At various times this offseason, Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Brad Childress has tried to be stern with his team.
Like any NFL coach, Childress is trying to keep control over his guys and show none are bigger than the team. With so many egos in the NFL, keeping your locker room in check is a must.
He called out Adrian Peterson for missing OTAs after the star running back's hometown of Palestine, Texas, dedicated "Adrian Peterson Day" to him.
Next, Vikings' management threatened to take away Percy Harvin's roster spot after bereaving for his late grandmother and suffering from migraines. If Harvin hadn't responded to their letter in five days, his roster spot would have been taken.
But when it comes to Brett Favre, the Vikings go from authoritative to meek and desperate.
The last two offseasons, Favre has played with the Childress and the Vikings, causing them to grovel back to the star quarterback in the middle of training camp. The last two Augusts, Favre has looked like a young child who takes advantage of his far too lenient parents to get what he wants.
And that can't make Harvin, Peterson, and the rest of the Vikings happy.
First of all, Harvin and Peterson aren't exactly scrubs for Minnesota. Peterson is arguably the league's best running back, while Harvin is a top young receiver. By playing dictator with these two while going easy on Favre, Childress could alienate his locker room.
If Childress wanted to perpetuate the image of a strong head coach, he shouldn't have let Favre wait so long to make a decision. He should have given him a deadline and made Tarvaris Jackson his official starter if Favre didn't meet it.
Instead, he fell into Favre's temptation for the second straight year and looks like a fool among his players and the public.
As Tedy Bruschi said on an edition of NFL Live late yesterday afternoon, "This would not happen in New England because they have a head coach that knows how to handle things like this."
Plus, Viking players themselves gave into Favre's tactics, flying to Hattiesberg, Mississippi, to try to woo Favre back like a desperate high school student in need of prom date. I know Jackson is an unproven starting quarterback, but is he that bad that three of the team's stars need to go beg Favre to come back?
Many may say that it doesn't matter in the end. The Vikings are supremely talented and possibly go farther than their NFC Championship birth last season. With Favre back, the offense is much more multi-dimensional and dangerous.
But at the heart of the matter, Childress and Vikings' management have embarrassed themselves. They've allowed one man to control them for two straight offseasons.
In the end, Childress may have lost the respect of his team. Yes, having Favre back bolsters the offense substantially, but was it worth a possible rift in the locker room and the creation of a dangerous double standard?
Only time will tell, but the Vikings' head coach has managed to make himself look like a fool for the second straight year.