Leslie Frazier, Interim head coach for the Minnesota Vikings, named Brett Favre his starting quarterback, "without hesitation." That should tell you a few things right off the bat. The first is that Tarvaris Jackson, who is a free agent after this season, will probably not be wearing a Vikings uniform next year. If Zygi Wilf's organization had any interest in moving forward with Jackson, they'd be getting him some valuable game-time experience. If the decision wasn't already made Leslie Frazier would at least want to get a look, at how Jackson handles himself in action.
Brett Favre has said he's not coming back in 2011, and although he's made similar statements in the past, it seems likely he's sincere this time. He's had a horrible season, with multiple nagging injuries, the league is investigating him for sexual harassment, and he leads the league in turnovers.
And now with Brad Childress being removed, that includes job turnover, as well.
So with nothing left to do but run out the string, and find out his place on the draft board next year, is Zygi Wilf playing to the cameras? If he can't produce a title, he can certainly provide bread and circuses.
Leslie Frazier said that the players in the locker room believe that Favre gives them their best chance to win, but that's doubtful. I would be willing to believe, with nothing left to play for, the Minnesota Vikings players would like to be part of the final chapter of the Brett Favre story.
It's like being in the front row, as history is being made. Better, really. It's like being on stage, as history is being made. And the NFL is very, very good at recording its history. On Jan. 2, the last day of the regular season, there will probably be several games that will determine the outcome of final playoff spots. But don't be surprised if the most reported story of the day, takes place in Detroit, when the Vikings meet the equally lowly Lions, for a game of no consequence.
Unless Brett Favre is injured badly enough to merit a full body cast, he will start his last NFL game on that day. And there will be hosts of cameras to document it. Even now, broadcasters and writers from every corner of the sports world, are writing their final thoughts about Brett Favre's long and storied career. Or, maybe they're just updating copy from one of Favre's other retirements, to save time.
The Chicago Bears have their last game against Favre and the Vikings on Dec. 20, a Monday Night Football broadcast. That will be a preview to the theatrical finale the media will be throwing in honor of the big event. All you have to do to imagine it, is remember Brett's first last MNF game that was eulogized by John Madden. Yeah, this retirement party has been going on that long.
The point is, they'll all be ready to record that moment when he takes his last snap. It'll be a huge dramatic moment. Brett hugging teammates, Brett crying again, Brett walking in to that last press conference. Covered at all times in purple and yellow, the Vikings logo everywhere. That'll get the brand out there.
Most of what the Vikings recent decisions have said to me, they've whispered to that most cynical place in my mind. There's a labor dispute looming, that is causing fundamental differences in the way NFL business gets done. Peter King talks about owner's philosophies towards coaching changes with the strike looming.The players union is conjuring up nightmare scenarios for regional economies to win local government support.
And Zygi Wilf is firing a successful head coach, and playing a washed-up football superstar to keep the fans happy, and the cameras in Minnesota rolling.
It looks like both sides are doing everything in their power to curry favor. Maybe at the next Vikings home game, the fans should chant ",Free Beer!"
It's worth a try.