Brad Childress has been fired.
Childress led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game last year. Now he has been fired for his inability to control his locker room and engage in an activity that can be defined as coaching.
Childress lost the locker room. Players were saying behind closed doors what they feared saying to the media and putting their names to it.
Now Childress is gone, but one is left to wonder: why now?
Why wasn’t he fired weeks ago when the team still had a chance to make a run at the playoffs?
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf was forced to pull the plug on the Childress era because the head coach was too busy kissing Brett Favre’s butt and not running the team properly. He placed the blame on the likes of Randy Moss for the team’s bad play, when he was the real problem.
So what does this mean for Favre?
Frank Sinatra said it best in "My Way": “And now the end is near, and so I face the final curtain.” It would be fitting for Favre’s final curtain call to come against the Packers, where his legend was born.
Let’s face it: Favre should suffer the same fate as Childress. If I were head coach Leslie Frazier, I go to Favre and tell him the party is over. The right thing to do would be to start fresh from top to bottom, and put Tavaris Jackson in at quarterback so the team can see exactly what he has.
The Ole Gunslinger's pistol just isn’t firing the way it used to. Favre completed just 17 of 38 passes for 208 yards with one interception, padding his league-leading total to 17.
Favre is not the answer any more. For as great as he played last year, he has played equally worse this year.
To some extent I can understand why it is so hard for him to walk away from something you love. But at some point you destroy what you love or what you love destroys you.
Athletes like Favre are used to playing at a certain level. The mind suggests he can summon greatness upon request, yet physically it is another story.
Furthermore, he has been an NFL quarterback for 20 years. What can Favre use to replace the cheers of running out of a locker room to play football on Sundays?
What can Favre do to replace being in the locker room with the guys preparing to play a game he’s played 90 percent of his life?
What does Favre have to move on to once he finally takes off that Vikings uniform for the last time and drives home?
The sad answer at this point is nothing.
Yes, he has a family, but his life as a football player has been a family within a family. It is very difficult to walk away from something that shaped who you are as a person.
After the cheering finally stops for Favre, there will be no more interviews, signing autographs, and no more back-and-forth on whether to play anymore. It will be a life without football as a 41-year old man. In society that is still young, but as a professional athlete it is ancient.
Favre will face retirement twice and the way things look he may be forced into the first one sooner than he thinks. The most dignified thing he can do is to hand in his holster and gun, then ride off into the sunset.
Firing Brad Childress was a no-brainer. It was a very cut and dry decision and also the right one. With respect to Favre, it's far more complicated, yet at the same time very simple. It’s complicated because we are talking about Brett Favre and his legend. It is simple because Favre simply isn’t playing at a level where he gives the team a chance to win.
Obviously Childress did not have the guts to sit Brett down. Will Frazier put his stamp on the team by taking Favre’s holster from him?
We will soon find out how this mess will shake down. Favre is no quitter, yet he can gracefully walk away instead of being forced out.
The end is near for Favre. He must face that final curtain call whether he wants to or not.
But at the end of the day, he can always say he did it his way.
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