The radio airwaves have a Purple tint to them lately.
Last week, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe strolled past reporters at Winter Park and teased them, muttering, "Favre, Favre, Favre, Favre" with a wry smile.
True enough, the media has put a choke hold on the Brett Favre story once again in 2009, despite Favre pretty much going into media shutdown mode since his release from the New York Jets.
Fran Tarkenton, the former Vikings Hall of Fame quarterback who has been known to stiff-arm the media, came out guns-a'blazing against Favre on Wednesday's Atlanta airwaves.
"I think it's despicable. What he put the Packers through last year is not good," Tarkenton said of Favre's 2008 unretirement. "Here's an organization that was loyal to him for 17-18 years, provided stability of organization, provided players. It just wasn't about Brett Favre. But, you know, in this day and time, we have glorified the Brett Favres of the world so much, they think it's about them."
Tarkenton went on to criticize Favre from several different angles, including his performance on the field last year with the New York Jets. Favre started the season 8-3 with the Jets before a partially torn biceps tendon appeared to alter his early success.
A poll of Minnesotans last week found that only 29 percent of them want Brett Favre to become a Viking in 2009. The results may have been different if the pollsters limited their questions to just Vikings fans. However, Tarkenton likely didn't endear himself to the Purple faithful with his this comment:
"I kind of hope it happens so he can fail," Tarkenton said of Favre potentially signing with the Vikings.
That would require the Vikings to fail as well, which wouldn't really be supporting the team – a message he preached in his radio rant – would it?
Pro Bowl defensive tackle Pat Williams also had his own moment on the airwaves over the weekend when he called out Tarvaris Jackson's work ethic.
"I talk to Tarvaris all the time (and) tell him you have to put in the time," Williams said on Sirius NFL Radio. "This ain't college no more. This is the NFL. You have to put in more time than you are used to putting in. If you are putting in four hours, you have to put in eight. You have to put in more time than what he's doing. I think if he puts the right time in, he will be a great quarterback in the league."
Jackson responded Wednesday, saying he thought he was working hard but maybe he can find a way to work harder.
Williams also addressed the Favre situation, saying he would take a team-first attitude if Favre was willing and able to play for the Vikings.
"I texted Brett last week and I told him if he comes, we'll welcome him to come as one of the leaders of the team, the captains. If you want to come here, we'll open our arms to you, but if you don't, we understand because he's a Hall of Famer."
Williams' biggest radio rant started with the hot-button topic of his pending four-game suspension for violating the league's policy on anabolic steroids and related substances. Pat Williams and teammate Kevin Williams were among players that tested positive for the banned substance bumetanide, which wasn't among the ingredients listed in StarCaps, a dietary pill the Williamses were taking.
The NFL knew about the presence of the banned substance but didn't specifically warn players that StarCaps contained bumetanide.
"I've got a whole trust issue with the NFL. I don't really know if I can trust them," Williams said. "Basically, I've just got to look at it as all business right now. I can't look at it as having fun because I play the game to have fun. … If I would have done something wrong, I would have took it. But they (knew) about it and they didn't tell the players. Eight other players failed it, but they didn't get suspended."
The Williamses are believed to have tested positive during training camp last year and were scheduled to be suspended for the last four games of the season before a court-ordered injunction was granted. Six months later, the case is still being held up in court.
"I'm just getting tired of it. I just basically want it to be over because it just stresses me out right now," Williams said. "Me and Kevin are like brothers, so we talk all the time. We just basically want to know what's going to happen. … If we're going to get suspended for a game, I'd just rather know now than later so I can prepare for it."
But Pat Williams' pride is telling him to keep fighting the league on this issue.
"I don't want anybody looking at me as I was cheating or I was cheating the league because I had to deal with it and my kids had to deal with it," he said. "I earned everything I got. I came into the NFL undrafted. I earned the respect from the other players. I earned respect from the other coaches. I earned all that. The NFL ain't gave me nothing. I earned everything that I got. I don't want (anybody thinking) I was cheating. I don't want anything. I'm just fighting it basically to get my name cleared."
"The whole system is messed up. I'm just very disappointed in it. That's all."
THE VICK FACTOR
While Favre and the Williamses' case have dominated the offseason headlines of late, quarterback Michael Vick has been one of the talkers at the league level. After missing the last two seasons while serving time for his involvement in a dog-fighting ring, Vick was recently released to home arrest recently and might be available to play in 2009 … if any NFL team wants him.
While several players have said he deserves another chance, including Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, it would be a huge public relations gamble for any team to sign him.
Of course, if that team was part of an upstart football league like the United Football League, it could generate interest in the new product.
Former Vikings coach Dennis Green is now the head coach of the San Francisco franchise in the UFL and addressed that issue.
"I kinda don't think he's gonna wind up with a National Football League team," Green said on KLAC radio. "And I also say this, self-servingly: What better way for him to prove that he's everything that he says he is, and a changed man, for him to be involved in a league playing football and showing the responsibility that goes with playing professional football. I think, for him, I'm hoping that people will forgive him and let him play. If he's going to play in the National Football League, fantastic. But if he isn't, hopefully he and (UFL commissioner) Michael Huyghue will be able to reach an agreement in the United Football League."
And we fully expect more radio rants coming to the airwaves soon.
Vikings all over radio rants
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