We can all agree that Brett Favre doesn't tell the truth when it comes to football, right?
And can we also agree that those who come in contact with him — agent Bus Cook, Vikings head coach Brad Childress — will lie for the greater good of Brett and/or their football team?
Can we also agree that it's not really necessary to spin this into some kind of greater moral discussion? Can we agree that, in the end, the lying only really A) damages his reputation, B) makes life miserable for the tail-chasing media and C) causes consternation among fans but no real damage?
So we can agree on all that? Good.
Now, while The Mississippi Waffler wings North to Minnesota and the circus tents erected in Philadelphia get pulled up and shipped West, we go through a few points to ponder.
1. Brett got his way
I was in Minnesota at the start of this month to gauge reaction when Favre pulled the ripcord on joining the team. "He just hates training camp," a league (non-Vikings) source told me. "If he can avoid training camp and two-a-days and still come in, he just might do it." Nailed it.
Camps are breaking this week and, around the NFL, teams are returning to their regular-season facilities. Favre won't have to deal with two-a-day practices, sleeping in a dorm room or getting peppered with autograph requests and reporters notebooks every day for the rest of the summer. He dodged it. And the Vikings willingly played along and let him do it. Which brings us to Point 2.
2. This had better work
Brad Childress has kept his hands steady on the rudder as he navigates the Favre tsunami. "If it makes us better, we do it. If it makes us better, we do it."
3. How will it fly with his teammates?
With Rosenfels and Jackson? Probably not so good. With the rest of the Vikings? It's been said that if Jeffrey Dahmer ran a 4.4 40, NFL folks would have said he had an eating disorder.
If Favre can help them win, they don't care.
Actually, with Favre coming in at this point when there are actual games to be played instead of two-a-days, the "How do you feel about Brett?" questions are going to be reduced. Or deflected. Certainly, some Vikings are going to have a soft spot for Jackson, who's been with the team for a few seasons. A few others may feel badly for Rosenfels. But this is a workplace decision in a zero-sum business. An NFL team isn't a mom-and-pop hardware store where people genuinely hurt for the guy who's been running the register all year if he gets stuck in the backroom against his will. Your career is fleeting, and success — even when principles are compromised to attain it — is your professional God.
4. Will he be any good?
Honestly? Fat chance. Is he going to be better than Rosenfels and Jackson. Maybe. Probably. But it's not 1998 anymore.
Even with a right arm that's been surgically repaired this offseason, what goes on between Favre's ears hasn't been fixed. He will continue to play with the same disregard for game situations that's marked the latter half of his career. Why? Because he keeps getting rewarded for it.
There's a tendency to rewrite recent history with Favre and say that the Jets folded up like a lounge chair because Favre's arm hurt. That's not true. He threw 22 touchdowns and 22 interceptions last year. Included in that is a six-touchdown day against the Cardinals in a 56-35 win. He threw two touchdowns and nine interceptions in the Jets' final five games. New York went 1-4 in those games, and the lone win came because the Bills imploded down the stretch.
And now, without offseason training, mini-camps or most of training camp, he's going to come in and find immediate synchronicity with his receivers? Please. He doesn't want to work that hard. He just wants to ball. And the Vikings are only too happy to let him.
PFT: Defensive end finally finds a new team in San Diego — and for a honey of a deal that would be worth a max of $13.35 million.