TGIF, ladies and gents...keeping things short and sweet this morning since Tarkenton's comments seem to be the only thing in the news at the moment I'm writing this...welcome back, Gonzo!...anyone want to be Kevin Seifert's friend on Facebook?...can't believe I'm linking to TMZ, but they were the first to the punch in photographing Michael Vick, now under house arrest...Plaxico Burress is reportedly "deathly afraid" of going to jail...Maurice Clarett would like to play again...too bad he'll be in jail for another 10 months, at minimum...Ryan Hoag is a finalist to be named "One Man Minneapolis," an award for the gentleman who "represents the best of the Twin Cities from the perspectives of community involvement, personality, intelligence, and fitness”...yeah, I don't care either.
With a hat tip to Shooter, I was interested to find out that the seemingly spontaneous controversy surrounding Fran Tarkenton's comments on Favre might not have been quite as spontaneous as it initially seemed. As it turns out, Fran has a new book coming out in a couple months called "Every Day Is Game Day." Say what you want about his opinion on Favre, but the man's been making a solid business move by getting his name out in the media this week -- could drive up those book sales a bit.
But even beyond that, you can tell Fran's simply having some fun with this dust-up. If you need any evidence of that, look at this tidbit from Judd Zulgad's interview with Tarkenton:
As he spoke, Tarkenton was hitting refresh on a poll on the Fox Sports website that asked if people thought Tarkenton was right in his views on Favre. Tarkenton frequently gave updates on the vote total and how many people favored his view.
Bunch of newspaper columnists weighed in on the Tarkenton drama yesterday, but I found Tom Powers' take to be most interesting -- mainly because he made a point that has gone unexplored thus far:
Dear Mr. Fran Tarkenton:
Who knew you were so passionate about the Minnesota Vikings? As far as I can tell, you don't attend many — if any — alumni functions, and we never see you during the football season.
Do you folks think Powers is making a valid point? Tarkenton claims to be basing his opinion of the Favre saga on the fact that he'll always consider himself a Viking (he told Zulgad, "I retired a Viking and I will die a Viking...but [the Packers] are the enemy, are they not?"). I dunno...I think Fran's being sincere in using his allegiance to the Vikings as reason for the Favre criticism, but given his absence over the years, it wouldn't be entirely unreasonable to wonder what Powers is wondering. Interested to hear some thoughts on this because it's a tricky question.
And finally, I should have made note of this in yesterday's article about Fran's interview with Paul Allen of KFAN, but he made a solid point in that interview about one of the more uncomfortable aspects of the Favre speculation:
"I think they've disrespected the two quarterbacks they have," Tarkenton said. "... Here we are, the First of June almost, and they're saying, 'Ahh, I'm not sure we believe in you. We want you to be our leaders, but we may go in another direction with a broken-shoulder, 39-year-old quarterback.' I think it disrespects the two quarterbacks."
You know, regardless of your opinion on Tarkenton or Favre, that point is pretty damn difficult to argue. I may be one of the folks who feels Brett would be the best option at quarterback for the Vikings next season, but that doesn't mean I haven't felt terrible for Rosenfels and Jackson throughout all this. If the Favre scenario falls through and one of them becomes the 2009 starter, whichever guy wins the training camp battle will be entering the season with this ordeal in the back of his mind. That ain't a good thing, even if T-Jack and Rosenfels have both been very professional about this neverending soap opera.