Commentary: Just embrace the Favre flirtation

It's time to face facts. No matter how many reports come out about Brett Favre, the end result of his flirtation with the Vikings ultimately will be decided by the healing powers in his shoulder. So, while fans wait to find out what really happens, just enjoy the process like you would a gossipy romance filled with hearsay and innuendo.

Are you having fun yet with the Brett Favre drama? If not, it may be time to consult the "Dear Abby" portion of the newspaper instead of the oft-conflicting reports that have surfaced during the flirting stages of this burgeoning romance. If you enjoy a good gossip about a high school couple, this may be your story.

It may be hard for those who put football and the Vikings as the most important things in their life, but my suggestion is to have fun with speculation, just like you would about the forbidden information in notes passed between high school lovers. Until pen really hits paper – and I'm talking about the signing of a contract, not another media report – there is just about nothing any fan can legally do to alter the fate of Flirty Favre and the Vikings.

The contrarian reports filtered again on Sunday and Monday, just like they have since Biceps Brett received his desired release from his second green team. ESPN reported Sunday that Favre's shoulder and his biceps tendon have split up for good, never to be joined together again.

On Monday, ESPN cited two unnamed sources again, this time reporting that Vikings coach Brad Childress has given Favre the rest of the week to decide if he wants to wear a purple uniform to the prom. But Sirius NFL Radio host Pat Kirwan, who has Childress as a semi-regular guest on his show during the NFL season, said the deadline part of the story "was made up."

"I heard you talking about Brett Favre and every show has been talking about him. I've got a couple of things to say," Kirwan said Monday on his show with Tim Ryan. "First off, let me make sure I'm clear on this to everyone who is listening. There is no deadline for Brett Favre to come in by Friday. There is zero deadline. The story was made up. It's not true and trust me on that one."

Despite ESPN seemingly having sometimes accurate information on Biceps Brett in the past, I tend to believe Kirwan that there is no deadline – at least not a hard and fast one that the Vikings would be able to follow. Let's revisit recent history.

If you remember when the Favre-to-Vikings saga began – the fresh 2009 version, not that old, worn-out 2008 story – there was a report that said the Vikings wanted an answer from Favre before organized team activities began. Those are the same OTAs that started on May 19. Did I miss the report about Favre making the decision? Didn't think so.

So if the Vikings weren't able to get an answer then, how could they possibly expect Favre to know if he will be ready to play this season when he reportedly had surgery last month and still wasn't near 100 percent over the weekend? Even Biceps Brett can't possibly know if and when his surgically repaired tendon will be ready to shoulder the load created by two-a-days at training camp.

If the recovery time on that presumably minor surgery is four weeks or six weeks (again, conflicting reports), then even the man who throws the football faster than a speeding bullet will probably need that amount to time make an educated guess if he'll be ready. The Vikings would gain almost nothing by putting a hard and fast deadline for a decision at the end of this week. They only have two OTA practices next week, and Childress has shown a willingness to cancel the last one or two of those in the past and said on Friday that he would consider that option again this year if the team appeared to have made sufficient progress. As of Monday, no decision on that had been made.

"I still think he's coming July 15. By then he'll be signed up for the Minnesota Vikings," Ryan said. "… We've been talking about it for a couple of months, that if he had the surgery he was coming back. It's clear Favre's on his way to Minnesota."

I've been saying since the story broke – the 2009 version – that I believed Favre would be a Viking if his shoulder would allow. And I still believe that, but while the media and fans would like to get it over with, the natural healing timeline rarely loses. And, therefore, if the Vikings really did want a decision by the end of the week, what were they really going to do if Biceps Brett couldn't make a realistic judgment about his future health? Do you really believe they would have spent this much time and effort and then just shut it down if he can't make a decision by a date that has little significance in the NFL offseason schedule?

Kirwan summed up my feelings on the matter pretty well.

"Favre is on his way to Minnesota and it may be around July 15. It might be earlier. Remember how we said it. First, step one, is he healthy enough to play? He's in the process of having that resolved. Step two, get a contract done. I don't think that's going to be a problem either, so the first two hurdles are going to be easy to fly over and then come in and be part of this program. With OTAs winding down – and maybe that's a good thing because he's not ready to throw and all the business that goes on with football – maybe it's better if he comes in at a quiet period of time and gets ready to roll. But I think you're right on it, I think he's on his way in. And Friday may come and Friday may go and it will have nothing to do with him in a purple uniform."

The story may be driving some Vikings fans to the brink of either burning or sleeping with their Fran Tarkenton cutout, depending on which side of the issue they fall on, but Childress and Favre just need a little more time to fully embrace their relationship. With all the conflicting reports, Phil Collins seems to be the best source on Flirty Favre: "You can't hurry love. No, you'll just have to wait."

When all the teasing is done, probably within the next month, I'm guessing Favre will be able to use that shoulder to wrap his arms his arms around Childress and embrace their mid-life romance.


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