter.
The best case scenario for the Vikings this year is that Favre is a great stopgap. A playoff team with as much talent as Minnesota has should be able to ride even a mediocre quarterback deep into the playoffs. There’s no reason to think they can’t win a Super Bowl.
Worst case? The Vikings make a ton of money. Favre’s jersey is already selling out across the state. Even last year, in the more jaded New York market, Favre’s jersey was the best selling in the NFL, and Minnesota is a much better locale for licensed sports merchandise.
Ticket sales are already up and should continue to climb as the roster takes shape heading into the season. That means more ad revenue and fewer possible blackouts, which means less begging for money from corporate sponsors.
Additionally, even if Favre does flop and the Vikings go 4-12 (they won’t), they'll be in a perfect position to draft one of the top college QBs coming out this year.
You can’t tell me that the Vikings wouldn’t be better for drafting Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, or, yes, even Tim Tebow.
I don’t think it’s all for naught. Ultimately, I think the Vikings will do well under Favre, make the playoffs, and possibly even make the Super Bowl. Even if they don’t, interest in the team has never been higher, and that’s good for everyone.
News from Around the League
Julius Peppers has been taking a lot of criticism for taking plays off during the preseason, but in Peppers’ defense, he’d much rather be taking plays off for another team during this stretch.
Lions coordinator Scott Linehan is apparently furious about how poorly the Lions have been practicing lately. I guess nobody told him that he’s coaching the Lions. Then again, I’m thinking this group makes his Rams squad look pretty fantastic in hindsight.
Titans punter/running back A.J. Trapasso nailed the scoreboard at Cowboy Stadium with a punt, netting me a cool $10.
LaDainian Tomlinson continues to play his first preseason games in years, trying to work himself into game shape after two disappointing seasons (by his standards). Terrell Owens and Julius Peppers declined to comment.
Bengals first round draft pick Andre Smith still has not signed, in a deal that has gotten a lot more scrutiny since the negotiations are being broadcast on HBO’s series Hard Knocks. In case you haven’t seen the series, the two sides are still miles apart on what cheese will top Smith’s mountain of cheeseburgers.
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