I expected it to happen.
Just as the private jet finished taxiing on the runway, I thought the rear escape hatch would be kicked open, and Brett Favre would take a playful ride down the inflated escape chute with two beers in hand.
After missing the first few weeks of training camp and the first preseason game, Favre is back to play with Minnesota. The Vikings got it done by using the Rex Ryan technique. Less than a week after the New York Jets head coach suggested he would take the whole team to visit Darrell Revis to convince the All-Pro cornerback to return to the team, the Vikes sent G Steve Hutchinson, DE Jared Allen, and K Ryan Longwell to Favre’s door to coerce one more season out of him.
Minnesota didn’t need Dog the Bounty Hunter to bring Favre in. But the Vikings might want to put a GPS ankle bracelet on Favre.
Favre sounds like a man that doesn’t want to play another season. He’s 40 years old and his body still hurts. Brett says he’s not 100 percent, not even after ankle surgery. But Favre came back because he felt he owed the team one more season. He remembers how close they came to winning the NFC Championship and wants to write a storybook ending by winning a Super Bowl in his final year with the Vikings.
It wouldn’t be the first time Favre said he will retire (would this be the fourth time Favre reportedly will hang it up?), but this time it sounds like it’s for good. This will be his 20th season and Favre sounds like he’s doing it because mother dragged him to Mankato by his ear. But the hardest sell would be convincing another team to endure the off-season drama of waiting on Favre.
The Green Bay Packers had enough of the waiting game that they gave Favre a deadline in 2008. Vikings head coach Brad Childress never put Favre on the clock, but two years in a row Favre had to be fetched. Sending a few close teammates to twist Favre’s arm this year looks like frustration from Childress. If Brett still feels the itch next year, anyone think the Vikes want to be put on hold for a third year?
As genuine Favre’s intentions are this year, he comes off as a down-to-earth diva. Brett’s the kind of guy it’s easy to go grab a few beers with and hang out with for a few hours, but he expects someone else to be the designated driver without asking. He’s a regular guy that received special treatment for so long that Favre expects it, and got it. Five years of being waited on can do that to a player.
Maybe if Favre didn’t need the ankle surgery he wouldn’t had kept the Vikings in suspense again. How well Favre’s ankle recovered from the procedure was going to play into his decision to return. It’s not where he wants it to be, but the Vikings grew impatient and pushed Brett towards a decision quicker than he wanted.
But the pattern proceeds Favre. No one believes Favre would had been at training camp from day one even if he was 100 percent healthy. Whether Brett enjoys riding on a private jet more than his riding mower, the Vikes had to put in the extra effort to get Favre to Mankato. If Favre plays as well in 2010 as he did in 2009, then the effort is worth it. But waiting on Favre isn’t worth the stress and headache anymore.
Randolph Charlotin writes a New England Patriots blog at www.randolphc.com. Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.