The League

Doug Farrar
Writer

Doug Farrar

A FootballOutsiders.com staff writer

Same old Favre

CLICK TO REACT Facebook

The only surprising thing about Brett Favre's recent reaction to Brad Childress trying to pull him from the loss to the Carolina Panthers is that people are surprised by it at all. Favre would have been a great 1980's roots-rock populist; like Bruce Springsteen and John Mellencamp, he's managed to sell the "just plain folk going to work every day like the rest of us" shtick and parlay it into ceaseless, cloying worship from a media desperate to perpetuate the myth. In truth, Favre is now what he has been for a very long time -- a quarterback as conglomerate. He's too big to fail, just like the bailout banks -- so when he collapses at the end of a season (he hasn't put up a quarterback rating of 80 in any of his last three games), blame must be deferred.

Favre has been dragging the NFL around by the scruff of its neck for the last few years now. Why should anyone be shocked that he refuses to take direction from his own coach? Every utterance that emerges from his smirking mouth is practically bronzed by his fan clubs in press boxes and announcing booths across America. With his fortunes go coaches, players, and franchises. Childress picked Favre up at the airport when Favre came to Minnesota. Can you imagine Vince Lombardi doing that for Bart Starr?

The cult of celebrity has hit Favre harder than most of his compares in the Quarterback Pantheon. Even the real greats, like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady, expect much more from themselves than anyone else ever could when it comes to onfield action -- trying to imagine Manning missing training camp because he just doesn't feel like it is beyond preposterous. Beyond that, the code in football -- in sports altogether -- is very, very clear. As Buck O'Neil once said of Casey Stengel: "When he said you gone, you gone!" That's it. Baltimore Colts head coach Don Shula benched Johnny Unitas in 1968 in favor of eventual NFL MVP Earl Morrall., Unitas then was every bit the legend that Favre is today, if not more so. But Shula had the power, and Unitas understood the code, no matter how much he may have hated it. Coach says you gone, you gone.

The way Favre handles himself in situations like these, where he is expected to be part of a functioning unit, is deplorable. But it is not surprising. I don't know if the infighting will sink the Vikings, but I do know that Childress doesn't have a leg to stand on with that team anymore. And when your coach has lost functional authority, your team is living on borrowed time. The Vikings mortgaged a lot to bring in Favre -- it was a "win now" gesture with a great deal of risk. More and more, it's looking like the gambit will not pay off.

By Doug Farrar  |  December 23, 2009; 10:52 AM ET  | Category:  Buffalo Bills , Doug Farrar , Green Bay Packers , Minnesota Vikings Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: Favre breakdown | Next: Give it up Chilly

Comments

Please email us to report offensive comments.



All I know is that if Bret Favre insists that his last name be pronounced "farv," then I think it is only right that his first name be pronounced "Bert."

Posted by: pjwertz | December 23, 2009 11:15 AM

I hope he does sink the Vikings. What a jerk. No class whatsoever.

Posted by: MILWI | December 23, 2009 11:34 AM

As a Redskins fanatic who has followed the Packers since marrying his Wisconsin wife 10 years ago, I must say:

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Sucks to be Minnesota!
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahahaha!

Posted by: Meepo | December 23, 2009 12:48 PM

the writer offered no facts that this QB has ever sunk a team! attitude, maybe that has done it, i don't know. next time back it up so your readers will know what you are talking about other than your apprently not liking someone. and to the blog that laughed at the 'pack' (maybe) but i'd not bet serious $$$ against them for one of these other skidzo teams!

Posted by: aypub | December 23, 2009 1:07 PM

Unitas was not benched in 1968 in favor of Morrall. He was injured and out for the season. Achilles tendon if I recall correctly.

Posted by: billreveille | December 23, 2009 2:06 PM

Favre has revitalized the franchise regardless of how the season ends, Sidney Rice looks like the next Larry Fitzgerald and Percy Harvin and Visante Shaincoe are looking like up and coming stars. He is not their QB of the future, but they would have not gotten this far with Tavaris or Sage under center. Not to mention that AP has 15 TDs this year because defenses aren't stuck playing run defense.

Posted by: ozpunk | December 23, 2009 2:57 PM

This is being blown way out of proportion. Farve wanted to stay in the game. So what. Roethlisberger just got maligned by a teammate for not playing with a concussion. While you sit at your keyboard Farve has started 285 consecutive games, he can clearly play hurt. By the way, comparing someone to Springsteen is actually flattering.

Posted by: easygoer88 | December 23, 2009 3:40 PM

Favre is a prima donna, he's been talking about retiring since the Packers won the Super Bowl way back when. Totally jerked the Pack around for years and refused to mentor Aaron Rodgers, who is proving to be a great QB.

However, he is perhaps the most entertaining QB to watch and still has a great arm and is a physical freak/indestructible.Shocking how Vikings have collapsed last two games, should be unbeatable with Peterson and dominant(once) defense.

Posted by: objective11 | December 23, 2009 5:52 PM

Favre is a prima donna, he's been talking about retiring since the Packers won the Super Bowl way back when. Totally jerked the Pack around for years and refused to mentor Aaron Rodgers, who is proving to be a great QB.

However, he is perhaps the most entertaining QB to watch and still has a great arm and is a physical freak/indestructible.Shocking how Vikings have collapsed last two games, should be unbeatable with Peterson and dominant(once) defense.

Posted by: objective11 | December 23, 2009 5:52 PM

You are not a very good writer! Your article is very hard to follow.

Posted by: Howellstephen75 | December 23, 2009 7:06 PM

easygoer88?

Or is it easygoober88?

The name is spelled Favre, not the way you tried (twice) to write it. Since the jerk named Favre (notice the 'v' prior to the 'r'?) is of French heritage, the name is pronounced 'Fah-vre' with the accent on the first syllable.

Posted by: critter69 | December 23, 2009 10:51 PM

Johnny Unitas was not benched by Don Shula- he was hurt and out for most of the season.

Posted by: jpatel1008 | December 23, 2009 10:58 PM

Brett Favre is a great quarterback. His failure is as a person. If he had true greatness he would bow out of football gracefully and make us all shed a tear.

Posted by: philhicks28 | December 24, 2009 2:08 PM

While I can't deny that Brett Favre is an amusing QB to watch (he can still pull amazing plays out when it counts), he is consistent in one thing - he seems to decline as the season comes to a close.

And aypub - if you want proof that Favre has sunk a team, look no further than the 2007/2008 Green Bay Packers. The interception thrown late in the NFC playoff game against the Giants blew their chance at going to the Super Bowl. Period.

I've been watching all season, and waiting for this decline to occur. I'm not surprised by it at all. I am pleasantly surprised that the Packers are only one game behind Minnesota, and finally seemed to have gelled, if only because it makes my neighbors happier :D

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | December 29, 2009 4:08 PM

As a diehard MN fan, I gotta tell you you missed this story big time.

Vikes' problems are with injuries in the heart of the defense, poor outdoor turf preparation, and some let-downs on the O line.

Favre's position is well represented by him, even though Chilli seems determined to run off tackle right every first down and off tackle left every second down.

The problem is, Brett sees 6 guys in the box and an easy slant to Rice or fly to Siancoe. Berriam has dropped 2/3 of everything Brett has delivered.

Ya, Washington football! (is it clueless?)

Posted by: rowens1 | January 2, 2010 9:23 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company