My senior year of high school we had a kid on our baseball team who got away with everything. He was lazy, smoked too much, drank even more and despised every teacher almost as much as they despised him. He was that guy. He’d show up late to every practice with what appeared to be a running hangover. He’d ditch class in favor of playing gym softball, except when he blew that off too. But our coach always catered to him, helping him stay out of any real trouble and somehow managing to keep him on the field for a full season.
We didn’t necessarily resent him. We weren’t jealous. We never really bitched about the puking during batting practice. In fact, the preferential treatment wouldn’t have bothered us at all if he could hit. Hell, I’d have taken whatever Home-Economics test he couldn’t pass if he was batting .400 for us. Our biggest problem with him was that he simply wasn’t that good.
You have to wonder if a segment of the Minnesota Vikings will feel that way about Brett Favre now. Of course he’s going to be treated differently. One could even argue that at his age, he’s earned the right to skip training camp. And there’s no doubt that 464 career touchdown passes does wonders for his credibility.
But isn’t his league leading 22 interceptions last season a cause for concern? Is having a gunslinger at quarterback on a run-first, second and third team really a recipe for success? Favre might be a much better option than anyone else the Vikings had, but he also could make Adrian Peterson a lot less effective. At least initially, defenses won’t stack the box the way they did last season; but when they realize the quarterback is just as likely to throw a pick as he is a touchdown, they’ll go right back to focusing on the run. And that’s when Favre will start trying to make plays you couldn’t make on the new Madden.
It’s not as though the Vikings signed him for his leadership ability either. Ask anyone on the New York Jets about that. Last year, an anonymous player told Newsday that “there was a lot of resentment in the room about him (Favre). He never socialized with us, never went to do with anyone.”
At least we liked our teammate.
To the Vikings comes a big arm with an even bigger ego. He gets a pass for being too lazy to attend camp and for flip-flopping on his retirement decision like a bad politician. But something tells me his teammates won’t be as forgiving as mine were with our drunken second basemen. The NFL is a results-first, what-have-you-done-for-me lately league, so the new guy better produce right away or be prepared to be run out of the locker room.