We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately. –Ben Franklin, 1776
So what does signing the Decelaration of Independence have to do with football?
Unlike last spring, Brett Lorenzo Favre had not signed a contract to be a Minnesota Viking. Permit me to explain why he now owes the Vikings a decision by April 20, 2010, as to whether he intends to honor the rest of his existing contract.
On January 24, 2010, there was a public mugging in New Orleans. No one was arrested. Two Saints players were fined a total of $25,000 for three illicit hits on Brett Favre. One of them was not called by the NFL officials, allowing the Saints to take over possession of the football. As a result of his illicit beating, Favre was unable to run, and could not rush for a first down or even gain yards on foot on his final play of the season to set up a potential game-winning field goal for his team, but instead he threw an interception.
Some will say that football is a rough sport, and Favre should have expected no less. I remind them that boxing is a rough sport, but the rules do not allow you to punch your opponent in the groin. Anyone who wins a championship in that manner is a cheater, and that lessens my respect for them.
Favre was both dissed and backhandedly complimented by the Saints in this manner. They apparently decided that they lacked the skills to defeat Favre cleanly and fairly, so they resorted to breaking the rules of football to win. An NFL officiating crew, which should have been one of the two best in the league, since there where two conference championships being decided on that day, missed an illegal low hit on Favre which was clearly seen by millions on television. Favre was barely able to stagger off the field after that hit, which went unpunished during the game.
The Saints do not apologize for hitting Favre in this manner. To apologize would be disingenuous on their part, since they intended to knock Favre out of the game by doing so. The NFL officials did not correct their own mistake in not calling a foul that would have negated a turnover, thereby denying Favre protection from such illicit tactics by the Saints, which resulted in both injury to Favre and possibly changed the outcome of the game.
I can understand why Favre needs some time to decide if he wants to continue to be a Minnesota Viking. His wife Deanna certainly does not want to see her husband beaten further. Brett is the person who will have to live with the impact of any future injuries he might sustain by returning to the game.
Unlike last season, Brett knows he can still throw a football with the best in the league.
The Vikings will play the Saints again in 2010, and I am sure his 52 teammates and his coaches would have his back in righting an insult and injustice. Favre deserves another Super Bowl ring, not riding out into the sunset on an interception by a gang of cheap shot artists.
Some anonymous coach once noticed that there is no "I" in team. To be a team player, you must do what is right for the team. If you want them to have your back, you have to have theirs.
Favre can make millions more in endorsements if he comes back, but that’s part of his choice. What he owes the Vikings is a timely decision on whether he is in or out.
He should give them at least two days before the next NFL draft starts. so they will know whether they must go on without him. The Minnesota Vikings have not given up on the 2010 season. They are fighting for a stadium in which they can actually earn as much money as an average NFL team and determine whether they can survive in Minnesota.
To earn respect, you have to give others your own when it is due.
Tim Tebow or Colt McCoy or someone else might get a chance to be a Minnesota Viking, but whether that is best for the Vikings depends on Favre’s decision. If the Vikings will have enough quarterbacks for 2010, it should be known before the draft so that other issues could be addressed.
Tarvaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels deserve a shot at quarterbacking the Vikings. If Favre decides to hang it up, they may well get it. The Vikings deserve some advance notice to know what to focus upon.
This year, there is little doubt Brett Favre is qualified to lead the team again as quarterback. His arm works fine.
If you are part of a team (as was not the case for him last year), you owe the team a decision on whether you are in or out before decisions start to be made that will impact the outcome of 2010.
My two cents is to come back and make the Saints pay you the respect which you deserved, Brett. I’ve said my piece in advance to give some time for consideration of other things. You should too.
"Remember that time is money."
That old Ben Franklin simply said a lot of wise things. My decision here is to close now with this one:
Idleness and pride tax with a heavier hand than kings and parliaments; If we can get rid of the former we may easily bear the latter.