For the second time in as many weeks, Minnesota Vikings coach
This is a pigskin equivalent of
A good fit for the Vikings, by the way, is anyone who can help them win now, win big, sell tickets and maybe, in this rotten economy, bring the topic of a new stadium for owner
In the same week that former Colts coach
Childress, you should know, holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from Eastern Illinois, a credential never more put to use than in the last fortnight or so. The Vikings relied on the Childress Method before the recent NFL draft, having their coach spend most of a day in Gainesville with Florida receiver
Because Harvin and his family passed Childress' double-secret litmus configuration, or whatever, a player must pass who might otherwise have been saddled with a dreaded, lethal "red dot'' on the Vikings' draft board, he became the club's pick at No. 22 overall.
Now it's Favre and a chance for Childress to see, at this late date, what still makes him tick. This is a player with whom the Vikings coach is said to have a friendship, enough that the NFL couldn't really go anywhere with the Green Bay Packers' tampering charges last summer. (Hey, pals sometimes talk on cell phones, right?).
Interestingly, in March 2008, Childress was laudatory and a little emotional when he got the news about Favre's decision then -- documented by Etch A Sketch, it turns out -- to walk away from the sport he loved. "Probably one of the best competitors that I've ever competed against on the football field,'' Childress told a TV crew at the time. ``It was fun to watch him play, but a guy knows when it's time and you have to respect his decision.''
So now Childress will look his football-slinging buddy in the eye and search for his inner
Some critics of the potential move point to Favre's suspected desire for revenge, on the Packers and specifically general manager
The Packers were having none of it, though, and effectively blocked Favre, who ended up with the Jets. Sure, Favre's six-touchdown game against Arizona last September stung -- especially with Green Bay QB
Now Favre has an extra year -- a wasted year, given the Jets' 1-4 stretch run that dropped them out of the playoff picture -- to throw on his revenge pyre. So what? So he'd be playing for vengeance, on top of his itch to compete and whatever "jones'' Favre has for the limelight and a seemingly chronic and hardly uncommon Peter Pan syndrome as an athlete. What do you want your quarterback to play for? Just ... money?
If the NFL game has become too complicated, the inner workings of a team too complex and chemistry inside a locker room too delicate to hand over to a grizzled 40-year-old with a chip on his shoulder, then
If Favre physically isn't capable of making the plays required by Childress' self-proclaimed kick-ass offense -- if his biceps injury with the Jets, for instance, was more smokescreen than serious injury -- or if he no longer has the aptitude to grasp and execute the subtleties of said attack or if he isn't durable enough to withstand the rigors of training camp, the preseason and 17 weeks, those would be good reasons to pause. Remember, though, this is a organization relying on
This isn't, in other words, a matter of Favre having to be better than two
To me, the Vikings need to sign Favre (unless he's entirely incapable of performing) for the entertainment value of it and, even more so, for the fascinating cultural effects it might have. Regarding the former, baseball gets a lot of mileage out of being the daily soap opera of sports, its plotlines moving incrementally across a 162-game schedule, character being revealed in the margins. The NFL, by contrast, is a limited-run, prime-time serial. It has spasms of activity and developments once each week, spaced out by a bunch of days to ruminate and debate. "Favre as a Viking'' is the sort of juicy wrinkle
As for the latter, the potential for craziness in the hinterlands is too delicious to pass up. Think of the impact on various constituencies as one of those tables you'd set up in statistics class to track Type I and Type II errors:
B and D are easy -- when Minnesota loses, Vikings fans are miserable and Packer fans are elated. That's regardless of quarterbacks, the opponents on a given Sunday or the division standings. The rivalry between the frostbitten, snowbound NFC North franchises simply is that fierce.
Mind games rear up, though, with A and C. "
Then there's A. "
That means the lusty folks across the river in Wisconsin would be able to derisively brandish their brandy flasks and mock (in a way that only people decked out in blaze orange sportsman's apparel truly can mock) Minnesota's dependency on one of their discards.
Beyond the razzing they would take from the Dairyland, the Minnesota folks would know they were beholden to and at the mercy of a creaky, once-hated foe. After so many years of booing and hissing Favre, all of a sudden they would be cheering for him -- and they would catch a glimpse of themselves in their mirrors doing just that, a peripheral glance. And they might feel disgusted. This would be like
The psychology major in Childress would have to love it. Along with the results, of course.