Vikings punter Chris Kluwe walked past a couple of reporters during and after Thursday's organized team activities and playfully muttered, "Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre."
No doubt, the media was almost as predictable as some fans accused the Vikings' playcalling of being in 2006.
"The … stuff you're talking about is stuff that you guys do," quarterback Sage Rosenfels said of the speculation that Brett Favre could be joining the Vikings. "I have blocked you guys out as much as I can for the last nine years of my life. So really nothing has changed, the way I prepare, the way I work out here at practice."
Media had access to the players and coach Brad Childress following Thursday's practice and most of the questions to Childress, Tarvaris Jackson and Rosenfels focused on the Favre saga. Do the Vikings have an interest in him and how might that interest affect the two quarterbacks who are already competing for the starting job?
"You discuss it, you're interested in going through the process," Childress said. "And are you interested in a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback? You're always interested in going through the process and discussing it and investigating it."
Childress admitted that he has communicated with Favre, but said it's been "several weeks" since their last talk.
According to ESPN, Favre had X-rays of his shoulder sent to the Vikings so they could review the severity of a partially torn biceps tendon suffered during the 2008 season. Childress wouldn't discuss Favre's medical situation, but it would appear that the injury is the big reason for the lack of certainty and closure. Until there is a definitive answer there, Childress was hesitant to put an end to the speculation.
"I think you take every situation as it comes along. For me to stand here and say something is going to happen, I don't know. I just don't know," he said. "It's all hypothetical and I just think we've got to the point where we hypothetically ask a question that we have to have an answer to. … It's not something that I'm entertaining and I'm more focused on the guys that are part of this football team."
For Jackson, the whole Favre drama is like a replay of his 2008 training camp, when the Vikings were rumored to be interested in trading for Favre, but the Packers nixed any talk of that happening, accused the Vikings of tampering and traded him away to the New York Jets.
"Going on my second year, last year during training camp I had to hear the same stuff. I'm pretty much used to it by now. It's expected for a guy of his caliber. I'm not really worried about that. Just trying to come out here and get better," Jackson said. "Ya'll kind of got me stopped reading and watching TV a long time ago. I'm a sports fan, so it's kind of hard. When you see it over and over again, it really don't matter who they're talking about – you get kind of tired watching reruns. I just change the channel. I don't read the paper anymore. That's pretty much it."
But even Jackson knows there is reason for all the talk. The Vikings have admitted an interest in Favre.
"I totally understand," he said. "It's the second year I've had to go through this. You can't really blame them. He's a great player and, like you said, a future Hall of Famer. The team we have and the guys we have around us, why not? But I feel like I can get the job done and I'm just trying to get better each day. That's my job right now. I'm not really focused on the what-ifs. If it happens, it happens. But until it happens, I'm just going to continue to come out here and get better, and when it happens I'm going to do the same."
Jackson and Rosenfels admitted they aren't always kept current on the situation, but both of them have been in the league long enough to know that coaches aren't obligated to let their players know of potential personnel decisions. Jackson even said he didn't expect the coaches to keep the quarterbacks apprized.
That, however, doesn't keep him from wanting to know.
"You want to know, but at the same time you kind of understand the business side of it and it's really not their job to inform you of all that stuff. They don't ask us who they (should) draft or we'd like to draft, so I don't expect them to ask us who we'd like to pick up in free agency or whatever. You would definitely like to know because it's a crazy game; it's a crazy league. If this one guy comes, you never know what might happen with your career. But you do like to know."
So would the media and the fans, but Childress' lack of clarity on the issue will likely leave weeks (maybe months) more of speculation and the current quarterbacks doing their best to avoid the hype.
"There hasn't been an article that's completed a pass for me or won me a football game, and it's something that's not going to help me in my future," Rosenfels said. "I try to be respectful to you guys and I know you guys have a job to do, but, again, reading your stuff isn't going to help me become a good football player, whether it's good or whether it's bad. So I just don't really mess with it."
Tim Yotter is publisher of Viking Update. For more on Favre and the Vikings, go to Viking Update.