Thursday, August 05, 2010

Oops He Did It Again

As far as manipulators go, Brett Favre is proving himself to be one of the all-time best. I mean, this is a guy who single-handedly ruined the offseason of his last few teams with the Packers, and now two years running with the Vikings as well. A guy who hasn't been to training camp in a good 3+ years even though he's started every single regular season game of all three seasons. A guy who talked the Jets into releasing him halfway through a two-year contract a couple of years back, just so (as he claimed) he could re-sign with the Packers and then retire in the yellow and gold, and then not two weeks later was talking about signing a new deal with the Vikings. So we are dealing with a manipulator extraordinaire here. But, if you can get past the way Favre continues to manipulate things to all work just the way he wants them, the selfishness, the pomp and circumstance involved in everything Brett Favre does all year long, what he just did over the past two days with the Vikings is actually pretty damn smart.

Think about it: Brett Favre knows he wants to play again, but he also knows that he has zero chance of even considering going to camp. He knows that decision is not and would not be taken lightly by his teammates, who are out there busting their humps doing twoadays every day in the heat starting this month. It's frowned upon by everyone in the NFL to skip out on camp and then arrive for the season to start. And, on top of his long-seen desire to avoid training camp, Favre also knows that his recently-operated-on ankle is still hurting him.

So what does Favre really want to do? Favre wants to tell Brad Childress that he would like to play football in 2010, but that he isn't sure if he'll be able to play on his injured foot this season, and even if so, exactly when he'll be able to play. The problem is, even John Madden would have to take Favre's schlong out of his mouth for a few minutes to say what a dick move that would be for Favre to do to the Vikings, basically telling them, "I'm the best quarterback in the NFC if I play, but I don't know if or when I can play this year. But don't necessarily go get someone else (as if it isn't too late for them to do that already), because I really would like to play this year and I hope that I can." Given the way Favre has handled his future in the NFL over each of the past five or six seasons at this point (the last few with the Pack, the Jets season, and now two with Minnesota at least), for him to bust out with that kind of a put-off and totally eff up the Vikings' entire 2010 season hands-down like that would be just terrible, and Favre knows it and knows that even his fading teflon image would not withstand that kind of a middle finger to his team.

So what can Favre to do to get what he wants, and yet not be ridden out of town for doing it? How can he get the people of Minnesota, the fans, Brad Childress and the rest of the Vikes' coaching staff, and his teammates all to allow him to just come back to the Vikes whenever the hell he wants and not even be mad at him for doing it? Is there even a possible way to get that outcome?

Sure is: Retire first.

That's right. Don't make it too official or anything, but send some text messages to a few choice players that imply that you're hanging it up. Make Brad Childress deal for 24 hours with the thought of a 2010 season with Tavaris Jackson at quarterback instead of Brett Favre. Make each and every one of his teammates face the reality of busting ass this year for likely a crappy team with no one with the chops to lead on the offense. Force every Vikings fan in Minnesota and around the country to accept that this nucleus's window is closed, their run is over, and the team will go back immediately to being an afterthought and an also-ran in the NFC playoff picture. Then you come back a day later and tell them that you are willing to play after all (after the team offered him $7 million in guarantees and incentives on top of the $13 million Favre was already slated to earn in 2010), but that you just don't know when yet, and suddenly the guy goes from being a goat to being an absolute hero to everyone associated with the Minnesota Vikings organization.

It's the oldest trick in the book, really. Get everyone's expectations so totally beaten down, their hopes to hopelessly crushed, and then you can spring on them the news that is still the same exact horrible thing you're doing to the team, but only now it will seem like an improvement instead of a rooking. In fact, play your cards just right, scare 'em enough with your retirement talk, and those people will suddenly think your 2010 plan is just plain awesome.

So you gotta hand it to Favre. Sure, his arrogance and his egotism are unrivaled by basically anyone in his sport. Maybe all sports in general even. But the guy just showed us all again that when he is truly willing to pull out all the stops, Favre knows how to get what he wants as good as anyone in the spotlight today.

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